Wednesday, February 29, 2012

JBEI Start-Up Seeks to Biosynthesize Petrochemicals

Lygos cofounders Jay Keasling, Clem Fortman, Jeffrey Dietrich, 
Eric Steen and Leonard Katz (Credit: Roy Kaltschmidt/Berkeley Lab)

Petrochemicals are found in thousands of everyday products, from clothing to food preservatives to plastics. Imagine if many of those chemicals could be made without petroleum and instead with biological processes. Using the tools of synthetic biology scientists at the Joint BioEnergy Institute (JBEI) have done just that, and now a startup company has been formed to commercialize the technology. Lygos is the first company to spin out of JBEI, which was established in 2007 to pursue breakthroughs in the production of cellulosic biofuels.

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