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Stephen Long

RIPE researchers prove bioengineering better photosynthesis increases yields in food crops for first time ever

August 18, 2022

For the first time, RIPE researchers have proven that multigene bioengineering of photosynthesis increases the yield of a major food crop in field trials. After more than a decade of working toward this goal, a collaborative team led by the University of Illinois has transgenically altered soybean plants to increase the efficiency of photosynthesis, resulting in greater yields without loss of quality.


August 18, 2022


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15 Years of IGB: Using biology to solve energy problems

July 18, 2022

Over the past few decades, it has become increasingly obvious that fossil fuels, such as coal, oil, and gas, are the biggest contributors to global climate change, accounting for over 75% of greenhouse emissions. If we want to avoid the catastrophic impacts of climate change, these emissions need to be reduced by almost half by 2030 and reach net zero by 2050. This goal can only be achieved if we invest in alternative sources of energy that are sustainable and reliable, a realization that led to the establishment of the Energy Biosciences Institute.


July 18, 2022


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15 Years of IGB: The RIPE Project

March 24, 2022

In honor of the IGB's anniversary, we're revisiting some of the history of our institute over the past 15 years with a series of articles highlighting IGB people, projects, and research.

Improving crop yields in collaboration with RIPE

Scientists having been breeding plants for over a century with the goal of feeding hungry people across the world. To that end, the Green Revolution in the 1960s used new technologies to increase food production in scale with the population growth. Unfortunately, these increases will not be enough in a few decades.


March 24, 2022


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Comparing photosynthetic differences between wild and domesticated rice

November 2, 2021

Millions of people in Asia are dependent on rice as a food source. Believed to have been domesticated as early as 6000 BCE, rice is an important source of calories globally. In a new study, researchers compared domesticated rice to its wild counterparts to understand the differences in their photosynthetic capabilities. The results can help improve future rice productivity.


November 2, 2021


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BBC’s Follow the Food to feature RIPE research

October 27, 2021

On October 29th, the Realizing Increased Photosynthetic Efficiency (RIPE) project will be featured on an episode of Follow the Food on BBC World News. Hosted by world-renowned ethnobotanist James Wong, the multimedia series focuses on the biggest pressures on the world food system including RIPE’s central mission of how to feed the growing population, and climate change, which is the focus of the current season.


October 27, 2021


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Energycane produces more biodiesel than soybean at a lower cost

July 8, 2021

Bioenergy from crops is a sustainable alternative to fossil fuels. New crops such as energycane can produce several times more fuel per acre than soybeans. Yet, challenges remain in processing the crops to extract fuel efficiently. 

Four new studies from the University of Illinois explore chemical-free pretreatment methods, development of high-throughput phenotyping methods, and commercial-scale techno-economic feasibility of producing fuel from energycane in various scenarios.


July 8, 2021


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