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Yeast Research May Help Boost Ethanol Production

March 14, 2007

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Researchers are "buzzed" over the possibility of using yeast to boost ethanol production. Dr. Ahmad Fakhoury, plant pathologist, spends his days investigating fungal genetics and the industrial applications of microbes. His new research focuses on the use of the kind of yeast that brewers use to give beer its "kick," but hopes to reengineer a special strain of yeast to withstand the high alcohol levels and acidity encountered in the production of ethanol. Fakhoury hopes the encouraging results from his preliminary research will land him additional research support from federal agencies interested in alternative fuels.