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Cellulase unit correction (Xiaofei Tian, 01 November 2013)

Dear Readers / Editors,

We mistook the cellulase unit in the paper etitled ' Pretreatment of microcrystalline cellulose in organic electrolyte solutions for enzymatic hydrolysis' (doi:10.1186/1754-6834-4-53, published online as

In the subsection of ' Enzymatic hydrolysis and glucose concentration' on page 12, line 5-6, '>30 filter paper units (FPU) / mg powder' should read '> 30 U or 0.152 filter paper units (FPU) / mg powder'.

Sorry for the inconvenience.

Xiaofei Tian read full comment

Comment on: Tian et al. Biotechnology for Biofuels, 4:53

Ethanol from Coconut Oil waste (Gary Patterson, 10 January 2011)

As I read with fascination the work being done to produce bioengineered strains of S.cerevisiae that can breakdown the sugars in plant waste, the following idea suddenly occurred to me:
The Marshall Islands, where I am living and working, is one of many small island nations in the central Pacific in desperate need of a self-sustaining economy, if not a market economy, for it's 50K plus citizens. It relies entirely on imported fuel to run the diesel-powered electric generators and its (too) many cars. Could a yeast strain be evolutionarily engineered to produce ethanol from the left-over plant material after coconut oil (which is exported from the RMI) is extracted so as to at least reduce if not eventually stop the importation of petroleum and convert to the sole use of ethanol, much... read full comment

Comment on: Garcia Sanchez et al. Biotechnology for Biofuels, 3:13

Remembering Mary (and Elwyn) (Peter Reilly, 08 October 2009)

Dear Ed,

Thanks so much for writing your most gracious memoire of Mary Mandels.

Even though I was not in the cellulase field when she was still scientifically active, I knew and very much liked both her and Elwyn Reese. Mary's comment once about Elwyn was that he retired on a Friday and was back in the lab on Monday, now unpaid, but still bossing all of them around. Luckily Mary was less modest than Elwyn. There was an award that they jointly won, I forget which one, where Mary was contacted by the conference organizers with the instructions to make sure that she brought Elwyn to the conference so that they could both accept the award. He had no idea what was about to happen and would not have attended had he known.

I hadn't seen Mary since she retired and... read full comment

Comment on: Bayer Biotechnology for Biofuels, 2:23