A breakthrough in synthetic biology recovers CO2 from the air better than nature

A breakthrough in synthetic biology recovers CO2 from the air better than nature

In a breakthrough in the field of synthetic biology, researchers at the Max-Planck Institute for Terrestrial Microbiology have taken an important first step in this direction. Implementation of CO fixation cycles2 synthetics in living cells, By introducing three modules that form a new cycle for CO determination2E. coli managed to convert this gas into acetyl-CoA, an essential building block within the bacteria.

Importance of capturing and converting CO2

In the event of a climate emergency facing our planet, the development of innovative methods to capture and convert carbon dioxide (CO)2) is more important than ever. Synthetic biology has been presented as a promising solution, offering the design of CO fixation pathways.2 Which is ahead of natural systems in efficiency.

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Theta Chakra: An Innovative Approach

The research group led by Tobias Erb has developed the theta cycle, a synthetic pathway for the fixation of CO2 Which is known for its efficiency and biotechnology potential. Using rapid biocatalytic enzymes, this cycle converts CO2 into acetyl-CoA more efficiently than natural photosynthesis methods.

Acetyl-CoA: Central Metabolite

Acetyl-CoA plays a central role in cellular metabolism, acting as a precursor to a wide range of essential biomolecules. The creation of theta cycle in the laboratory and its optimization through advanced technologies has demonstrated a significant increase in the production of this valuable compound.

Implementation in living cells: E. coli

By dividing the theta cycle into three modules, the researchers achieved its successful implementation within E. coli bacteria. This achievement represents a fundamental step towards the production of valuable compounds from CO2 In living organisms, verified through isotopic selection and labeling techniques.

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Challenges and future perspectives

Despite success in implementing individual modules, completing the theta cycle in E. coli and synchronizing it with its natural metabolism remains a major challenge. However, the potential of this cycle as a platform for producing compounds from CO2 opens new avenues in biotechnology.


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