Up-goer summary: “I work on cells that can make their own food from the sun. These cells can be changed to make other things from the sun as well. I work on making these cells make less food, and more of the the other things, because humans can use these things for every day life. I do this by making the cells grow very well, and by changing the way the cell eats food. “
Julie Chaves is a third year PhD student who works in the comparative biochemistry and plant and microbial biology departments. She’s trying to enhancing the photosynthetic production of isoprene in the model Cyanobacterium synechocystis. This is useful because isoprene can be a good starting point for biofuel production.
Good Green Idea recommendation:
“I really like the work of the Duncan lab at Michigan State, in which they marry physiological manipulation and genetic engineering of cyanobacteria to create a new source of sucrose feedstock for bio-based chemical production.”