In this “biorecycling” factory, enzymes perfectly break down plastic so it can be used again

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In this “biorecycling” factory, enzymes perfectly break down plastic so it can be used again

 The process lets any plastic—say a polyester shirt—be recycled into any other plastic (like a clear water bottle). It could fundamentally change the market for recycling.

Inside a bioreactor in the laboratory of the France-based startup Carbios, pulverized PET plastic waste—the kind of plastic found in drink bottles and polyester clothing—is mixed with water and enzymes, heated up, and churned. In a matter of hours, the enzymes decompose the plastic into the material’s basic building blocks, called monomers, which can then be separated, purified, and used to make new plastic that’s identical to virgin material. Later this year, the company will begin construction on its first demonstration recycling plant.

“Our process can use any kind of PET waste to manufacture any kind of PET object,” says Martin Stephan, the company’s deputy CEO. It’s a process that could happen in an infinite loop: Unlike traditional recycling, which degrades materials each time you do it, this type of “biorecycling” can happen repeatedly without a loss in quality. A new transparent water bottle made this way will look and perform like one made from oil, even if the source was a mixture of old clothing and dirty plastic food trays. “The final product will be the same quality as petrochemical PET,” Stephan says.

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Scientists grow full-sized, beating human hearts from stem cells

 

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Heart tissue, seeded with induced cardiac cells, matures in a bioreactor that the researchers created.It’s the closest we’ve come to growing transplantable hearts in the lab

Of the 4,000 Americans waiting for heart transplants, only 2,500 will receive new hearts in the next year. Even for those lucky enough to get a transplant, the biggest risk is the their bodies will reject the new heart and launch a massive immune reaction against the foreign cells. To combat the problems of organ shortage and decrease the chance that a patient’s body will reject it, researchers have been working to create synthetic organs from patients’ own cells. Now a team of scientists from Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School has gotten one step closer, using adult skin cells to regenerate functional human heart tissue, according to a study published recently in the journal Circulation Research.

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Milk without the Cow. Eggs without the Chicken

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Yeast-derived “animal products” may soon be part of an environmentally balanced diet.

In 2008, the biotech industry had fallen on tough times: capital was drying up and businesses were struggling to survive. That’s when Ryan Bethencourt saw an opportunity. A biologist with an entrepreneurial streak, he and a couple of friends started buying equipment from bankrupt companies and setting up their own small labs. By 2013, he had co-founded Counter Culture Labs, a “biohacker” space in Oakland, California. There, DIY-biology enthusiasts are now working on, among other projects, making real cheese in a way that bypasses the cow.

Bethencourt is part of a growing group of scientists, entrepreneurs, and lab tinkerers who are forging a bold new food future—one without animals. But they’re not asking everyone to give up meat and dairy. Thanks to advances in synthetic biology, they’re developing ways to produce actual animal products—meat, milk, egg whites, collagen—in the lab. And in doing so, they are shrinking the carbon footprint and slashing the land and water requirements of these goods with the goal of meeting the world’s growing protein needs more sustainably.

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Scientists grow full-sized, beating humanity hearts from stem cells

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It’s the closest we’ve come to growing transplantable hearts in the lab.

Of the 4,000 Americans waiting for heart transplants, only 2,500 will receive new hearts in the next year. Even for those lucky enough to get a transplant, the biggest risk is the their bodies will reject the new heart and launch a massive immune reaction against the foreign cells. To combat the problems of organ shortage and decrease the chance that a patient’s body will reject it, researchers have been working to create synthetic organs from patients’ own cells. Now a team of scientists from Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School has gotten one step closer, using adult skin cells to regenerate functional human heart tissue, according to a study published recently in the journal Circulation Research.

Continue reading… “Scientists grow full-sized, beating humanity hearts from stem cells”

Scientists grow full sized, beating human hearts from stem cells

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It’s the closest we’ve come to growing transplantable hearts in the lab

Of the 4,000 Americans waiting for heart transplants, only 2,500 will receive new hearts in the next year. Even for those lucky enough to get a transplant, the biggest risk is the their bodies will reject the new heart and launch a massive immune reaction against the foreign cells. To combat the problems of organ shortage and decrease the chance that a patient’s body will reject it, researchers have been working to create synthetic organs from patients’ own cells. Now a team of scientists from Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School has gotten one step closer, using adult skin cells to regenerate functional human heart tissue, according to a study published recently in the journal Circulation Research.

Continue reading… “Scientists grow full sized, beating human hearts from stem cells”

A team of scientists just made food from electricity- and it could be the end of world hunger

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Finnish research team has taken a step towards the future of food by developing a method for producing food from electricity. If scaling it up proves to be successful, it could be a tool in the fight against world hunger and climate change.

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Eco-Pod Vertical Farming Tended By Robots

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Boston architects Howeler + Yoon and Los Angeles digital designers Squared Design Lab have designed a conceptual structure for Boston, where an unfinished building would be covered in modular pods growing algae for biofuel.  The pods would be continuously rearranged by robotic arms (powered by the micro-algae produced) to ensure the optimum growing conditions for alage in each pod.

 

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Algae-Based Oils For Creating Biofuels

Algae-Based Oils For Creating Biofuels 

 Algae tanks at the Farnborough International Air Show, which took place in London July 14-20.

Researchers Qiang Hu and Milton Sommerfeld from ASU’s Department of Applied Biosciences recently flew to London to share their findings and research on the application of algae-based oils for creating biofuels at the Farnborough International Air Show.

 

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