The bacteria start out as either industrial yeast or nonpathogenic strains of E. coli. They then have a little bit of DNA-grade surgery done to them, before being fed “feedstock” which is essentially any substance that can be broken down to sugars, like wheat, corn or woodchips. The bacteria have a mad party where they eat and drink too much, then spend the following day on a single-cell organism-sized toilet where they poop out crude oil, which is collected by people in white suits and sold for $150 a barrel. Or something like that, anyway.
It’s still a ray of hope for everybody with a pain in their back pocket
every time they stop at a bowser, though, so hopefully this will
develop enough to help the fuel crisis, and not kill us all in the
[Times Online – Thanks Crowyourboat*!)