Genomes to Life: Putting Microbes
Genomics and Its Impact on Science and Society: The Human
Genome Project and Beyond
Produces methane, an important energy source; contains enzymes that
withstand high temperatures and pressures; possibly useful for
Survives extremely high levels of radiation and has high potential
for radioactive waste cleanup.
Ocean diatom that is major participant in biological pumping of
carbon to ocean depths and has potential for mitigating global
|The DOE Microbial Genome
(MGP) studies the DNA of microbes that may be useful in helping
DOE fulfill its missions in energy production, environmental waste
cleanup, and mitigation of the effects of global climate change.
(For more information, see MGP Web site (www.ornl.gov/microbialgenomes/).
A Potential Application of Knowledge Gained in GTL
Learning about the
inner workings of microbes can lead to discovery of ways to isolate
and use their components to develop new, synthetic nanostructures
that carry out some of the functions of living cells.
In this figure, an
enzyme (green) has been embedded in a synthetic membrane that
enhances its activity and stability. The enzyme transforms toxic
substances (purple molecules at left) to harmless by-products
(yellow and red molecules at right). [C. Lei, Y. Shin, J. Liu, and
E. J. Ackerman (Pacific Northwest National Laboratory), J. Am.
Chem. Soc. 124, 11242–43 (2002)]
The knowledge gained from
Genomes to Life research could enable others to develop efficient
enzyme-based ways to produce energy, remove or inactivate
contaminants, and store carbon to mitigate global climate change.
Other potential highly useful applications are food processing,
pharmaceuticals, separations, and the production of industrial