Living in the 21st century has its own perks and downfalls. We have advanced technology that has provided us with multiple benefits but at the same time, this technology has caused a number of problems for us, including pollution.
Fortunately, scientists are working in order to reduce this pollution and provide us a safe and sound environment to live in. We are talking about the latest engineered organisms that are made to eat CO2 from the environment in order to reduce greenhouse gasses.
As a matter of fact, general bacteria use sugars as their food because these bacteria produce everything from insulin to biofuels. But the latest strain that the scientists have engineered can suck emissions from the air as their food, thereby turning climate pollution into biofuels.
This new strain of bacteria is from the E. coli family that is publically known to cause food poisoning. Besides promoting food poisoning, E. coli has been used in producing insulin for diabetic patients by introducing them to the gene that produces human insulin. The bacteria pump out the drug inside its cell, thereby secreting insulin.
Now the scientists have successfully worked out on engineering the strain of similar E. coli bacteria so that they could eat carbon dioxide from the environment. This decade long study has proved to be effective enough that some startup companies have already started using the microbes to transform carbon dioxide to make different products, including:
- Renewable fuels
- Jet Fuel
However, there is a need for a lot of research in order to optimize the process in order to yield such results. Still, this work on the bacteria has been considered as a “milestone” by several bioengineers. According to them, this new research shows the power of melding engineering and the teamwork can expand the range of products that this engineered strain of E. coli can make.