Thursday, August 9, 2007

Cellulosic II

Sorry about leaving so abruptly. I mistook the NYSE trading collar alarms for a fire drill.

I had meant to include a piece from Fat Knowledge in the post below.
He seems to have sought treatment for his cow blomp fascination and moved on to "pig poo".
We can only hope this is a weaning off rather than a substitute addiction.

From FK:
Darpa Wants Soldiers to Eat like Pigs

Under a Darpa contract, microbiologists at the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) in Ames, Iowa have been sorting through swine poo, to try to figure out how Wilbur and friends digest what humans usually can't: cellulose, the main fibrous part of plants.

With the right "cellulose-degrading beneficial bacteria in the gut," Darpa notes, soldiers could "increase the amount of energy" they get, "from either food rations or non-traditional foodstuffs."

These novel "fibr-biotics" are able to break down non-digestible fiber (cellulose and hemicellulose) into glucose, which can be directly absorbed for energy. When added to the diet of deployed soldiers, these novel fibr-biotics will be able convert nondigestible fiber into usable energy.
This will allow soldiers to eat grass and other plants when they don't have access to other food. Of course this could also be a ploy to get soldiers to quit complaining about MREs. "Son, you think that tastes bad? How 'bout you try eating grass for a week."