By Scott Edmunds, Executive Editor at GigaScience.
With greater awareness of the difficulties in making scientific research more reproducible, numerous technical fixes are being suggested to move publishing away from static and often not reproducible papers - which have changed little since the 17th century - to more reproducible digital objects that better fit 21st century technology. New research in the Open Access journal GigaScience demonstrates a potential approach through publishing open data and code in containerised form using Docker, and also allowing scientists to tackle another scourge of the 21st century – climate change, through better understanding of the production of biofuels.
One of the most promising areas in biofuel development is biogas, which has huge potential as a renewable and clean source of energy. Biogas is the production of methane gas through the anaerobic digestion (fermentation) of organic matter such as agricultural or food waste. Detailed knowledge on the functioning of the fermentation process is key for optimising this process. However, the vast majority of the microbes involved remain unknown and cannot be cultivated in laboratories.
In new research just published in GigaScience, researchers from Bielefeld University in Germany have now characterised the complex communities of micro-organisms in a biogas plant that generates heat and power from maize silage and pig manure. The authors made their research more… Continue Reading