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Posted Fri Apr 25 2008: from UTexas, via Slashdot:
Solar-powered Cyanobacteria Produces Sugars for Biofuels
A newly created microbe produces cellulose that can be turned into ethanol and other biofuels, report scientists from The University of Texas at Austin who say the microbe could provide a significant portion of the nation's transportation fuel if production can be scaled up. Along with cellulose, the cyanobacteria developed by Professor R. Malcolm Brown Jr. and Dr. David Nobles Jr. secrete glucose and sucrose. These simple sugars are the major sources used to produce ethanol. "The cyanobacterium is potentially a very inexpensive source for sugars to use for ethanol and designer fuels," says Nobles.... Brown and Nobles say their cyanobacteria can be grown in production facilities on non-agricultural lands using salty water unsuitable for human consumption or crops. The new cyanobacteria use sunlight as an energy source to produce and excrete sugars and cellulose, and can be continually harvested without harming or destroying the cyanobacteria. [Further,] cyanobacteria that can fix atmospheric nitrogen can be grown without petroleum-based fertilizer input.
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The ApocaDocs say:
Hooray! This could be as big as the sun. Unless, of course, there's unintended consequences.

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