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How the industry’s researchers are looking for new vehicle ingredients

Sometime in the mid-1990s, when Katrina Cornish was living in California and working for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, she saw a load of freshly picked tomatoes in a hopper being transported from a farm on the back of a truck.

Cornish, who has a doctorate in plant biology from the University of Birmingham in England, didn’t view that load of tomatoes as most people would. She wondered instead about the tomatoes on the bottom of the container and realized that the skins would have to be pretty tough to handle that much stress.

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