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Posts Tagged: Peggy Lemaux

UC researchers try to make biofuel in tobacco plants

Peggy Lemaux
UC researchers are testing tobacco's potential to be genetically modified in order to produce biofuel, reported Louis Sahagun in the Los Angeles Times' ScienceNow blog.

“The beauty of our proposal is that carbon dioxide emitted into the atmosphere as a byproduct of combustion of these bio-fuels would be captured again by tobacco plants and, through the natural process of photosynthesis, be converted back into fuel," said Anastasios Melis, professor in the Department of Plant and Microbial Biology at UC Berkeley.

Peggy G. Lemaux, UC Cooperative Extension specialist, Melis and Krishna Niyogi, Agricultural Experiment Station faculty in the Department of Plant and Microbial Biology at UC Berkeley, are lead researchers in the project.

For more information and a video growing biofuel in tobacco leaves, see the UC Green Blog.

Additional coverage:

Lemaux and Eduardo Blumwald, professor in the Department of Plant Sciences at UC Davis, were interviewed about biotechnology for a program that will air on the Bay Area’s KQED Channel 9 at 7:30 p.m. May 8. Lemaux and Blumwald will also participate in a "Google Hangout" at 11 a.m. May 8.

Posted on Wednesday, May 1, 2013 at 8:36 AM

UC looks into a 'healthier' way to use tobacco

Converting tobacco into cigarettes is a dwindling industry, so scientists are looking for an alternative use for the product grown by tobacco farmers, said an article in the New York Times Green Blog.

Peggy Lemaux, UC Cooperative Extension specialist in the Department of Plant and Microbial Biology at UC Berkeley, shared the idea at the annual meeting of Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy, an agency founded to nurture interesting energy ideas that may or may not work.

Some bacteria and algae turn sunlight into oils that can be burned in a car engine or used as raw material at a refinery in place of crude oil. A research consortium that includes the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, UC Berkeley and the University of Kentucky has taken genes from those types of bacteria and algae and inserted them into tobacco plants. In the first year of work, the efforts produced a crop and organic solvents were used to extract the oils out of the leaves.

For an overview, see the video below:

Posted on Monday, March 4, 2013 at 12:00 PM
Tags: biofuel (12), biotechnology (11), Peggy Lemaux (8)

Unfounded fear of GMOs keeps good food out of the marketplace

The genetically modified Flavor Saver tomato was a marketplace flop.
Food created through genetic engineering and conventional breeding are safe and they deserve equal treatment in the marketplace, a UC Berkeley biotechnology expert told reporter Lisa Krieger of the San Jose Mercury News.

Peggy G. Lemaux, UC Cooperative Extension specialist in the Department Plant and Microbial Biology at UC Berkeley, says fear of the unknown can stop genetic engineering from helping consumers. She genetically engineered wheat to produce grain that is less allergenic and might be better tolerated by people with wheat allergies. Because of anti-genetic-engineering sentiment, she said, companies that could take it to market did not embrace it.

"No one is interested in moving it to the marketplace," Lemaux said.

The Mercury News article was centered on Proposition 37, an initiative on California's November ballot that, if passed, will require labeling on genetically engineered food.

Posted on Tuesday, October 9, 2012 at 9:01 AM

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