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February 1, 2010

Turning E. Coli into flesh eating bio-diesel creating machines

Filed under: Humor,Science — Marcus @ 6:18 pm

Please note the following post is an attempt at humor, do not take my warnings seriously, otherwise we will have scientists trying to find smoke from some dinosaur’s car that got captured in a clay pot and they will see if they can reconstruct an evolutionary missing link just by going off from distinct properties of the said smoke.

I read a lot of different blogs and tech news sites, while reading yesterday I came across an article on Google news titled “Turning E. Coli into Road-Ready Diesel“. I glanced at that and thought, wow that could be a bad idea, but I guess its just some new bacteria that they found that exists naturally that does this, no big deal right?

Wrong, they are genetically modifying E. Coli bacteria to eat basically any organic material and convert it into diesel fuel. Lets backup and think about that statement for a minute… They are genetically modifying E.Coli bacteria to do something, probably doesn’t matter what. Three things come to mind when I think about this:

  1. E. Coli is dangerous to begin with
  2. I have seen several scary science fiction movies with this as their basis (I am Legend for example)
  3. Oh yeah, we (humans) are also organic material

Now I know that movies are just a made up fiction and not to be taken to seriously, but something else to remember is how science fiction has literally lead the way to the technology we have today. Some movie writer/director thinks up something cool, and us geeks realize we can’t live without that thing in our favorite movie and we spend the next 20 years developing it, what are the chances that the same time the geeks are making a holo deck, the real life villains are busy trying to come up with awesome virus’ etc they can hold the world hostage with? For some examples of science fiction being realized in real life check out a couple of articles I came up with one Google search and about 10 minutes of time:

  1. http://www.popularmechanics.com/technology/reviews/4256186.html
  2. http://screenrant.com/tech-terminator-iron-man-is-here-brusimm-7985/

Also while we are thinking outside the box, lets think about another fact. The fuel we are burning today is a product of dead dinosaurs and other animals from a long time ago right? Maybe they were smarter than we thought they were, maybe the dinosaurs spent their spare time motoring around the planet and realized they were running out fuel created from some (now missing) evolutionary missing link and they decided to just make their own fuel out of a random virus they had found. That could be plausible right? I mean the facts are all there, well at least the facts I am paying attention to:  #1 All the dinosaurs are dead, #2 all the dinosaurs have been converted to oil (I would assume by the genetically modified bacteria they were playing with).

So why don’t we all just step back a bit and try not to go the way of the dinosaurs, lets just see if we can get by with just burning up the last of the dinosaurs mistakes, and then focus on something safer like nuclear energy, something we actually understand the processes of.

Until next time…

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  1. Thanks, man. That gave me a good chuckle. Something worth thinking about. Imagine that E.coli strain getting into the food chain. One minute you are eating some beef, the next minute you are a 5 gallon petrol can.

    Comment by Paul — February 6, 2010 @ 8:54 am

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