- Thursday, February 20, 2014 from 6:00pm to 7:30pm
The Unknown Yellowstone: Microbial Discoveries and Biotech Applications
Though relatively small in size, thermal ecosystems like the hot springs of Yellowstone contain massive numbers of heat-loving microorganisms called thermophiles. To survive in these extreme conditions, these hardy organisms have developed unusual properties that may be harnessed for innovative biotechnology applications. Thermal environments have been a source of many beneficial microorganisms and bioproducts. For example, the biotechnology revolution, such as the human genome project and solving crimes through DNA analysis, was made possible by the discovery of a thermostable enzyme (Taq polymerase) from Yellowstone. Interestingly, most of these heat-loving microorganisms have never been grown in a lab, and thousands lie waiting to be discovered. Come learn about the microbial side of Yellowstone and some of the research to discover new organisms and new biotechnology applications with Brent Peyton, Director of MSU's Thermal Biology Institute and Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering.
Speaker: Dr. Brent Peyton is the MSU Director of the Thermal Biology Institute, and Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering. He is nationally and internationally recognized for his scholarly contributions and activities in the field of bioengineering for renewable bioenergy and environmental biorestoration. He has published over 95 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters on these topics. Since his return to MSU in 2005, Brent has built a successful research and teaching program, and his laboratory supports undergraduate student researchers as well as post-doctoral fellows and graduate students. His research has been funded by grants from the National Science Foundation and the Department of Energy, as well as by the state of Montana and private industry. In 2011, he was the recipient of MSU's prestigious Wiley award for meritorious research and he recently received MSU's 2014 award for meritorious science/technology transfer.
This event is co-sponsored by the MT INBRE, the Thermal Biology Institute and COBRE Programs.