Biologists can now create organisms that have never before existed—including designer bacteria that turn sugar into fuel
By Amanda Schaffer Posted 04.01.2008 at 9:56 am 24 Comments
It could be an aerial photo of an oil spill: liquid spheres pooling, oozing, dwarfing a bedraggled landscape. I half expect to zoom in on poisoned seal pups or waterbirds dragging their oil-soaked feathers. But the scene is microscopic. The “landscape” is made of E. coli. And what’s happening is exactly the opposite of what it seems. The little bugs aren’t drowning in fuel. They’re making it.