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A microscope image of the genetically modified bacterias shows a number of diesel molecules which it is forming.  (Source: CNN)

Biochemist Stephen del Cardayre is the vice president of research and development at LS9. He holds a vial of his company's prized bacteria. The brown fluid at the top of the vial is diesel that the bacteria excreted, mixed with water.  (Source: CNN)
Genetic engineering yields hope for fossil fuel replacement

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Screw driving less
By phxfreddy on 8/12/2008 11:02:30 PM , Rating: 2
Does anyone think the long term solution includes sliding backwards towards horse and buggy days? I say NO.

Any solution for energy must REDUCE the eventual cost of energy. Not just replace oil.

No one wants to take a pay cut. No one wants to drive less. No one wants to slip backwards in history.

I am tired of the Luddites tossing their shoes in the gears of progress!

RE: Screw driving less
By SiliconAddict on 8/12/08, Rating: -1
RE: Screw driving less
By masher2 on 8/13/2008 12:49:27 AM , Rating: 5
> "If in 100 years we've so thoroughly fucked this planet that 80% of the species on this planet are extinct, and we as a species are slowly dieing...."

Fortunately we utterly lack the power to do that. Not even a full-scale nuclear war would have effects anywhere near that severe. As for pollution and/or climate change causing such effects, the facts do not bear out any such sky-is-falling scenario.

> "Americans aren't willing to give up some of the comforts of our society..."

The striving for the "comforts of society" is what brought cave men out of their flea-bitten caves in the first place. It's the reason most children don't die long before reaching maturity, why adults no longer die from minor infections and toothaches, why malnutrition and starvation no longer run rampant, why we're no longer regularly eaten by wolves and killed by bears, why something as simple as an early frost or a bad crop fungus no longer means the deaths of entire cities.

Always striving to have a better, easier, more comfortable life is what made us great. And the largest danger civilization faces today is from attitudes such as yours, that this very striving is somehow evil and pernicious. That desire -- coupled with our intelligence in implementing it -- is the only thing that separates us from a life that is nasty, brutal, and short.

RE: Screw driving less
By Mathos on 8/13/2008 1:07:33 AM , Rating: 2
Well, look at it this way. How quickly did humanity move through the evolution of transportation motors. How long was it between the time we started using steam engines, and the time we started using internal combustion engines. Now look how long it's taking us to move away from the obsolete internal combustion engine to something more efficient or something that doesn't use fossil fuels at all. The internal combustion engine has been obsolete for over 50 years.

Unfortunately this is what happens when you live in a society that allows it's governing bodies to line their pockets with money from the very companies that are holding us back. So I'm glad to see an independent company trying to solve part of the issue. I get a laugh every time I hear about a company like Exxon investing a few million dollars a year into research of alternative fuels, when they report record quarterly profits of 12 billion Dollars.

RE: Screw driving less
By NEOCortex on 8/13/2008 1:59:05 PM , Rating: 3
ICEs might be inefficient, but they're certainly not obsolete.

RE: Screw driving less
By mindless1 on 8/13/2008 3:10:58 PM , Rating: 2
It's never that simple, whether it be 100 years or 1000 we are still having a negative impact on the planet and the ideas we have about comfort and convenience at any cost will have to change whether it be by choice or necessity.

Of course mankind has made great strides but the goal is not to go back to the caveman era, it's to find a balance and it will necessarily include concepts you've argued against, that we can't reasonably be a throw-away society forever.

RE: Screw driving less
By masher2 on 8/13/2008 3:47:23 PM , Rating: 2
> "we are still having a negative impact on the planet "

Taken from the viewpoint of what's best for mankind, we're having an incredibly positive impact on the planet.

In fact, that explains the (strictly modern) viewpoint that nature is a kind, gentle, nurturing environment. In primitive times, nature was a force to be feared.

RE: Screw driving less
By AnnoyedGrunt on 8/13/2008 12:59:50 AM , Rating: 2
Ahh, but it's never that easy. Cloth diapers require washing, which uses water, which in many areas is more scarce and valuable than landfill space. So you may be making a larger impact with cloth diapers than you initially think.

Also, you get your hands plenty dirty with disposable diapers, let me tell you!


RE: Screw driving less
By mindless1 on 8/13/2008 3:13:12 PM , Rating: 2
It's easier than you think. "Uses" <> "uses up". Water doesn't disappear after used, we've managed to recycle that for quite a while now but do we recycle plastic diapers out of landfills?

RE: Screw driving less
By Jim28 on 8/13/2008 12:54:38 PM , Rating: 2
"Americans aren't willing to give up some of the comforts of our society and it will come back to bite us all in the ass long term"

You don't practice what you preach obviously, since you are sitting at home on a computer typing into this blog.


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