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Showing posts from November, 2009

Journal Club:" Correlation of cellulase gene expression and cellulolytic acticity throughout the gut of the termite Reticulitermes flavipes."

It has been a while since the last contribution to this site. Today’s blog entry shall be a summary of a journal article that a couple of friends and I started recently to educate ourselves on topics related to bio-based ideas that are of interest to us. Recently, I came across a general article in the Scientist that talked about biofuels production. The article mentioned integrated biofuel productionpipelines that could include the breakdown of agricultural waste products containing cellulose.

Cellulose is a complex sugar, meaning that it consists of long-chains of individual simple sugar units such as glucose. The glucose that is released from the breakdown of cellulose could be used for bioethanol production. But it turns out that cellulose is a very sturdy material that is difficult and energy intensive to break down. One way to reduce the cost of break-down would be to rely on enzymes that are known as biological catalysts. Catalysts can reduce the activation energy which is the …