The concept of synthetic biology explores the scientific field that uses DNA editing processes to program microorganisms. As a result, the future of apparel, transportation, and even architecture is wide open to fresh possibilities. Several organizations are already moving forward with creating new products and processes. Now, we have the option to use living organisms in a way we never thought possible.
Here are three ways that synthetic biology is changing industry norms.
The End of Styrofoam Packaging
Although the concept of growing buildings seems unattainable, organizations like Ecovative are already creating sustainable materials. Ecovative is a biomaterials company that has previously partnered with IKEA and Dell to replace styrofoam packaging. The company’s bio-based packaging is developing the use of mushroom roots 1 as an alternative. Also, fungus is a possible resource for insulation and biodegradable building materials usage.
Spider Silk Outerwear
The North Face Japan has partnered with Spiber, a Japanese biomaterial company, to introduce the Moon Parka. The Moon Parka’s spider silk material derives from silk proteins created by engineered bacteria. Spiber and The North Face Japan are making history for producing the world’s first spider silk outerwear jacket 2 . In this instance, sugar was fed to engineered bacteria to begin creating the silk. As a result, silk-like proteins form during the fermentation process. Finally, the proteins are purified and spun into threads as a foundation for new fabrics.
A New Direction for Transportation
The transportation industry is pivoting to new initiatives for redesigned vehicles on Earth and in space. The idea of a biological vehicle may be far from reality. However, NASA is testing how well algae can collect carbon dioxide on the International Space Station. Also, United Airlines has already implemented the use of bio-based jet fuel through companies like Lanzatech. Lanzatech uses engineered microbes to turn waste CO2 to fuel.
Synthetic biology is transcending industry boundaries. For this reason, several companies are already getting ahead of the innovation curve with sustainable solutions. Natural processes are replacing artificial components to forge new paths to success. Keep your organization’s options open to embracing this emerging initiative.