Atmospheric carbon dioxide levels are rising, triggering global climate change, scientists agree. Researchers have been searching for ways to scrub some of this damaging gas from the atmosphere….
“We actually have taken our inspiration from nature itself,” says Tobias Erb, a biochemist at the Max Planck Institute….
Plants and other photosynthesizing organisms can turn carbon dioxide into biomass. And now Dr. Erb and his team have built a synthetic pathway to do that more efficiently – at least in a test tube, and perhaps someday in plants or other organisms. Their results are published in a paper published … in the journal Science.
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…[T]oday, photosynthesizing organisms convert just 25 percent of humans’ carbon emissions into biomass each year…
Part of the problem is that the plant enzyme involved in carbon dioxide fixation, as the process is called, is actually a very slow catalyst. So that’s why Erb and his team decided to build their own.
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…Erb and his team created their pathway for carbon dioxide fixation using 17 different enzymes taken from 9 different organisms…. And when they had fit all the puzzle pieces together, the resulting system was much speedier at fixing carbon dioxide – at least in a test tube.
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