For Farscape fans in Chicagoland and the Great Lakes area.

Jan 22

Rygel’s Bio-functions Not So Weird After All

Genetially Engineered Stomach Microbe Converts Seaweed to Ethanol

Traditional sushi eaters have a specialized gut bacteria that helps them digest sushi wrappers, which isn’t present in North Americans.  This discovery helped lead synthetic biologist Yasuo Yoshikuni and his colleagues to figure out how to modify a sPortrait of Dominar Rygel XVItrain of E. coli so that it turns the sugars in an edible kelp called kombu into ethanol. More importantly, this transformation takes place with the temperature between 77 and 86 degrees Farenheit, which means it doesn’t take extra energy to make ethanol this way. This strain of E. coli likes it warm, too, so it’s not likely to escape into the wild and start consuming seaweed on its own. Read more about this at Scientific American.

So….Rygel’s ability to turn tannot root into a fuel for Peacekeeper weapons isn’t so farfetched. However, the Helium farts, or somehow providing nourishment for a growing human/sebacean embryo? That’s another matter entirely. Still, nothing is stranger than real life, and you just cannot predict which places new discoveries will take us to. This is why I never worried too much about the “science” of Farscape. Just because something seems impossible to us now, doesn’t mean it is.

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