| Celia Luterbacher

Interview with Julie Sinistore, former GLBRC Sustainability researcher, who is now a Senior Life Cycle Analyst at Virent, Inc.


GLBRC: What was your role at GLBRC, and when did you work here?

Marginal lands ­– those unsuited for food crops – can serve as prime real estate for meeting the nation’s alternative energy production goals.

| Leith Nye

During the summer of 2012, our Research Experience for Teachers (RET) Program expanded to include collaborations between researchers and teachers both at UW-Madison and Michigan State University. We had four teachers working with GLBRC scientists on a range of research and curriculum development projects.

Read on to learn about the activities of each of the 2012 RET participants.

| Celia Luterbacher

In most college classes, students are quizzed with questions and the professors already know the answer. But CS 699, a special topics course in Computer Science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, turns that teaching method on its head: university scientists turn to students to help crack their toughest research questions.

| Great Lakes Bioenergy

On September 26, 2012, we hosted #LabChat Q&A: Biofuels of the Future with @ENERGY. The #LabChat features @GLBRC project leader Brian Pfleger, whose research focuses on synthetic biology and metabolic engineering. GLBRC Education and Outreach Director John Greenler moderated from @WI_Bioenergy.

| Celia Luterbacher

Developing technologies to produce biofuels is a little like bargain hunting: the goal is to come up with a valuable product for a competitive price.

| Matt Wisniewski

Kate Helmich

Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center research assistant Kate Helmich explains what an enzyme is.

| Margaret Broeren

ow can GLBRC researchers be sure that successful fuel production at the lab bench can be scaled up to meet the needs of a state, a region or a country?

| Margaret Broeren

Once biomass has been pretreated and the sugars released, GLBRC scientists work with bugs like yeast and E. coli to optimize the way they churn through sugars and ferment them to produce fuels.

| Margaret Broeren

Just as people need to chew food to better access and digest the nutrients inside, mechanical and chemical pretreatment of plants disrupts the cell walls and allows access to the sugars within. Using ammonia, heat and pressure, a pretreatment method known as AFEX (ammonia fiber expansion) blasts open cell walls, allowing enzymes easier access to the sugar polymers that make up plant cellulose.