Enzyme research could improve biofuels, bioproducts production | EPA says it can't require refiners to make up waived biofuel volumes | Report IDs top threats associated with synthetic biology
June 20, 2018
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Renewable Chemicals
Enzyme research could improve biofuels, bioproducts production
Researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory found that a gene responsible for amino acid production also helps regulate gene function involved in lignin production, which could be used to improve production of biofuels and biobased materials. "While we do not know how this new function came about in poplar, we now know that this enzyme exhibits the same behavior in other plant species," said researcher Wellington Muchero.
Bio-Based World News (6/18) 
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Advanced Biofuels
EPA says it can't require refiners to make up waived biofuel volumes
Oil refiners cannot be forced to blend additional biofuels into gasoline to compensate for volumes exempted through waivers authorized under the Renewable Fuel Standard, the Environmental Protection Agency announced Friday. "Binding precedent holds that agencies can only impose retroactive obligations if Congress has given them the authority to do so," said EPA spokeswoman Molly Block.
Reuters (6/15) 
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Synthetic Biology and CRISPR
Report IDs top threats associated with synthetic biology
A report commissioned by the Department of Defense cited synthetic biology's ability to re-create known viruses in the laboratory as one of the biggest concerns with the field. "There are certain capabilities that may not be possible now, but in those cases we tried to identify what the bottlenecks or barriers might be that, if overcome, would enable those to be more possible," said Michael Imperiale, who led the committee that studied the matter.
National Public Radio (6/19) 
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Alternative method for DNA synthesis is proposed
Researchers at the Department of Energy's Joint BioEnergy Institute have developed a technique to synthesize DNA in a faster, cheaper and more environmentally friendly way than the current chemical method, according to a study published in the journal Nature Biotechnology. Researchers used an enzyme known as terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase for this technique, which can spool out 200 bases per minute.
Cosmos Online (6/19) 
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DuPont to upgrade its Experimental Station
DuPont will invest more than $200 million in updating the DuPont Experimental Station in Delaware. The plans call for new CRISPR genome-editing machines, automated lab equipment and other tools.
The Philadelphia Inquirer/Daily News (tiered subscription model) (6/18) 
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Tropic Biosciences aims to commercialize CRISPR-edited coffee, bananas
Tropic Biosciences has raised $10 million in new funding to develop and commercialize its products. The company uses CRISPR technology to edit the genes of coffee and bananas, optimizing them to be more disease-resistant, for example.
FastCoDesign (6/13) 
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Dedicated Feedstocks
Opinion: Biofuels still necessary in energy mix
Auburn University researchers are advancing research to maximize the use of grasses, pine trees and hardwood trees in the production of biofuel and related products. Scientists aim to use the biomass to generate diesel, gasoline and jet fuels.
Yellowhammer News (6/18) 
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Researchers convert waste frying oil to second-gen bioplastics
Scientists from Slovak University of Technology Faculty of Chemical and Food Technology in Bratislava, Slovakia, developed a way to produce second-generation bioplastics from used frying oils, which are a source of polyhydroxybutyrate, a bioplastic material.
Plastics Insight (6/14) 
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BIO News
World Congress Partnering Now Open
Attendees of BIO's 2018 World Congress will have the opportunity to use BIO's One-On-One Partnering system, which is now open. The system allows you to communicate directly with prospective biotech investors and senior business and scientific management executives, all through the online platform. BIO hosted a webinar to overview how the system works and help you prepare to make an impact at World Congress. Request a recording of the webinar so you can start connecting and partnering in the lead up to the 2018 World Congress.
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Book your housing for the BIO World Congress
Once you've registered for BIO's World Congress, be sure to reserve a room for your stay in the City of Brotherly Love. BIO has reserved a block of hotel rooms for World Congress attendees at two area hotels near the Pennsylvania Convention Center -- Philadelphia Marriott Downtown and Le Meridian Philadelphia. BIO is pleased to be working with our exclusive housing provider, onPeak | GES, to secure the lowest rates at these Philadelphia facilities for World Congress participants. Don't miss out and book your housing today!
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