Rainforest fungus produces bio-diesel

A story on ITN demonstrates again the value of preserving rainforest, indeed all biodiversity.

The story reports on the discovery in a Patagonian rainforest of a fungus that produces a substance similar to diesel. The fungus, Gliocladium roseum, converts cellulose directly to bio-diesel.

The potential application in the biofuel industry is obviously huge. It’s a shame that the article does not pick up on the implications for biodiversity conservation. It also ignores the IPR issues — it mentions only the US scientist who lead the investigation into the fungus; nothing about the potential benefits to the country where the fungus was discovered or anything about indigenous knowledge about the fungus.

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