News: Energy and Environment

Shih’s thesis focused on specially formulated chain-like molecules called polymers that can help flush contaminants from hard-to-reach crevices in underground aquifers. How these polymers move through porous rocks to dislodge pollutants — and why they are more effective in some settings than in others — is not well understood.
Cleaning up groundwater is no small job, but a team of Princeton researchers is on a mission to make it simpler — using microscopic springs.
Yeast already helps make bread and beer and cranks out the biofuel ethanol, but scientists believe it can be used to create an even more efficient fuel called isobutanol. Normally, yeast only creates a tiny amount of isobutanol. Now researchers at Princeton University have discovered a genetic switch that significantly ramps up production.