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The potential of synthetic biology to change the face of renewable energy


Narrator:
This is Science Today. Researchers are working on ways to produce renewable sources of energy, such as biofuels, through synthetic biology. Jay Keasling, a senior scientist at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and a professor of chemical engineering and bioengineering at the University of California, Berkeley is a leading force in the field of synthetic biology.

Keasling: Synthetic biology is the manipulation of biology for a particular purpose. My laboratory focuses on engineering the chemistry inside the cell so that we can produce things like bulk chemicals, drugs and now, fuels. We do this by manipulating the DNA inside the cell - getting the microbe to take in a carbon source and convert that to something valuable like a drug or a fuel.

Narrator: Keasling says synthetic biology has the potential to change the face of renewable energy.

Keasling: We can produce next generation biofuels to be used in our existing automobiles, rather than existing fuels to go into a next generation fleet of automobiles.

Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.