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Just One Word: Bio-PTA

Among the biomaterials production firm he profiles this week, Plastics News' Mike Verespej discusses how the Lansing, Mich.-based Draths Corp. is using synthetic biology approaches to produce muconic acid as a building block for renewable bio-purified terephthalic acid, or bio-PTA. Director of Business Development Allen Julian tells Plastic News that Draths aims "to be a monomer producer, build and operate the first plant and then add plants or license the technology to others" for future biopolymer production efforts. "Our two core components are the fermentation technology and our synthetic biology knowledge," Allen says, adding that the company's "goal is to have a 1,000-kilogram pilot plant by 2012, a 10-million-kg demonstration plant between 2013 and 2014, and a 100 million-kg commercial plant by 2015." Further, he tells Plastics News that with its synthetic biology coupled to fermentation-based approach, "we expect our bio-PTA costs to be fully competitive with petrochemical alternatives."

The Scan

Gone, But Now Reconstructed SARS-CoV-2 Genomes

In a preprint, a researcher describes his recovery of viral sequences that had been removed from a common database.

Rare Heart Inflammation Warning

The Food and Drug Administration is adding a warning about links between a rare inflammatory heart condition and two SARS-CoV-2 vaccines, Reuters reports.

Sandwich Sampling

The New York Times sent tuna sandwiches for PCR analysis.

Nature Papers Describe Gut Viruses, New Format for Storing Quantitative Genomic Data, More

In Nature this week: catalog of DNA viruses of the human gut microbiome, new dense depth data dump format to store quantitative genomic data, and more.