Scientists discover how bacteria helps convert carbon dioxide into methane gas for energy use.
This discovery can help make carbon dioxide emissions useful by turning it into energy. Carbon dioxide is one of the biggest contributors to global warming. However, due to the bacteria that can convert the carbon dioxide being notoriously difficult to grow, the gas production remains limited.
Professor Martin Warren, of the University of Kent’s School of Biosciences, looked into this challenge to investigate how a key molecule, coenzyme F430, is made in this bacteria.
F430 is the catalyst for the production process. The properties of this coenzyme allow methanogenic bacteria to breathe in carbon dioxide and exhale methane.
The research teams have been able to show that F430 is made from the same starting molecular template from which haem and chlorophyll are derived, but uses a different suite of enzymes to convert this starting material into F430. Key to this process is the insertion of a metal ion, which is glued into the centre of the coenzyme.
If methanogenesis could be engineered into bacteria that is easier to grow, like E.coli, then engineered strains could be employed to catch carbon dioxide emissions and convert them into methane.
I enjoyed this book. It really made me question why I eat meat and if its worth the animal cruelty, factory farming, and the damage to the environment. He says, “stories about food are stories about us-our history and our values”. That resonated with me because I never thought of our choice/thought of food to be so conscience and deep-rooted. It’s also interesting how Foer mentions how we don’t recognize we are animals,
In the first sense, humans are members of the animal kingdom. But more often, we casually use the word animal to signify all creatures-from orangutan to dog to shrimp- except humans.
We neglect the parts of us that makes us similar to them, for example, the ability to feel or relieved of pain. Foer says, “what we forget about animals, we begin to forget about ourselves”. This book overall suggests that our food choices reflect the ethical values we stand for, which is true in a sense. When we eat meat we would rather satisfy our desire for meat than let animals live well. People often never conscience of that.