Biodiesel Designer Genes

If you were a green genie whose wishes would you grant? That everyone on the planet heeds Kenny Luna’s sage advice and plugs compact fluorescents into their lamps? Would you go further and replace every automobile on the planet with a hybrid, or would you just stop global warming altogether?

Companies that work in the area of genetic engineering don’t need green genies – they look to science for changing the physical and chemical realities of the world. And according to a story in Bloomberg, two Israeli companies have their designs set on developing cheap and oily biodiesel. It is not spelled out in the report, but judging by the test tubes on one of their websites and the other's name, the solution will be a genetically-engineered one. The companies in question are Ornat Industries and Evogene, who agreed on a $2 million, three-year project that will seek out alternatives to soy and canola.

The big increase in the use of biodiesel in recent years has caused soy and canola prices to rise, increasing the need to develop crops dedicated to biodiesel use and not for human consumption,

said the Rehovot-based Evogene to the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange last Wednesday.

If you were a genetic engineer, what physical and chemical traits would you mix and match from our plant and animal world? FYI sometimes human genes go into plants. ::Bloomberg via ::ISRAEL21c

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