Biotech News

This Aug. 12, 2012, photo, taken at a research farm at the University of Nevada, Reno, and provided by the university, shows curly cup gumweed, a sticky cousin of the sunflower that is the target of research into efforts to use it to produce biofuels. UNR environmental sciences professor Glenn Miller and a team of scientists are in the second year of a four-year project funded by a $500,000 grant from the USDA. (Whip Villarreal/University of Nevada, Reno via AP)

Fill 'er up with gumweed? Nevada researchers trying to turn roadside weed into biofuel

Three decades ago, a University of Nevada researcher who obtained one of the first U.S. Energy Department grants to study the potential to turn plants into biofuels became convinced that a roadside weed — curly top gumweed — was growing along the road to the future. Now, scientists who've been cultivating gumweed on the Reno campus think they are on the verge of producing diesel fuel, and perhaps…