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Crustaceans Offer New Clues to Biofuel

In a recent study, a group of British researchers have proposed a new powerhouse of biofuel: the Gribble.

In case you aren't familiar with the microscopic marine world, Gribble are actually tiny crustacean pests that can break down wood into sugars like no other species on Earth. Gribbles are generally considered to be the scourge of seafaring vessels - they can destroy wooden planks and piers much like termites can eat away at your home. However, they now might hold the key to future liquid biofuel processing plants.

By examining Gribble digestive "DNA" and the enzymes the pesky creatures use to break down wood so effectively, scientists surmise that it might be possible to use the same technique on a much larger scale, then ferment the sugary by-product into fuel, much like corn byproducts are fermented into ethanol.

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