A twelve-year-old project has finally provided a clear picture of how a key enzyme that allows methanogenic microbes to produce carbon dioxide and methane works. Michael Chan, Joseph Krzycki and colleagues at Ohio State University say their structure could have industrial and environmental importance. "This enzyme is the key to the whole process of methanogenesis from acetic acid," Krzycki explains, "Without it, this form of methanogenesis wouldn't happen. Since it is so environmentally important worldwide, the impact of understanding this would be enormous." New insights based on the work might even open up new avenues for industrial biotransformation processes.
12-year project old solves greenhouse effect