Friday, November 18, 2005

Power Your SUV with GMOs?

J Craig Venter, one of the major players in the Human Genome Project, has started a new company named Synthetic Genomics which plans to produce biofuels (ethenol, biodeisel) with genetically engineered microorganisms. This would apparently solve one of the major barriers to efficient biofuel production, as this C|Net article describes:
The genetic approach to biofuels could eliminate one of the more prominent difficulties facing biomass energy, which typically involves burning plant matter or alcohol derived from plants. Namely, it takes more energy to make biofuels than the process provides. Even backers of ethanol, a mixture of gasoline and plant alcohol, have said that one needs to add in the value of other byproducts created in the ethanol process to come out ahead.

Genetic engineering proponents have long pointed to the technology's potential to solve environmental problems. But, this potential has yet to be realized, by any stretch of the imagination. Will this be any different?
The Synthetic Genomics website's claims remind me of an earlier Critical Art Ensemble project (GenTerra) that took a critical look at the eco-friendly face of GE technology.

posted by ryan griffis  # 10:37 AM

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