University Research News
Researchers find nature’s backup plan for converting nitrogen into plant nutrients .
Princeton University researchers have found that nature has developed a backup method for converting atmospheric nitrogen into the nutrient form critical to plant growth and soil fertility. The researchers report that the process known as nitrogen fixation can be carried out by the metal vanadium in ecosystems — particularly in the northern hemisphere — where the primary catalyst molybdenum is scarce. The study suggests that nature’s capacity to restore ecosystems in the wake of human-made disturbances or fertilize agricultural land is more resilient than previously thought.
How to make better biofuels? Convince yeast it's not starving .
Yeast already helps make bread and beer and cranks out the biofuel ethanol, but scientists believe it can be used to create an even more efficient fuel called isobutanol. Normally, yeast only creates a tiny amount of isobutanol. Now researchers at Princeton University have discovered a genetic switch that significantly ramps up production. Isobutanol has about a 25% greater energy density than ethanol and is much better suited for use in vehicles than current ethanol-based fuels. Biofuels can be a renewable and environmentally friendly alternative to petroleum-based fuels.
Geyman’s published senior thesis research offers new thoughts on how carbonates record global carbon cycle .
Emily Geyman, a 2019 Princeton graduate in geosciences, is the lead author of a newly published paper that resulted from her senior thesis research in which she investigated the chemical composition of carbonates and how these carbonates record the carbon cycle.
Study of African animals illuminates links between environment, diet and gut microbiome>
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