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 A New Use for Kat's Bugs

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Lightfoot
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PostSubject: A New Use for Kat's Bugs   Tue Jun 17, 2008 12:26 pm

Well...not exactly Kat's bugs....

Scientists Find Microbes That Eat Garbage, Excrete Crude Oil

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,367642,00.html

"Ten years ago I could never have imagined I'd be doing this," says Greg Pal, 33, a former software executive, as he squints into the late afternoon Californian sun. "I mean, this is essentially agriculture, right? But the people I talk to especially the ones coming out of business school this is the one hot area everyone wants to get into."

He means bugs. To be more precise: the genetic alteration of bugs very, very small bacteria so that when they feed on agricultural waste such as wood chips or wheat straw, they do something extraordinary. They excrete crude oil.

Unbelievably, this is not science fiction. Pal holds up a small beaker of bug excretion that could, theoretically, be poured into the tank of the giant Lexus SUV next to us.

Not that Pal is willing to risk it just yet. He gives it a month before the first vehicle is filled up on what he calls "renewable petroleum." After that, he grins, "it's a brave new world."

Pal is a senior director of LS9, one of several companies in or near Silicon Valley that have spurned traditional high-tech activities such as software and networking and embarked instead on an extraordinary race to make $140-a-barrel oil from Saudi Arabia obsolete.

"All of us here everyone in this company and in this industry are aware of the urgency," Pal says.

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LeaShi

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PostSubject: Re: A New Use for Kat's Bugs   Tue Jun 17, 2008 1:30 pm

Hmm. Interesting, but just how much oil do they excrete? I mean, it seems to me that it would take a whole lot of bugs to make enough oil just to fill up a single tank. And if we could make it a viable source of oil, wouldn't there be environmental dangers to having bugs pooing crude oil everywhere?

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PostSubject: Re: A New Use for Kat's Bugs   Wed Jun 18, 2008 1:16 pm

Naw..just put them in large vats! I'm thinking with all the bus we have in the south, this could be bigger than cotton! bounce

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PostSubject: Re: A New Use for Kat's Bugs   Wed Jun 18, 2008 7:24 pm

Yeah, that's kinda what Niel said. Since they have to be genetically altered, they'd keep them in a controlled environment. I just feel like this article raises more questions than it answers. The media likes to do that - tantalize us with something potentially cool and then not tell us that much about it. Hopefully there will be some sort of follow up on it.

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PostSubject: Re: A New Use for Kat's Bugs   Thu Jun 19, 2008 6:04 pm

Ewww bug poo.

That is interesting though...
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