How Can Biotechnology Current Events Affect Your Business?

In the late 1970s, when modern biotechnology came into the market, it was first applied in the health industry, with the onset of recombinant DNA. After a decade, the same molecules reached the food and agriculture industries but with controversy. So, biotechnologists started enriching the capabilities of industrial microbial procedures by bringing new genes to live catalysts and modify their genomes for fitting pre-specified production requirements. However, in the end, the 1990s, with the arrival of systems biology and the introduction of synthetic biology in the early 2000s, completely changes the way of designing microorganisms and higher living systems.

Microorganisms have the ability to produce various chemicals that is very profitable for your business like diamines (cadaverine and putrescine), diols (1,4-butanediol, and 1,3-propanediol) and dicarboxylic acids (adipic acid and succinic acid). Some yeast and bacteria that are well-known in the industry circle can be reprogrammed and repurposed, for instance producing lipids to serve as biofuel precursors. Even artificial chemicals like terephthalic acid and gasoline can now be produced with metabolic engineering. Moreover, contemporary biotechnology has produced biomaterials like proteins (spider milk), polysaccharides (microbial cellulose) as well as synthetic polymers (poly [lactate-co-glycolate] and polylactic) by fermentation of engineered microorganisms.

Then there is innovation in bioprocessing that is increasingly developed based on the unique properties of extant biological systems (for example, extremophiles) for running fermentations in non-sterile and sea-water conditions. Despite these successes, the manufacturing and chemical industries are reluctant to adopt bio-inspired practices and bio-based transformations that can take over extant oil-based procedures. But the problem lies in the difficulty to convert laboratory-scale operations into economically viable and industrially-sized equivalents. The difficulties in downstream processing, consumption of large volumes of water, and the instability of live catalysts have deterred. Otherwise, it can be a welcome change in the techniques of production.

 Is advanced biotech restricted to producing only small amounts of high value-added molecules? For overcoming the deadlock for the fourth industrial revolution, several problems must be addressed for biological current events. Phenotypic and genomic stability of live catalysts is important for matching the efficiency of bioprocesses to those already existing in the purely chemical realm. This is not a technical issue but a basic scientific question that has to be solved. The interplay of chromosome versus stress constancy as well as implanted genetic devices under production conditions need to be investigated, and new approaches must be taken.

Cell-free production systems provide an interim solution to the challenge of predictability. Minimization of cell debris due to spontaneous lysis, physiology at high cell densities, and gene expression under non-saturating water conditions will help in making bioprocesses more appealing to this industry. However, the challenges are found both on the biological as well as process engineering side. In contrast with the advances in genome editing in recent years, basic fermentation techniques have remained largely the same since the Chinese invented paper. An aqueous nutrient medium in a barrel or pot is being inoculated with an active agent and left to evolve until the desired transformation takes place, or the desired compounds are generated.  

Fortunately, modern engineering is successful in controlling fermentation to an extraordinary degree and has extended bioreactor types towards more powerful designs. Still, industrial bioproduction depends on vessels filled with a good volume of water-based, sterile media inoculated with a single monoculture of the adequate strain. Productivity is then measured in grams per liter. Fortunately, there is enough room for improvement by encouraging investigation how some natural systems are producing compounds in large quantities. For example, we can get inspiration from the huge productivity of rubber trees or cows udders, as we plan in designing a different type of bioreactor with minimum water usage, easy operation, and sterile functioning. We need to find about the engineering logic that is making these systems so efficient.

Lastly, biotechnology current events have a lot to offer to overcome the isolation between the geo biochemical cycles of the biosphere and global industrial metabolism. Waste from unchecked urban, agricultural, and industrial development has generated massive amounts of micropollutants, greenhouse gases, major unbalances of phosphorus and nitrogen, unmanageable quantities of lignocellulosic residues and non-degradable plastics.

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