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Research assistants Linden Harris and Kit Clark work on the hardware... (DAN COYRO/SENTINEL)
SANTA CRUZ - Near the end of a line of windswept buildings, on Santa Cruz's Westside, sits a lab that may hold the key to everything from galactic space travel to peace in the Middle East.
For two years, a team of NASA researchers have been using a borrowed state Department of Fish and Game lab to test a potential new energy source by using treated wastewater to grow algae, which can produce a fuel that has already been tested on jets and may one day be used for spaceships.
Called the OMEGA Project, the $10 million study is being headed by Santa Cruz resident Jonathan Trent, a NASA scientist who has assembled a team of 20 researchers to explore the one of the most talked-about potential sources of biofuels.