Tuesday, March 4, 2008

'In 18 Months': Scientists Engineering Organisms to Eat CO2, Excrete Energy

California (TGW) – The scientist who mapped his own genome and the genetic diversity said he is creating a life form that feeds on carbon dioxide to produce fuel.

Craig Venter disclosed his potentially world-changing "fourth-generation fuel" project at an elite Technology, Entertainment and Design conference in front of an audience that included Al Gore.

"We have modest goals of replacing the whole petrochemical industry and becoming a major source of energy," Venter said. "We think we will have fourth-generation fuels in about 18 months, with CO2 as the fuel stock."

He is leading a team of researchers that are reengineering existing life forms with synthetic chromosomes, not creating whole new life.

Organisms already exist that produce octane, but not in the levels we need, he said.

Scientists put "suicide genes" into their living creations so that if they escape the lab, they can be triggered to kill themselves.

Via :: AFP


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