Living interactive surfaces, color-changing biomaterials, California’s climate satellite; iPhones add bioplastic; hemp manufacturing, amino acids from wood The Digest’s Top 10 Innovations for the week of September 27th

September 26, 2018 |

The pace of bioeconomy invention and change continues at a frenetic pace. Here are the top innovations for the week of September 27th.

In today’s Digest, a new engineered surface with living interactive properties; motion-activated, color-changing biomaterials; California’s climate satellite; iPhones add bioplastic; hemp manufacturing; farm nutrient mapping; and making amino acids from wood — these and more, ready for you now at The Digest online.

#1 New biomaterial uses bacteria and synthetic biology

In Virginia, researchers from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University and Pennsylvania-based Carnegie Mellon University and University of Pittsburgh University created a new biomaterial that incorporates living bacterial constituents that interact with their environment using engineered surface display.

Their work can serve as an enabling technology for biomaterial synthesis and assembly. By engineering living cells that can sense, respond, and draw molecules from the local environment as the building blocks for a biomaterial, they experimentally validated a strategy for material formation using surface-displayed synthetic biology. Also, by exploiting synthetic gene constructs that enable cytosolic sensing and surface-display-based material formation, they have shown how synthetic biology may leverage spatial compartmentalization for discrete functions in the same cell. They envision their living biomaterial being used in a range of applications from biomaterial formation to biomolecule sequestration.

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