via todd richmond
Back in my previous life, my last biochemical research work was focused on protein engineering, with my group creating a modified Green Fluorescence Protein that could bind metal ions. The long-term vision was to create biosensors, but the short-term work I often described as “stupid protein tricks” – essentially making nature’s tools do something they didn’t evolve to do.
This field has grown significantly since the late 90’s when I ran my lab at Claremont, and the possibilities are coming in critical areas. For instance work out of Northwestern with engineered bacteria that convert CO2 gas into acetone (an organic solvent that is useful for making other organic molecules).
Too little too late? Perhaps, but better than doing nothing, and fascinating work nonetheless.