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Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Turning E. coli into Plastic

Escherichia coli (E. coli) can give you a severe case of food poisoning or, with a little genetic engineering, a useful plastic. Scientists at San Diego–based Genomatica, Inc., have announced success in manipulating the bacteria to directly produce butanediol (BDO), a chemical compound used to make everything from spandex to car bumpers, thereby providing a more energy-efficient way of making it without oil or natural gas.

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