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Cellular Secrets Of Plant Fatty Acid Production Understood

A curious twist in a family of plant proteins called chalcone-isomerase recently was discovered by Salk Institute for Biological Studies scientist Joseph Noel and colleagues at Iowa State University led by Eve Wurtele. Pursuing basic scientific discovery, they found three similar proteins that could soon translate into positive results for bio-renewable fuels, commodity chemicals like plastics, food security and nutrition and biomedicine. The findings, reported recently in the advance online publication of the journal Nature, may lead to higher-yield crops and quantities of oils, help to address growing world demands for food and fuel, and mitigate environmental pressures on stressed ecosystems.

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