Synthetic biology to create super carbon absorbers


Researchers in Germany took 17 enzymes – including three engineered enzymes – from nine different organisms to build a photosynthetic 'super cycle'.



While many scientists work on renewable energy sources to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide we pump into the atmosphere, others are seeking new ways to nab and use the greenhouse gas.

Tobias Erb at the Max Planck Institute for Terrestrial Microbiology in Marburg, Germany and his lab members design metabolic cycles that consume more carbon dioxide per cycle than plants and other photosynthetic organisms.

Their plan is to one day transplant these “super cycles” into existing species or synthetic organisms, creating organisms that will suck large amounts of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and turn it into biomass.

The work was published in the journal Science.

  1. http://science.sciencemag.org/content/354/6314/900
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