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Editorial: Grand County wrong to join oil industry enablers

Pipe: Passenger vehicles - Mon, 2014-10-27 19:03
... their constituents and the land they hold in trust for future generations on the dirty boom-and-bust of the 20th Century fossil fuel economy.

'Natural gas to be global fastest growing fuel by 2040'

Pipe: Passenger vehicles - Mon, 2014-10-27 19:03
... for personal vehicles would gradually peak in the period under review and then fall, as significant fuel economy gain offsets growth in the world fleet.

Is Your Gas Money Stretching Farther Now Than 10 Years Ago?

Pipe: Passenger vehicles - Mon, 2014-10-27 18:30
Gas prices are the lowest they've been in a while, but what if we told you it's actually cheaper to buy gas now than it was 10 years ago, when gas was ...

A Conversation With: Naomi Oreskes Imagines the Future History of Climate Change

Pipe: Homepage Latest Headlines - Mon, 2014-10-27 18:21
A historian of science imagines what future generations will make of our current handling of climate change.

Steering the Climate Change Coverage

Pipe: Climate and Health - Mon, 2014-10-27 18:00
Adam Bryant recently became editor of The Times’s expanded team covering the environment. We asked him how he is approaching the position.

Best Car To Buy 2015: Honorary Mentions, And Extravagance Aside

Pipe: Passenger vehicles - Mon, 2014-10-27 17:11
Likewise, no other mainstream, family-size sedan has quite served up the combination of stunning good looks, top-notch safety, good fuel economy ...

Next Wrangler Will Be Made Of Aluminum, Stay In Toledo

Pipe: Passenger vehicles - Mon, 2014-10-27 17:00
The move to aluminum could shave hundreds of pounds off the next Wrangler, leading to greatly improved fuel economy. Rumor had it that the ...

newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for October 27, 2014

Pipe: Advanced tech - Mon, 2014-10-27 16:32
ARB Newsclips for October 27, 2014.

Fossil Fuel's New Strategy - Will It Work?

Pipe: Passenger vehicles - Mon, 2014-10-27 16:26
Low gas prices coupled with messages about gas that gives "better fuel economy" cast doubt that the e-vehicle and hybrid claims are a better value.

Will falling gas prices be bad for the climate?

Pipe: Passenger vehicles - Mon, 2014-10-27 16:03
Drivers in the U.S. have prized other features, like size and speed, over fuel economy, and the auto industry has shortsightedly fed their gluttonous ...

Finnair, TUI Travel and Munich Airport score highly in CDP international climate leadership index

Pipe: Aviation - Mon, 2014-10-27 15:53
Mon 27 Oct 2014 - Finnair, TUI Travel and Munich Airport are stand-out leaders in this year's Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) index of climate disclosure and performance by organisations around the world. CDP, an international NGO, provides a global system for companies and cities to measure, disclose, manage and share environmental information with 767 institutional investors worldwide responsible for assets of $92 trillion. The aim is to motivate companies to disclose their impacts on the environment and natural resources, and take action to reduce them. Finnair and Munich Airport have been A-listed on the CDP Climate Performance Leadership Index (CPLI) 2014 for their actions to reduce carbon emissions and climate protection efforts. TUI Travel - which has six airlines - scored an A- on the CPLI and a 'perfect 100' on the Climate Disclosure Leadership Index (CDLI).

Coming soon

Pipe: Passenger vehicles - Mon, 2014-10-27 15:52
CR England supplied the trailers and test protocol, which were run using a modified SAE J1321 fuel-economy comparison test. The results: A 10% fuel ...

JBEI researchers boost isopentenol output from E. coli; potential benefit for bio-gasoline

Pipe: Advanced tech - Mon, 2014-10-27 15:37

Researchers at the US Department of Energy (DOE)’s Joint BioEnergy Institute (JBEI) have identified microbial genes that can improve both the tolerance and the production of isopentanol in engineered strains of Escherichia coli. Isopentenol is a five-carbon (C5) alcohol that is a highly promising candidate for biogasoline, but, like other short-chained alcohols, is toxic to E.coli at commercial levels of fuel production.

Aindrila Mukhopadhyay, a chemist who directs the host engineering program for JBEI’s Fuels Synthesis Division, led a study in which transcriptomic data and a synthetic metabolic pathway were used to identify several genes that not only improve tolerance but also production of isopentenol in E.coli. MetR, the methionine biosynthesis regulator, improved the titer for isopentenol production by 55%, while MdlB, the ABC transporter, facilitated a 12% improvement in isopentenol production.

The toxicity to microbes of many of the best candidate compounds for advanced biofuels presents a “production versus survival” conundrum. (Accordingly, the Mukhopadhyay Group has also separately been investigating the engineering of microbial transport systems, such as efflux pumps, to export a broad range of substrates including solvents and to provide a direct engineering route to relieve fuel accumulation-related stress to and improve production titer. The group has used a high-throughput approach to create a library of efflux pumps in E. coli that can confer tolerance to many candidate fuels.)

In order for microbial biofuel production to be cost effective, yields must exceed native microbial tolerance levels, necessitating the development of solvent-tolerant microbial strains. In parallel with improved tolerance it is also crucial that we improve production.

Our study demonstrates that microbial tolerance engineering using transcriptomics data can be used to identify target genes that improve fuel production. Our targets include a regulator for amino acid biosynthesis, and an ABC transporter protein, the first native transporter that improves tolerance to a short-chain alcohol. —Aindrila Mukhopadhyay

Mukhopadhyay, who also holds an appointment with the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory Physical Biosciences Division, is the corresponding author of a paper describing this study in press in the open access journal mBio. Co-authors are Heather Jensen, Jee Loon Foo, Robert Dahl, Kevin George, Jay Keasling, Taek Soon Lee and Susanna Leong.

The overexpression of E. coli genes displaying tolerance to isopentenol increased production of this leading biogasoline candidate in a production strain of the microbes. Click to enlarge.

To this end, Mukhopadhyay and her group in this new study used transcriptomic data—a measurement of differential expression of gene transcripts in a given genome—to identify 40 E. coli genes that showed increase when exposed to externally added isopentenol. These genes were then overexpressed in E. coli to evaluate their potential for improving isopentenol tolerance. Genes conferring isopentenol tolerance were then co-expressed individually with an isopentenol production metabolic pathway in E. coli to determine which would increase productivity as well.

Mukhopadhyay and her group are especially eager to further investigate the MdlB transporter, which they believe, as the first native transporter gene shown to improve production of a short-chain alcohol, will provide a valuable new avenue for host engineering in biogasoline production.

The critical point is that you must first identify the genes that can serve as engineering targets, and then test them to find which ones work best. Now that we have identified MdlB as a target, we are going to examine it in great depth to see how can we improve its function and optimize its use in a production microbe.—Aindrila Mukhopadhyay

This research was supported by the DOE Office of Science. JBEI is a DOE Office of Science Bioenergy Research Center led by Berkeley Lab.


  • Foo JL, Jensen HM, Dahl RH, George K, Keasling JD, Lee TS, Leong SSJ, Mukhopadhyay A (2014) “Improving microbial bio-gasoline production in Escherichia coli using tolerance engineering,” mBio, in press

Pickup Truck And Hybrid Car Sales Headed In Opposite Directions, But Not Just Because Of <b>...</b>

Pipe: Passenger vehicles - Mon, 2014-10-27 15:04
What's more, the spread in fuel economy ratings between higher-cost hybrids and conventionally powered models continues to narrow thanks to an ...

Greenkraft Inc. and Efficient Drivetrains, Inc. Jointly Receive Grant from California Energy <b>...</b>

Pipe: Passenger vehicles - Mon, 2014-10-27 14:33
This new CNG-PHEV combined truck is being designed to improve and show the fuel economy of both a Natural Gas and electric vehicle in one.

2014 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque Review

Pipe: Passenger vehicles - Mon, 2014-10-27 14:33
There's nothing quite like a Range Rover. These robust vehicles are purpose built to tackle some of the roughest terrain in the world, from fording ...

Report: Next Wrangler to Have Aluminum Body, Stay Body-on-Frame

Pipe: Passenger vehicles - Mon, 2014-10-27 14:22
Improving fuel economy will be a top priority for the new Wrangler, but that mandate may necessitate further changes to the Wrangler's styling, such as ...

Allied Company unveils new brand

Pipe: Passenger vehicles - Mon, 2014-10-27 12:41
He said the company in partnership with Afton Chemical, a world leader in fuel additives has introduced to the local market, a fuel economy product ...

tru -- Attention TRU (reefer) owners: Only a few days left to the October 31st DPF purchase order deadline

Pipe: Advanced tech - Mon, 2014-10-27 12:36
The California Air Resources Board (ARB) reminds model year (MY) 2007 TRU owners: If you want to qualify for compliance extensions, only a few days remain before the October 31st purchase order deadline for ordering Level 3 verified diesel particulate filters (DPF) for retrofitting your reefer engines.

ChargePoint now accepts PayPal

Pipe: Advanced tech - Mon, 2014-10-27 12:28

Plug-in electric vehicle (EV) drivers can now sign up and pay for ChargePoint charging with PayPal. PayPal has long supported EVs and has installed 34 ChargePoint ports at its San Jose, California, campus for employees and visitors.

ChargePoint stations are independently owned so businesses and individuals are free to set pricing however they prefer. Some station owners prefer to offer charging for free as an amenity or to attract visitors. Others set a price to cover costs or drive revenue. More than half of the 19,000 charging spots on the ChargePoint network are free. When there is a fee to use a station, drivers can pay with their ChargePoint account by adding their credit card. Now, drivers can also use PayPal to get a charge.

When asked for payment information, drivers can choose PayPal and will be directed to to enter their username and password. To start charging, drivers can use the ChargePoint mobile app or wave their ChargePoint card in front of the station’s card reader. The first time a driver accesses a station that requires a fee, a $25 deposit will be charged to their account and payment will be deducted from that deposit.