Project with merit

Kudos to two Chico State biology students who took first place in a recent competition for a project that has excellent potential in the sustainable realm.

Seniors Kevin Parsons and Paul Morris (pictured, left to right) bested 18 other entrants in an undergraduate division at the 22nd annual California State University Student Research Competition held earlier this month at Cal State East Bay. For more than a year, the students conducted research that used yeast waste from the Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. for microbial conversion of carbohydrates into lactic acid.

Funding from the brewery and from the California Rice Research Board helped support the research.

Lactic acid can be transformed into biodegradable plastic, which is currently made from food products as opposed to waste products.