Lighting the Way to Bioproducts



LANL is using smart microbial biosensors for conversion pathway design  
ENERGY.GOV - Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
Bioenergy Technologies Office 

February 28, 2019

Lighting the Way to Bioproducts: Smart Microbial Biosensors for Conversion Pathway Design


Smart microbial cell colonies "light up" when enzyme activity is high. Photo: LANL

Scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) have been taking advantage of the molecular tools that naturally reside within microbial cells. Although microbes use these tools to carry out their metabolism and other life-sustaining processes, scientists can use the tools to produce fuel precursors and bioproduct building blocks. LANL researchers are further improving this process by adding a biosensor to the microbes that will use light to tell them how efficiently the product is made—thus enabling more efficient quality control to increase overall yield. LANL’s Smart Microbial Cell Technology is an advanced platform for high throughput screening for enzyme discovery, design, and evolution.

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