Mammoth acquires CRISPR-Cas14 intellectual property from university | Collaboration to create improved yeast strains for ethanol industry | BP, EDF partnership to focus on reducing methane emissions
March 19, 2019
AICHE SmartBrief
Business and technology news exclusively for chemical engineers
Business Update
Mammoth acquires CRISPR-Cas14 intellectual property from university
Mammoth Biosciences has acquired exclusive rights to CRISPR-Cas14 intellectual property from the University of California at Berkeley. The deal gives Mammoth rights to Cas14 for therapeutic use and other applications.
BioCentury (3/14) 
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Collaboration to create improved yeast strains for ethanol industry
Biotech firm BioTork agreed to work with Lallemand Biofuels & Distilled Spirits in developing improved yeast strains to be used in the production of ethanol. BioTork specializes in the creation of microbial strains and bioconversion processes, while Lallemand supplies fermentation ingredients.
Biofuels Digest (3/11) 
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Making Sense of Combustible Dust PHAs
Several NFPA standards on combustible dust contain provisions for conducting PHAs, including the newest standard, NFPA 652. Competing recommendations and various standards make it difficult to know where to start and what approach to use. Read the ioKinetic paper to learn about specific NFPA 652 requirements and gain guidance on how to meet standards.
Chemical Technology News
BP, EDF partnership to focus on reducing methane emissions
British oil giant BP has formed a three-year partnership with the Environmental Defense Fund that aims to develop technologies and solutions for curbing methane emissions from oil and natural gas operations. As part of the initiative, BP and EDF will collaborate with universities, including Colorado State, and third-party experts.
Houston Chronicle (tiered subscription model) (3/13) 
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Imec offers nanomesh material for sustainable industrial uses
Imec came up with a nanomesh material using a 3D structure of nanowires that could be suitable for sustainable industrial applications. The nanometer-scale metal grid structure could improve batteries, catalytic converters and fuel cells, while also making production of hydrogen easier.
Electronics Weekly (UK) (3/13) 
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Can PHA be Big Data? Make PHA Data Work Smarter
Join Provenance Consulting's Patrick Nonhof for a practical approach to reduce PHA inconsistencies and provide better decision support for risk mitigation. Register now for this live webinar to learn how consistency in your PHA data can unlock value through macro-analytics.
Energy, Sustainability & Safety
BASF, INEOS execs: Chemical recycling becoming mainstream
Chemical recycling solutions could become widely available within the next decade as they advance, say BASF's Klaus Wittstock and INEOS Styrolution's Norbert Niessner. The technology is the "missing link" in a plastics circular economy, Wittstock says.
ICIS News (UK) (free content) (3/8) 
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Biological Engineering & Pharmaceuticals
Woody plants could replace petroleum in chemical production
Wisconsin Energy Institute and the Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center scientists found that, by modifying lignin genes, they could use woody plants as a petroleum alternative during the chemical production of products like plastics. The method removes three genes from the bacterium N. aromaticivorans, which digests lignin's aromatic compounds into PDC, enabling lignin pieces to funnel down through the engineered bacterium and PDC to flow out of the bacterium.
Biofuels Digest (3/9) 
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Prominent scientists, ethicists call for pause in human germline editing
Geneticist and CRISPR pioneer Emmanuelle Charpentier and bioethicist Francoise Baylis joined an international group of prominent researchers and ethicists in calling for a global moratorium on human germline editing to produce genetically modified children with heritable DNA modifications. The experts did not call for a permanent ban but said an international governance framework to slow "the most adventurous plans to re-­engineer the human species" is needed.
Nature (free content) (3/13),  Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News (3/13) 
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Beetle could provide ideas to boost cellulosic biofuel production
Researchers at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the University of California at Berkeley are studying the passalid beetle's digestive tract to gain insights that could be useful in the production of biofuels and related products. "[T]he beetle is capable of encouraging microbes to turn biomass into useful products while limiting waste products like methane," says principal investigator Jennifer Pett-Ridge.
The Daily Californian (University of California, Berkeley) (3/13) 
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Startups use CRISPR tool to make lab-grown meat
New Age Meats and Memphis Meats are using CRISPR technology to develop lab-grown meat that they say is better tasting, more sustainable and healthier than slaughtered meat. The growth process of the cell culture slows over time, so the companies are using CRISPR to sustain the desired growth rate.
Business Insider (subscription required) (3/8) 
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CDC: Pertussis vaccine efficacy waning due to evolving bacteria
Genetic changes in the Bordetella pertussis bacteria over time have reduced the protection offered by current pertussis vaccination, CDC researchers reported in Emerging Infectious Diseases. The findings, based on 2000 to 2013 lab sample data from whooping cough patients, "will aid open research toward improved vaccine development and disease control strategies," researchers wrote.
NBC News (3/13) 
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Materials & Nanotechnology
P&G rolls out Herbal Essences bottles produced with beach plastic
Procter & Gamble has partnered with TerraCycle to create shampoo and conditioner bottles for its Herbal Essences brand that are produced with 25% ocean plastic. The bottles will be available for a limited time to mark both World Water Day and World Oceans Day, and the companies are working together to recycle all of the new bottles to keep them out of the waste stream.
The Business Journals (tiered subscription model)/Cincinnati (3/14) 
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Education & Government Update
FDA won't require 4-letter suffixes for older biologics' proper names
The FDA has scrapped four-letter suffixes for biological products that are already approved or licensed. The agency had proposed adding a unique four-letter suffix to the proper names, but drugmakers expressed it could lead to confusion for patients.
FDAnews (3/14) 
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Institute News
Ecolab donation boosts AIChE's safety and diversity programs
AIChE has announced a major funding commitment from Ecolab, in support of two priority initiatives of the AIChE Foundation's Doing a World of Good campaign. In addition to helping underwrite the expansion of AIChE's Undergraduate Process Safety Learning Initiative, Ecolab is also an early leader of the Foundation's All for Good: Engineering for Inclusion campaign -- which addresses the unique challenges women and other underrepresented groups face in the workforce. Learn more.
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Still time to register: AIChE Spring Meeting and Global Congress on Process Safety
The 2019 AIChE Spring Meeting and 15th Global Congress on Process Safety takes place March 31 to April 4 in New Orleans. AIChE's premier event for practitioners, the meeting's topical sessions run the gamut from the fundamentals to the future-focused, covering developments in safety, advanced manufacturing, energy, fuels and petrochemicals, big data analytics, and much more. Join the global chemical engineering community in New Orleans.
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