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Review of the Department of Energy’s Genomics: GTL Program
cially true given the 100-year residence time of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and the 30- to 50-year lifetime of capital stock in the energy industry. Because reduction of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and carbon cycling are related to use of bioenergy, the bionergy institute should have a secondary focus on carbon sequestration. Finally, recent advances in biology (for example, rapid sequencing, directed evolution, and whole-genome synthesis) may enable us to design biological systems capable of generating affordable, carbon-free energy.
The committee finds that the systems biology focus of the Genomics: GTL program is essential to achieving DOE’s mission goals and other goals and objectives in biology in general and in sustainable development. The current research program is excellent, and the need for infrastructure for protein production, molecular imaging, proteome analysis and modeling and analysis of cellular systems is well justified. If the committee’s recommendation on reconfiguring the plans to construct vertically integrated facilities that operate as institutes were followed, they could have an especially high ratio of scientific benefit to cost because the need for new technology will be directly tied to the biology goals of the program.