The Economist: Cell-free biotech will make for better products

May 6, 2017

GreenLight Biosciences is mentioned in The Economist, as it looks at how cell-free biotech should speed up innovation.

GreenLight Biosciences is mentioned in The Economist’s Science and Technology section, as it looks at how cell-free biotech – a new type of biological engineering – should speed up innovation. Extracts are below:

GreenLight Biosciences, a firm in Medford, Massachusetts, proposes to use its own cell-free system, also based on E. coli, to produce industrial quantities of an undigestible analogue of ribose, a naturally occurring sugar, for use in zero-calorie beverages.

The company says it has already got its process to the point where it can make thousands of litres of solution of this sugar at a time. GreenLight is also working on cell-free systems that will generate industrial quantities of specially designed RNA molecules that interfere with the development of insect larvae, and can thus be used as pesticides. Currently, such RNA costs $5,000 per kilogram to produce. GreenLight thinks that by scaling the process up it can reduce this to between $50 and $100.

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