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Bacterial Biofuels: Microbes Turn CO2 to Fuel

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Liquid fuels produced by engineered bacteria may one day replace the fossil fuels we use in our homes and vehicles.

We burn fuel to drive our cars and heat our homes; we release carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Imagine, though, if researchers could reverse the process by capturing CO2 and turning it into fuel, thus closing the loop on carbon emissions.

Engineer James Liao of UCLA is leading one project to make this happen with the help of microorganisms. In a new study published this week in the journal Science, Liao and colleagues showed that bacteria zapped with a little electricity could help to turn carbon dioxide into biofuels.

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