News From the Field
A Microbial Biorefinery Provides New Insight Into How Bacteria Regulate Genes
February 14, 2013
New research reveals the genetic and chemical mechanisms through which some bacteria consume lignin, a highly stable polymer that accounts for up to a third of plant biomass. Microorganisms that can break down plant biomass into the precursors of biodiesel or other commodity chemicals might one day be used to produce alternatives to petroleum.
The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering. In fiscal year (FY) 2014, its budget is $7.2 billion. NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and other institutions. Each year, NSF receives about 50,000 competitive requests for funding, and makes about 11,500 new funding awards. NSF also awards about $593 million in professional and service contracts yearly.
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