Biofabrication: Using living organisms to make every day products, from shoes to silk

Spider web

Biofabrication [is] the science of using living organisms to build with biology and make everyday products. For the first time, it’s becoming inexpensive enough to unlock the wonders of biology, not just for pharmacological or industrial uses, where we’ve seen tremendous advances in the past few decades, but directly for consumers in a host of different ways.

A new era has arrived, one where we can harness biological organisms to create consumer materials that grow themselves.

This will extend to all sorts of materials grown in a laboratory: plant-based food products engineered to taste like real meat, potentially grown with the same proteins that you would find in the animal; and shoes, neckties, jackets and other wearables made from biofabricated spider silk. We could see living concrete that deploys microorganisms to self-repair cracks that form over time.

In the decade to come, we will witness the full implications of consumer biotech. A host of new companies will harness the power of nature to create materials in an environmentally sustainable way and without harming animals. In so doing, we will be exploiting the world’s oldest, most accomplished tools – biology and human ingenuity – to develop everyday products that can ignite our imaginations.

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Read full, original post: From spider silk shoes to algae fuel, welcome to the new age of biotech

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