About the event
The genomes of cancer cells can be riddled with mutations, sometimes numbering into the hundreds of thousands. One causative agent for this cancer hypermutation is a cellular enzyme called APOBEC3A, whose normal function is to restrict the spread of viruses. We are using APOBEC3A as a tool to genetically engineer yeast cells that are more proficient at converting biomass to biofuel. This New Frontiers Research Fund project is showing early signs of success. If we can produce yeast mutants with additional improvements in biofuel production, then a greater displacement of legacy fossil fuels from the energy marketplace is possible, which would be significant technological advance to help rein in anthropogenic climate change.