Korean researchers are developing E. coli to produce polylactic acid, a compound that is touted as a greener alternative to plastic, says The Economist. The Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology's Lee Sang-yup and his colleagues have been able to make PLA in one step, rather than the two-step process, by splicing in genes from Clostridium propionicum, Cupriavidus necator, and various species of Pseudomonas. "The result is a set of synthetic metabolic pathways—ones that do not exist in nature—which turn the polymer out in satisfyingly large quantities," writes The Economist.
Green Plastic from Bugs
Nov 28, 2009