Underreported: Termite Guts

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Could termite guts hold a solution to global warming? Some scientists think that a better understanding of how termites devour wood so efficiently could eventually allow us to create valuable biofuel. Phil Hugenholtz is head of the Joint Genome Institute’s Microbial Ecology Program and is involved in mapping the contents of the termite gut.


Phil Hugenholtz
News, weather, Radiolab, Brian Lehrer and more.
Get the best of WNYC in your inbox, every morning.

Comments [2]

jeff Id from usa

Don’t be fooled by this hype, for the last 10 years, the earth has actually cooled according to the global warming folks own data.

The government organizations pushing the global warming message were formed as much as 20 years ago with the purpose of identifying and mitigating man made climate change. This was before we had identified man made climate change! At the time , if they couldn’t find global warming and solutions they would be out of work – Think about it!

For more information go here -

Aug. 28 2008 04:09 PM
Amy from Manhattan

I read over a year ago in "IEEE Spectrum" that researchers were looking into how termites digest wood & how this knowledge could be applied to making cellulosic ethanol. If/when this technique is developed, I suggest using kudzu as the source--killing 2 birds with 1 stone!

The next question, though, is whether any of the problems associated with making & transporting corn ethanol would apply. Could cellulosic ethanol be developed & sited in a way that would avoid these problems?

Aug. 28 2008 01:46 PM

Leave a Comment

Register for your own account so you can vote on comments, save your favorites, and more. Learn more.
Please stay on topic, be civil, and be brief.
Email addresses are never displayed, but they are required to confirm your comments. Names are displayed with all comments. We reserve the right to edit any comments posted on this site. Please read the Comment Guidelines before posting. By leaving a comment, you agree to New York Public Radio's Privacy Policy and Terms Of Use.