in this issue
Chemical Industry Weekly Innovation Round-up, Dec. 23
7:12 AM MST | December 23, 2010 | By ALEX SCOTT
CW will publish its next Innovation Round-up January 6, 2011. In the next issue CW will publish analysis of the entrants for the Informex USA 2011 Sustainability Awards for which CW journalist Alex Scott is one of the judges.
The year end has continued as it started - with a wave of announcements by biotech and chemical companies that they are making progress in bringing to the market new inventions in biomaterials. This week biotech start-up Deinove (Paris) has disclosed that it is set to be granted a key biotech patent by the European Patent Office for the exploitation of deinococcus bacteria for making commercially interesting biomaterials including antibiotics.
The patent covers a genetic engineering process invented by Deinove, which exploits deinococci's unique self-repair ability - a property which has enabled these bacteria to enrich their genome through natural evolution over 3 billion years, the company says. The self-repair characteristic has enabled the bacteria to develop the exceptional natural ability to exploit biomass by borrowing genes from other living organisms.
Also in biotech LS9 this week secured $30 million in financing that will enable the firm to progress with its plan to commercialize a series of technologies for manufacturing biomaterials.
Elevance this week also secured $100 million for the construction and expansion of its biorefinery operations.
In ScienceDaily: Biomagnification of nanomaterials in simple food chain demonstrated. Researchers have produced a groundbreaking study of how nanoparticles are able to biomagnify in a simple microbial food chain.
In Bio-Pol blog: Using yeast to produce bioplastics: Richard Gross, professor of chemical and biological science at Polytechnic Institute of New York University (NYU-Poly), has developed a method for producing a strong, highly ductile bioplastic using yeast and one of nature’s simplest building blocks: fatty acids of plant oils.
In The New York Times: Bioethics panel says synthetic biology has great potential
Additional regulations are not necessary for the young field of synthetic biology, according to a report by the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues. Instead, synthetic biologists should receive bioethics training and regulate themselves, and the White House should coordinate the federal agencies charged with oversight, the panel said. BIO described the report as "well reasoned, balanced and thoughtful" while others warned of potential risks posed by self-regulation in a field that is not yet well understood.