Montana State University

Genetic engineering for biofuel to be discussed in Nov. 8 lecture

October 24, 2012 -- MSU News Service

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MSU News Service
Tel: (406) 994-4571
BOZEMAN -- A free public lecture about the genetic engineering of microorganisms for biofuel production will be given at 4 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 8, in the Procrastinator Theater in room 235 of the Strand Union Building at Montana State University.

Michael W. W. Adams, the Georgia Power Professor of Biotechnology and a Distinguished Research Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the University of Georgia, will present "Engineering High Temperature Microbes for Biofuel Production."

Adams will discuss the discovery and properties of microorganisms that grow at extreme temperatures. He will focus on the anaerobic archaeon, Pyrococcus furiosus, the "rushing fireball," which grows optimally in boiling water. This organism is being genetically engineered to use hydrogen gas and carbon dioxide to generate biofuels.

Adams is also an adjunct professor of microbiology, co-director for the Center for Metalloenzymes Studies and the director of undergraduate studies in biochemistry and molecular biology. His research concerns microorganisms from volcanic environments that thrive at temperatures near 100 degrees Celsius, the normal boiling point of water at standard pressure, with an emphasis on their metabolism, enzymology and metal-containing proteins, as well as their use in the production of biofuels.

For the past 10 years, Adams has been the editor of the "Journal of Bacteriology" and served on the editorial boards of four other international journals. In 2003, he was elected to the American Academy of Microbiology and in 2010 received the Charles Thom award for research excellence from the Society of Industrial Microbiology.

Adams' lecture is sponsored by MSU's Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, and is presented by the College of Letters and Science's Distinguished Speakers Series. The series, which began in the spring of 2011, brings distinguished scholars to MSU to give a public talk and to meet with faculty and students to enrich the intellectual life on campus and to enhance research connections.

For more information about this and other lectures in the Distinguished Speakers Series, visit or call 994-4288.

Evelyn Boswell, (406) 994-5135 or