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Engineered Superbugs Boost Hopes of Turning Seaweed Into Fuel

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Science  20 Jan 2012:
Vol. 335, Issue 6066, pp. 273
DOI: 10.1126/science.335.6066.273

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On page 308 of this week's issue of Science, researchers describe a strain of Escherichia coli that they have genetically engineered to break down and ferment alginate and all the other major sugars in seaweed into ethanol. But experts wonder whether enough seaweed can be harvested to make it a significant contributor to petroleum independence or even a lower-carbon economy.