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Genetic Engineering Across the Tree of Life

September 21, 2020


Industrial bioengineering is now using genetically modified microbes to produce a wide array of products at industrial scale, including everything from biofuels to nutraceuticals such as resveratrol. But despite the diversity of output, the primary organisms producing them are modified E. coli bacteria and Saccharomyces cerevisiae, or baker’s yeast.

Despite the irony—or poetry—of using the same yeast used to brew Ancient Egyptian beer to brew nutraceuticals, some researchers are turning to other microorganisms, hoping to find new phenotypes that could offer new capabilities that both broaden and deepen the biotechnology toolbox and accelerate progress in genetic engineering.

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