We have two major problems. Vanilla is mostly produced in a narrow set of unstable economies and the supply chains are especially vulnerable. There is massive demand for vanilla flavoring. The other major problem is plastic bottles. Plastic waste from PET bottles creates a massive environmental hazard, and is purely unsustainable. What if those bottles could be used as a substrate to produce useful compounds, like vanilla flavoring? Dr. Joanna Sadler asked that exact question and using the tricks of synthetic biology installed the enzymatic steps to convert PET bottles into vanillin, the central compound of vanilla flavoring. A genetically engineered strain of E. coli efficiently converts trash into treasure, and is a great harbinger for the future of synthetic biology in waste remediation. Follow Dr. Sadler on Twitter: @JoSadler10 # COLABRA Talking Biotech is brought to you by Colabra – an R&D platform that brings your lab’s world-changing research together in one shared space. Learn more at https://www.colabra.app/ # TALKING BIOTECH Twitter: https://twitter.com/talkingbiotech Website: https://www.colabra.app/podcasts/talking-biotech/ Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/colabrahq The Talking Biotech podcast is distinct from Dr. Kevin Folta's teaching and research roles at the University of Florida. The views expressed on the show are those of Dr. Folta and his guests, and do not reflect the opinions of the university or Colabra.
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