March 11, 2009
Bioengineering and Chemical Engineering Professor Jay Keasling made a guest appearance on the Colbert Report, a popular Comedy Central news magazine television show last night.
Keasling, CEO of the Joint BioEnergy Institute and Director of the Physical Biosciences Division at Lawrence Berkeley Lab, was invited to the show to discuss his research efforts to engineer microbes that can produce biofuels. Jay has become a famous proponent of synthetic biology, the technique of designing and building biological systems to accomplish new tasks, especially new and cheaper manufacturing methods for useful chemicals. Colbert and Keasling joked about producing gasoline from “microbe poo”, and also discussed Jay’s efforts to cheaply produce the malarial drug Artemisinin for the developing world.
Watch the video at the UC Berkeley NewsCenter.