Bacteria turned into biofuel factories

Researchers have genetically engineered the bacteria E. coli to produce a gasoline-like biofuel called n-butanol at a rate that is about 10 times better than competing systems.

N-butanol (normal butanol) is naturally made by various species of the bacteria Clostridium. Since the 1920s, researchers and industry have genetically tweaked these bacteria to boost their butanol-producing abilities, said Michelle Chang, a chemist at the University of California at Berkeley.