A new method to produce sugar from photosynthetic bacteria has been developed by researchers at the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard and Harvard Medical School.
The innovation could reduce the carbon dioxide emissions associated with transporting sugar globally from producing countries; lead to greater availability of biodegradable plastics; and allow capture of harmful CO2 emissions from power plants and industrial facilities.
Moreover, the technology offers potential economic advantages.
Because the production methods use photosynthesis - the process by which living things are assembled using only CO2 and sunlight the cost of making sugars, lactic acid, and other compounds would be significantly lower than traditional methods.
Wyss Institute senior staff scientist Jeffrey Way, said: "What we're doing is using genetic engineering to get organisms to act the way we want them to-in this case producing food additives. These discoveries have significant practical implications in moving toward a green economy."
The findings of the research appear in Applied and Environmental Biology.