Panda Poop May Solve World Energy Crisis

Greg Tito

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Sep 29, 2005
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Panda Poop May Solve World Energy Crisis



Yeah right, and biofuel-making microbes might fly out of a panda's butt!

In case you hadn't noticed, we as a people use too much fossil fuels to power our cars and electronic communication devices. The dependence on petroleum and coal not only causes geo-political conflict, but burning them releases all kinds of bad things into the air. Global warming aside, that much smoke in our lungs is generally a bad thing. The answer many have turned to in the last decade or so has been so-called biofuels made from crops we can grow easily like corn, soybeans and sugar. But that process creates a lot of waste too, and we haven't figured out how to derive enough energy from these sources to make it profitable. What's the answer? Well, apparently, the answer is panda crap.

Or more precisely, the bacteria found in the excrement of giant pandas. A study presented at a meeting of the American Chemical Society by Ashli Brown, a biochemist from Mississippi State University, claims that the microbe found in panda kaka could advance the process of making biofuels from all kinds of tough plant materials previously thought unsuitable like switch grass, corn stalks and wood chips.

"Who would have guessed that 'panda poop' might help solve one of the major hurdles to producing biofuels, which is optimizing the breakdown of the raw plant materials used to make the fuels?" said Brown.

For years, scientists assumed that high-powered bacteria must exist in panda manure because their primary food source is bamboo - the entire plant including stems, leaves and shoots. For the panda's stomach to break down all the stiff cellulose cells that support a bamboo stalk, the little buggers must have some serious mojo. But until the renewed interest in biofuels, figuring out exactly what bacteria was at work in panda shit wasn't that important.

For Brown, the discovery should shed light on our need to protect all species because we never know where the next breakthrough will come. "Animals and plants are a major source of medicines and other products that people depend on. When we lose them to extinction, we may lose potential sources of these products," she said, even though she had to look at the panda turds every day for the last year.

For me, this story has allowed the use of as many synonyms for feces that I could possibly come up with. Here are some more, just in case: poopy-stinky, bum brownie, cagadita, crapola, dookie, floater, majon, Mississippi mud, sewer serpents, scheisse, Cleveland Steamer, Dirty Sanchez, tootsie roll, milky way, turtle head and brown trout.

Also, poop. Hee hee.

Source: American Chemical Society [http://portal.acs.org/portal/acs/corg/content?_nfpb=true&_pageLabel=PP_ARTICLEMAIN&node_id=222&content_id=CNBP_028097&use_sec=true&sec_url_var=region1&__uuid=0a00cfd6-d30b-4e91-bd51-453705498778]

(Image [http://www.flickr.com/photos/pagedooley/5402340884/sizes/m/in/photostream/])

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TJC

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Aug 28, 2011
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pretentiousname01 said:
And here is where big oil takes out a collective hit on the panda population to ensure their extinction.
Either that or fire up their cloning machine to have enough pandas to make money from them, depending on what's bringing more money
 

GrizzlerBorno

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Sep 2, 2010
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Oh my god. Really Universe? The terrible, cheesy moralizing twist ending from the new version of the "Andromeda Strain"? Of all the awesome sci-fi concepts out there ("Charon is a Mass Relay", hello?!), THAT'S the one you had to make come true?
 

varulfic

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Jul 12, 2008
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So we are leaving the energy crisis to the pandas? Aren't they close to extinction because they refuse to breed?

...we're fucked.
 

ramboondiea

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Oct 11, 2010
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great, now we have to try and save the little fucks, i already didnt like pandas, now the universe is just trying to piss us off by making them important, SCREW YOU UNIVERSE
 

Furioso

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Jun 16, 2009
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So now there's an actual reason to save those suicidal idiots? Well I guess that's better than being useless, but I still don't like them
 

AMMO Kid

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As long as they don't make us eat it. And it's a shame that if this IS the solution that they found this out AFTER most of the panda bears are dead...
 

Fiz_The_Toaster

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GrizzlerBorno said:
Oh my god. Really Universe? The terrible, cheesy moralizing twist ending from the new version of the "Andromeda Strain"? Of all the awesome sci-fi concepts out there ("Charon is a Mass Relay", hello?!), THAT'S the one you had to make come true?
Yup! It's not space crystals, it's poop!
 

Scizophrenic Llama

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Dec 5, 2007
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Guess we'll need to start investing in some more panda porn to get those bastards in the mood. For the sake of the world!
 

The Artificially Prolonged

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Jul 15, 2008
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varulfic said:
So we are leaving the energy crisis to the pandas? Aren't they close to extinction because they refuse to breed?

...we're fucked.
Yeah looks like it, damn you nature and your evil sense of humour. I bet that's been the panda's game all along, they make themselves go extinct knowing full well that they where our hope only for when the oil runs out. /wild conspiracy theory

Now maybe will see the owners of the major oil companies join up with the WWF to the save the pandas. Now that would be a sight to see. Or maybe just finish the pandas off to keep oil prices high light one of the above posters.
 

Trucken

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.... I still hate pandas. Useless animal. Then again, maybe they're not so useless anymore.
 

Svenparty

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Animals going extinct in countries that dislike western culture...We are doomed... China will drive around cackling and bombing us with panda poo fuelled aircrafts aspart of their "Great Splodge forward"
 

Keava

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Well it would certainly give a reason to keep funnelling money into up keeping the pandas alive as they don't really do well by themselves... But same time it rises a question whenever the research is believable or is it just a cunning plan to get more money for pandas.

However the real problem didn't ever seem to be in producing bio-fuels, rather making people want to use them, so what exactly changes in that regard?