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JCVI Researcher Awarded $5M Grant to Develop Wastewater Treatment Technology

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The J. Craig Venter Institute announced today that one of its researchers has received a $5 million grant from the Roddenberry Foundation to fund development of new wastewater treatment approaches based on microbial fuel cell, or MFC, technology.

MFCs are based on natural microbial communities that break down the organic material in sewage and other waste for fuel. According to JCVI, this process creates electrons that pass along the fuel cell circuitry to accelerate the breakdown process and produce electricity.

The JCVI investigator, Orianna Bretschger, has been working to understand the microbes and mechanisms associated with MFCs to develop practical applications of the technology.

"With this grant, we can expand and apply what we have learned about fundamental microbial processes toward the development of integrated MFC systems that can provide reliable and cost-effective wastewater treatment," Bretschger said in a statement.

The Scan

Interfering With Invasive Mussels

The Chicago Tribune reports that researchers are studying whether RNA interference- or CRISPR-based approaches can combat invasive freshwater mussels.

Participation Analysis

A new study finds that women tend to participate less at scientific meetings but that some changes can lead to increased involvement, the Guardian reports.

Right Whales' Decline

A research study plans to use genetic analysis to gain insight into population decline among North American right whales, according to CBC.

Science Papers Tie Rare Mutations to Short Stature, Immunodeficiency; Present Single-Cell Transcriptomics Map

In Science this week: pair of mutations in one gene uncovered in brothers with short stature and immunodeficiency, and more.