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This microbe no longer needs to eat food to grow, thanks to a bit of genetic engineering

This microbe no longer needs to eat food to grow, thanks to a bit of genetic engineering

Synthetic biologists have performed a biochemical switcheroo. They’ve re-engineered a bacterium that normally eats a diet of simple sugars into one that builds its cells by absorbing carbon dioxide (CO2), much like plants. The work could lead to engineered microbes that suck CO2 out of the air and turn it into medicines and other high-value compounds. “The implications of this are profound,” says Dave Savage, a biochemist at the University of California, Berkeley, who was not involved with the work. Such advances, he says, could “ultimately make us change the way we teach biochemistry.”...

November 28, 2019
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