JASON on Engineering Microorganisms for Energy Production

12.14.06 | 1 min read | Text by Steven Aftergood

A recent report from the secretive JASON scientific advisory group considers the feasibility of using microorganisms to produce fuels as a metabolic product, such as hydrogen or ethanol.

“Microorganisms present a great opportunity for energy science,” the JASON report (pdf) to the Department of Energy said.

“Microorganisms are simpler than plants; they have smaller genomes and proteomes, and are easier to manipulate and culture. The enormous biodiversity of microorganisms presents a broad palette of starting points for engineering. Microorganisms already make many metabolic products, some of which are useful fuels.”

“Boosting the efficiency of fuel formation from microorganisms is an important research challenge for the twenty first century.”

The JASONs do not publish even their unclassified reports in an orderly or consistent fashion. A copy of the new report was obtained by Secrecy News.

See “Engineering Microorganisms for Energy Production,” JSR-05-300, June 23, 2006 (92 pages, 1.1 MB).