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Posted Tue Apr 27 2010: from The Economist:
A radial brew
...About a billion tyres are made every year--each one requiring about 26 litres (or seven American gallons) of oil. Now a way has been found to make greener tyres by using genetically modified bugs to produce isoprene biologically. The work is being carried out by Genencor, an industrial biotech company based in California, in collaboration with Goodyear, one of the world's biggest tyremakers...Genencor used a genetically modified form of E-coli, a favourite species of bacteria in microbial genetics, to produce BioIsoprene. By splicing in genes from other bugs, the company was able to engineer synthetic metabolic pathways--ones that do not exist in nature--that enable the bacteria to produce isoprene from the sugars found in plant materials such as sugar cane, corn cobs and switchgrass, a tall-growing variety native to North America.
[Read more stories about: GMOs, technical cleverness, sustainability]
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'Doc Jim says:
Just so we don't end up having to eat these tyres.

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