For decades, scientists have used the natural processes in cells to create useful products such as chemicals and biofuels.
This process, known as metabolic engineering, modifies the gene networks within cells to increase an organism’s ability to produce a specific substance.
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is doubling down on energy research at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, funding a multi-million dollar Bioenergy Research Center to provide scientific breakthroughs for a new generation of sustainable, cost-effective biofuels and bioproducts.
The U.S. Department of Energy has awarded a five-year, $12.1 million grant to a multi-institutional effort to develop drought-resistant grasses for use in biofuels. The Donald Danforth Plant Science Center in St. Louis will lead the initiative with researchers from the Carnegie Institution for Science, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the University of Minnesota and Washington State University.
The grant is timely, said U. of I. plant biology professor Andrew Leakey, whose lab will receive $1.8 million of the funding.