Science Highlights

Researchers are genetically engineering microorganisms to produce high-energy biofuels that can directly replace petroleum in existing engines.

Higher Yields of Advanced Biofuels from Genetically Engineered Yeast

Strains produce “drop-in” fuels and chemicals derived from fatty acids. Read More »

Researchers have used a global climate model to assess future water demands in the agricultural, energy, industrial, and municipal sectors, concluding that freshwater availability may be insufficient in some regions.

Long-Term Water Projections and Climate Change

Model scenarios predict increased scarcity in the Middle East and India. Read More »

Research suggests that methane (CH<sub>4</sub>) utilization by the bacterium <em>Methylomicrobium alcaliphilum</em> under low  oxygen (O<sub>2</sub>) conditions may involve switching to a new fermentation-based  mode that leads to the formation of formate, acetate, succinate, lactate,  hydrogen, and hydroxybutyrate as end products.

New Metabolic Pathway Discovered in Methane-Consuming Bacteria

Opportunities emerge for using microbes to convert the gas to biofuels and other products. Read More »

Cultivated barley is the fourth most abundant crop in the world and a model for plant genetics research.

Assembling Complex Plant Genomes

New, rapid, and low-cost approach can be applied to many species. Read More »

A study comparing microbial communities before and after the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico indicates that, although overall population diversity changed, some microbes were unaffected.

Hope for Re-establishing Microbial Populations in the Gulf of Mexico

2010 oil spill reduced diversity, but some species were unaffected. Read More »

Methane emissions estimated in a recent study (A) and compared against the commonly used Emissions Database for Global Atmospheric Research (EDGAR) 4.2 inventory (B and C).

Some U.S. Methane Sources May Be Larger than Previously Thought

Inventories underestimate emissions from fossil fuel industry and animal husbandry, study finds. Read More »

Aerosol observations from the 2011 Las Conchas fire in New Mexico (seen here) are helping researchers gain a better understanding of wildfire effects on climate.

Wildfires Lead to More Warming than Climate Models Predicted

Aerosol observations shed light on impact of soot and smoke. Read More »

Researchers have identified a new class of proteins in avocados that could lead to increased lipid content in potential bioenergy crops.

Protein-Rich Avocados May Inspire Bioenergy Solutions

New lipid droplet–associated proteins found in fruit’s oil-rich tissues. Read More »

Disruption of Mediator rescues growth and fertility in Arabidopsis low lignin mutants.

Mediating Biofuel Complexity through “Mediator” Modification

Research points to more efficient and lower cost routes to high-yield biomass-derived renewable fuels. Read More »