Synthetic biology startups are breaking into the multi-billion-dollar market for industrial enzymes that power reactions for pharmaceutical, chemical, textile, food, and other companies.
How? Synthetic biologists take component DNA sequences that form different enzymes and patch them together to create a biological code. This code can produce new pathways for enzymes to work together or for organisms to produce them. These are then handed to commercial partners who manufacture them in bulk.
Tobias Erb from the Max Planck Institute for Terrestrial Microbiology is trying to create new pathways to capture and convert CO2 — last year they designed one that is more efficient at this than photosynthesis. He tells Axios: