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Synthetic Biology as factory

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Here's how we're growing meat in labs instead of in animals. Today, many companies, research institutes, and non-profit organizations are developing cultured meats and fish products—but what exactly is cultured meat? Cultured meat will hopefully look and taste like conventional meat from animal tissue. The difference is that the cells making up cultured meat are not grown inside of an animal. Instead, the cells are allowed to grow in culture flasks or larger systems for growing individual cells in a lab. When those cells grow unstructured they can mimic ground meat products like sausages, hamburgers, and chicken nuggets.

If those cells are organized, then the product becomes a structured meat—like a steak or a chicken breast. To give them structure, edible scaffolds are added as the foundation for cells to grow on, mimicking the natural architecture and appearance of cuts of meat. The future industrial production of these meats will require “farms” for cellular agriculture (English translation). Genetics Breakthrough Gives Sustainable Biofuels A Big Boost | Technology Networks. Researchers at the Enterprise Rent-A-Car Institute for Renewable Fuels at the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center have discovered a gene that influences grain yield in grasses related to food crops. Four mutations were identified that could impact candidate crops for producing renewable and sustainable fuels. In a paper published April 18, 2017 in Nature Plants, a team led by Thomas Brutnell, Ph.D.Director of the Enterprise Institute for Renewable Fuels at the Danforth Center and researchers at the U.S.

Department of Energy Joint Genome Institute (DOE JGI), a DOE Office of Science User Facility, conducted genetic screens to identify genes that may play a role in flower development on the panicle of green foxtail. Green foxtail is a wild relative of the common crop foxtail millet. “We have identified four recessive mutants that lead to reduced and uneven flower clusters,” said Pu Huang, Ph.D., the lead author of the paper. Reference. Are microbes the next revolution coming to Big Ag? Walk into your typical U.S. or U.K. grocery store and feast your eyes on an amazing bounty of fresh and processed foods. In most industrialized countries, it’s hard to imagine that food production is one of the greatest challenges we will face in the coming decades. By the year 2050, the human population is projected to grow from 7.5 billion to nearly 10 billion.

To feed them, we will need to almost double food production within just three decades, all in the face of increasing drought, herbicide and pesticide resistance, and in a world where the best cropland is already being farmed. From the 1960s through the 1980s, international initiatives referred to collectively as the Green Revolution dramatically increased food production, largely by breeding crop varieties that were able to take advantage of man-made fertilizer and developing powerful pesticides and herbicides. Pacific Northwest National Laboratory via Flickr Replacing chemistry with biology: The power of microbes Scaling up.

Lab-Grown Meat Is Healthier. It's Cheaper. It's the Future. In Brief Since 2013, the price of lab-grown meat has dropped from around $325,000 for five ounces to just $11.36, making it 30,000 times cheaper than it was previously.Not only could lab-grown meat help us eradicate global famine, it's also better for the environment than traditional meat production. Going Meatless The concept of lab-grown meat isn’t new, and several companies are hoping to perfect the process. Memphis Meats is developing a way to create meat without slaughtering animals, Tyson Foods has launched a venture capital fund investing in the future of meatless meat, and Mosa Meat hopes to serve the first lab-made burger in just five years. But the challenge isn’t necessarily creating the best looking and tasting meatless alternative — it’s pulling down the cost of production so that consumers will see it as a viable alternative to the real thing.

The Future of Meat Assuming the most ideal growing environment, stem cells can produce a lot of meat. Microbial Nanowires Make for “Green” Electronics. The inner workings of that new cell phone or tablet could be made from bacteria in the not so distant future, as investigators from the University of Massachusetts Amherst just reported about a new type of natural wire produced by bacteria that could greatly accelerate the development of sustainable "green" conducting materials for the electronics industry. In the new study, the researchers studied microbial nanowires—protein filaments that bacteria use naturally to make electrical connections with other microbes or minerals.

“Microbial nanowires are a revolutionary electronic material with substantial advantages over man-made materials,” explained senior study investigator Derek Lovley, Ph.D., professor of microbiology at UMass Amherst. “Chemically synthesizing nanowires in the lab requires toxic chemicals, high temperatures, and/or expensive metals. The energy requirements are enormous. Until now Dr. Dr. ?articles. Researchers tweak bacterial proteins, turning them into powerful enzymes capable of producing silicon-carbon compounds naturally and more efficiently than manmade catalysts.

Silicone caulk, commercial sealants, are mainly composed of organosilicon compounds.WIKIMEDIA, ACHIM HERINGSilicon is one of the most abundant elements on Earth, and silicon-carbon compounds are crucial for pharmaceutical development and computer technology. Yet “no living organism is known to put silicon-carbon bonds together,” said Jennifer Kan, a postdoc at Caltech, in a press release. Now, a November 24 Science study coauthored by Kan has shown that living Rhodothermus marinus cells can be coaxed into manufacturing these coveted bonds.

Kan and colleagues made use of directed evolution, artificially selecting for only the most powerful R. marinus enzymes. Nourrir la « smart city » de demain grâce à l’agriculture cellulaire | L'Atelier : Accelerating Innovation. L’agriculture cellulaire permet de reproduire des protéines animales sans recourir à l’élevage. Une alternative pour répondre aux défis du secteur agricole et aux besoins alimentaires croissants liés à la démographie et à l’urbanisation. La population mondiale grandit inexorablement. Selon les Nations Unies, la planète comptera 9,7 milliards d’habitants en 2050. Et ce sont les villes qui accueilleront la majorité de la population. Si, en 1960, les citadins représentaient 34 % de la population mondiale, ils atteignaient 54 % en 2014. Les enjeux environnementaux sont également de taille.

L’agriculture, premier secteur impacté, doit donc produire davantage, dans un contexte de restriction des réserves (épuisement des sols et des nappes phréatiques). La pression exercée sur la production animale donne naissance à une agriculture industrielle intensive, polluante. Les défis de l'agriculture, tirée de l'étude "AgTech: Will technology feed and save us?

" Le premier burger « in vitro » Fashion's Biological Future Is Now | Joshua Katcher. In an industry notorious for transience, flux and experimentation, it’s counterintuitive to consider that the fashion system is stuck in a rut when it comes to materials and real sustainability. Year after year, season after season, there’s this feeling of velocity, of working towards something better. Sure, there are a million ways a shirt can look, but if the way that shirt is made never changes, are things actually changing - or is it simply an illusion of progress? Designers, press and editors alike continue to rationalize what happens to animals caught up in the fashion industrial complex as a necessary evil in achieving the highest quality, performance and most luxurious fibers, as if mother nature herself were meticulously positioning a leopard’s spots or softening a goose’s down for the sole purpose of human use. Leather without cows? Shearling without sheep, silk without spiders and furs without foxes?

At first glance, something sounds wrong about this. Smartphones Could Soon Have Plant-Made Parts. Normally, when we think of mining for precious metals, we imagine dark, cramped caves or holes in the ground which are a bit of an eyesore. However, scientists have found a completely novel way of mining the precious semi-metal germanium (commonly used in computers) and it's not how you'd expect. Instead of going underground, they have found how to mine germanium from lush, green plants. Reuters reports that scientists from Freiburg University of Mining and Technology can extract the element from certain plants.

These include sunflowers, reed canary grass and corn. This mining technique has been used in the past to gather gold and copper. "In German we call it mining with plants," Professor Hermann Heilmeier, who works on this project, told Reuters. There is a demand for germanium since it is an essential element for modern life. Currently, most of our germanium is a by-product from zinc ore (sphalerite) mining or burning coal. Angela Belcher : Utiliser la nature pour faire pousser des batteries | TED Talk. Artificial Photosynthesis Yields Valuable Chemicals. Tiny semiconductors and bacteria have been combined to create a system that uses sunlight to turn carbon dioxide into valuable chemicals. Photosynthesis forms the basis of most life on Earth.

However, it cannot draw carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere fast enough to match the rate at which we are releasing what was stored over millions of years. This has led to a quest to produce an artificial and more efficient version – ideally one that would turn the carbon into something we can easily use. Recently, there has been a lot of work based around the idea of combining bacteria with manufactured materials. The Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory has announced what team leader Professor Peidong Yang calls “a revolutionary leap forward” in this area.

"Our system has the potential to fundamentally change the chemical and oil industry in that we can produce chemicals and fuels in a totally renewable way, rather than extracting them from deep below the ground,” says Yang. Credit: Berkeley Lab. Activation d'enzymes bactériennes pour convertir le CO2 en source d'énergie renouvelable. Exploiting Bacteria to Produce "Living Materials"

A group of researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have unveiled a system whereby bacterial cells are engineered in such a way that they incorporate specific non-living materials into their biofilms, creating a "living material". Biofilms are generated when bacteria cluster together and stick onto a surface. Often the bacteria will secrete substances that assist in this adherence, such as proteins and carbohydrate polymers (called polysaccharides) which form a slime.

Numerous different species of bacteria have been found to form biofilms including E. coli and P. aeruginosa​, and often more than one bacterial species is found within a biofilm. You might be more familiar with biofilms than you think, since dental plaque is a type of biofilm. Biofilms also often frequent pipes and can cause clogging and erosion. But that's not all they did. The researchers wanted to be able to incorporate other materials into the biofilms; specifically, quantum dots. Microbes are "the factories of the future"

Scientists Engineer Bacteria To Produce A Renewable Biofuel.