John Bohannon
John Bohannon
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A new breed of scientist, with brains of silicon

A new breed of scientist, with brains of silicon

EMERYVILLE, CALIFORNIA—If this is the biology laboratory of the future, it doesn’t look so different from today’s. Scientists in white lab coats walk by with boxes of frozen tubes. The chemicals on the shelves—bottles of pure alcohol, bins of sugar, protein, and salts—are standard issue for growing microbes and manipulating their genes. You don’t even notice the robots until you hear them: They sound like crickets singing to each other amid the low roar of fans.The robots work for Zymergen, a biotechnology company that moved into this former electronics factory on the eastern shore of...

July 5, 2017
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