Los Angeles Times Editorial Bugs for Beating Global Warming Focuses on DOE Research


The lead editorial in the March 15, 2008 issue of the Los Angeles Times praises two projects with ties to Biological and Environmental Research (BER) that are identifying microbial routes to efficient production of fuels. The editors are interested in opportunities for slowing, and eventually halting, carbon emissions using new approaches. The editorial states: [H]ere is one scenario to root for: genetically engineered bacteria that eat carbon dioxide and excrete biofuels. A full paragraph is devoted to research by James Liao, a scientist in BER s UCLA-DOE Institute for Genomics and Proteomics, who has engineered the common microbe E. coli to convert glucose to biofuels and is seeking to insert the key genes into bacteria that could use carbon dioxide and sunlight as the starting point for biofuel production. The other scientific development described in the editorial is the recent discovery of a Chesapeake Bay bacterium that is an efficient digester of cellulose; a discovery aided by sequencing of the bacterium s genome at the BER Joint Genome Institute.