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Biological energy's future

US energy department focusing on research objectives for next 25 years

Emma Hitt(emma@emmasciencewriter.com)

Biological energy experts will be meeting in January to discuss research needs in the areas of biomass, photovoltaics, and photosynthesis, to help flesh out the biology component of the Department of Energy's (DOE) 25-year strategic plan, slated for release next March.

Initial meetings on the topic have included a 4-day workshop held in October, entitled "Basic research needs to assure a secure energy future" and organized by the DOE's Basic Energy Sciences Advisory Committee (BESAC). However, at a BESAC full-committee meeting held November 5-6, vice-chair Linda Horton, of Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), said that the workshop, which covered various forms of energy research, did not include enough biologists to elucidate the scientific opportunities in biological energy research, so another meeting for biological energy alone was scheduled for January.

According to Horton, the January meeting will include a handful of people from institutions performing "forefront research" in this area,...

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