Genetically-Engineered Microbe No Longer Needs to Eat Food To Grow
"Synthetic biologists have performed a biochemical switcheroo," reports Science magazine:
They've re-engineered a bacterium that normally eats a diet of simple sugars into one that builds its cells by absorbing carbon dioxide (CO2), much like plants. The work could lead to engineered microbes that suck CO2 out of the air and turn it into medicines and other high-value compounds.
Laboratory-evolved bacteria switch to consuming carbon dioxide for growth
"Over the course of several months, researchers created Escherichia coli strains that consume carbon dioxide for energy instead of organic compounds. This achievement in synthetic biology highlights the incredible plasticity of bacterial metabolism and could provide the framework for future carbon-neutral bioproduction. "