Effect of Cellulosic Hydrolysate Compounds and Biofuels in Escherichia coli
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The Symposium provides undergraduates from all academic disciplines with an opportunity to share their research with the university community and other guests through conference-style oral presentations. The Symposium represents part of a larger effort of Iowa State University to enhance, support, and celebrate undergraduate research activity.
Though coordinated by the University Honors Program, all undergraduate students are eligible and encouraged to participate in the Symposium. Undergraduates conducting research but not yet ready to present their work are encouraged to attend the Symposium to learn about the presentation process and students not currently involved in research are encouraged to attend the Symposium to learn about the broad range of undergraduate research activities that are taking place at ISU.
The first Symposium was held in April 2007. The 39 students who presented research and their mentors collectively represented all of ISU's Colleges: Agriculture and Life Sciences, Business, Design, Engineering, Human Sciences, Liberal Arts and Sciences, Veterinary Medicine, and the Graduate College. The event has grown to regularly include more than 100 students presenting on topics that span the broad range of disciplines studied at ISU.
Requirements of renewable fuels around the world increases daily as the need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions increase as well. Biofuels are one of the several alternative energy sources being heavily invested into by both world governments and corporations to combat both issues. This project focuses on testing the toxicity of common biofuels in Escherichia coli (E. coli) for better use in the fermentation process. Our goal is to improve tolerance to inhibitors produced after treatment of lignocellulose, allowing for better conversions in biofuels. This will result in an increase in production of biofuels and a drop of the land requirements, making them more economically available to the general publIC.