Craig Venter and his team at Synthetic Genomics are searching for a way to produce oil from algae, and Christopher Helman at Forbes says a recent profile of Venter indicates he hasn't found an algae strain that can produce enough oil, and so he is going to make one himself. The profile, published in The New York Times earlier this month, said that Synthetic Genomics is currently "studying natural strains, but the goal is not to select any one of them; it's to combine the best qualities from each." Helman notes that Venter has a deal with ExxonMobil to develop any algae-derived biofuels, but he also points out that the agreement is for an isolated strain of algae, not an engineered strain.
Venter's Algae Venture
Jun 25, 2012