Federal shutdown could hamper Wis. fuels research

CREATED Oct. 1, 2013

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MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- The people anxiously awaiting news about a government shutdown include Timothy Donohue, principal investigator at the Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center in Madison.

The center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison is one of three bioenergy research centers established by the U.S. Department of Energy to foster production of renewable biomass fuels.

Donohue says the center won't close because it's a state agency with federal funding that's secure through December.

But he says work at the center could slow because many of its partner labs and agencies could shut down. For example, the center sends samples for complex DNA sequencing to a lab in California that could close. That could leave scientists in Wisconsin waiting days or even weeks for test results that will shape their next experiment.