Improving Ethanol Production

Engineered yeast improves ethanol production. ‘MIT scientists have engineered yeast that can improve the speed and efficiency of ethanol production, a key component to making biofuels a significant part of the U.S. energy supply.
Currently used as a fuel additive to improve gasoline combustibility, ethanol is often touted as a potential solution to the growing oil-driven energy crisis. But there are significant obstacles to producing ethanol: One is that high ethanol levels are toxic to the yeast that ferments corn and other plant material into ethanol.
By manipulating the yeast genome, the researchers have engineered a new strain of yeast that can tolerate elevated levels of both ethanol and glucose, while producing ethanol faster than un-engineered yeast. The work is reported in the Dec. 8 issue of Science.’

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