Science Ahoy!

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Cow Power

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Genetic engineering makes production of fuel from corn one step closer to reality.

The enzyme that allows a cow to digest grasses and other plant fibers can be used to turn other plant fibers into simple sugars. These simple sugars can be used to produce ethanol to power cars and trucks.

MSU scientists have discovered a way to grow corn plants that contain this enzyme. They have inserted a gene from a bacterium that lives in a cow’s stomach into a corn plant. Now, the sugars locked up in the plant’s leaves and stalk can be converted into usable sugar without expensive synthetic chemicals.

So would that make it a holy cow?

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Written by Elgie Shepard

October 3, 2008 at 1:41 pm

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