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Message #2101 of 2108  *NEW*
Rob Reed  
From the 'Sounds too good to be true' file: scientists may have discovered petrol in bug waste
6/18/08, 9:52pm (Last Edited: 6/18/08, 9:53pm)

Apparently, these are genetically-modified bugs that excrete actual, useable crude oil that may work in our cars.

This is incredible news, if true... especially in the current economic climate. Imagine breaking from the chains of foreign oil!

This is only worthwhile, of course, if this is CHEAP. And, it can't be that expensive to mate bugs to make more of em, right?

“Ten years ago I could never have imagined I’d be doing this,” says Greg Pal, 33, a former software executive, as he squints into the late afternoon Californian sun. “I mean, this is essentially agriculture, right? But the people I talk to – especially the ones coming out of business school – this is the one hot area everyone wants to get into.”

He means bugs. To be more precise: the genetic alteration of bugs – very, very small ones – so that when they feed on agricultural waste such as woodchips or wheat straw, they do something extraordinary. They excrete crude oil.

Unbelievably, this is not science fiction. Mr Pal holds up a small beaker of bug excretion that could, theoretically, be poured into the tank of the giant Lexus SUV next to us. Not that Mr Pal is willing to risk it just yet. He gives it a month before the first vehicle is filled up on what he calls “renewable petroleum”. After that, he grins, “it’s a brave new world”.

"Treat the Earth not as if it was given to you by your parents, but as if it was lent to you by your children." - Kenyan Proverb

"The power of accurate observation is often called cynicism by those that do not have it." - George Bernard Shaw

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