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Nonlinear Dynamics Ltd.. (12/28/09). "Press Release: Nonlinear Collaborates with Local University on Biofuels Project with Global Appeal".

Region Region Newcastle upon Tyne, Tyne and Wear
  Country United Kingdom (GB)
Organisation Organisation Nonlinear Dynamics Ltd.
  Group Waters (Group)
Products Product Progenesis LC-MS s/w
  Product 2 biofuel

Nonlinear Dynamics Ltd, the world leading developer of analysis solutions for proteomics and biomarker discovery has teamed up with researchers at Northumbria University in Newcastle on a project that could lead to a major breakthrough in the production of biofuels.

Nonlinear is sponsoring one of four EPSRC CASE awards secured in the region by RTC North. The 3-year research project will bring together traditional scientific laboratory analysis techniques, with some of the world's most advanced data analysis software in proteomics, and apply them in order to identify key proteins produced by organisms used in biofuel production.

The research is being led by Professor Gary Black and carried out by Northumbria PhD student Andrew Porter. Bacteria commonly found in soil called Cellvibrio japonicas will be cultured using common laboratory techniques to see if it is able to use Miscanthus giganteus and sugarcane bagasse biomass as a sole carbon and energy source. This could lead to improved processing of plant materials, other than food crops, to release sugars for bio-ethanol production.

This important scientific research could have far reaching benefits for the biofuels industry once the all important proteins are identified and the partnership with Nonlinear will challenge the findings to see how easily the results can be replicated. Nonlinear believes reproducibility of results is the biggest challenge facing proteomics today and stopping the field achieving the impact it deserves.

Professor Black says: "We will be finding out which proteins a micro-organism uses when it is trying to degrade plants. We know the micro-organisms in the soil have to do this efficiently, or they will die, and we believe we can learn a great deal from nature to determine which proteins are the most efficient and effective in degradation. It is a painstaking process as we have to isolate the proteins and ensure it is not just a spurious event but something which is recurring."

Working with Professor Black the proteins involved will be analysed in labs at Northumbria University and at North East Proteome Analysis Facility (NEPAF) using Nonlinears Progenesis LC-MS software. This will provide a means to test the across-lab reproducibility of results.

Paddy Lavery, from Nonlinear Dynamics, who is the Industrial Supervisor for this research project, said, "Biofuel research is an exciting area for us to get involved in and supporting this project can add to the North East's growing reputation as a place to deliver excellent science. We also have an opportunity to be pioneers here. If we're successful, the results of this research will send out a powerful message. If you take the right approach, anyone can go from initial discovery research to validated results that can be reproduced in other labs."

For further information and comment from Northumbria University at Newcastle, please contact:

Ruth Laing, Senior Press Officer
Northumbria University
Tel: 0191 227 4905

Record changed: 2016-03-20


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