New Directions for Energy and SustainabilityView all sessions
The depletion of fossil fuel reserves, global warming, energy security and the need for clean, cheap fuels has made developing sources of renewable energy a global research priority. The sun provides the most abundant energy source on the planet, and could meet our energy demands many times over, but the challenge of solar energy is its conversion into a usable form. Synthetic biology tools are being developed to convert renewable resources into molecules we can use as fuels, pharmaceuticals, solvents, materials and a vast array of specialty chemicals. There is also growing interest in using synthetic biology to help combat seemingly intractable problems in tropical crop diseases and agricultural sustainability.