Scientists have identified bacteria found in the guts of pandas that can break down plant material into ethanol for use as an alternative fuel.
Researchers have isolated 40 species of bacteria from the faeces of two pandas at Memphis Zoo, Ya Ya and Le Le, capable of improving biofuel production.
They found the microbes were highly efficient at breaking down the fibrous material in plant into sugars that would then be fermented by other bacteria.
They were looking for the bacteria in pandas because the endangered species eats almost exclusively a diet of woody bamboo.
Their guts have evolved to digest the bamboo rapidly to allow them to get enough nutrients from this nutritionally poor food.
Via Olive Ventures