E- Coli; The Bacteria That Eats CO2

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The percentage of CO2 in the atmosphere rises rapidly. This issue takes place as we release more greenhouse gases and fossil fuels into the air. There has been a 48% increase in carbon dioxide levels since the beginning of the Industrial Age. Furthermore, we’ve seen an 11% increase since 2000.

Nowadays this has become a serious issue. However, Israeli scientists have found a way to throw off the carbon in our atmosphere. Israeli researchers created CO2 eating bacteria that could “eat” carbon dioxide in our air. Therefore, they can fight off air pollution and climate change.

The researching team spent almost a decade creating the CO2 eating E-coli bacteria using a combination of genetic engineering, rational design, and sped-up evolution. They also included a gene where bacteria could derive energy from a format, a substance that can be produced from electricity and air. The researchers had to get the bacteria to eat CO2 instead of sugar. After about a year of adapting to the new diet, some bacteria were able to live entirely off CO2.

What are the benefits of E-Coli?

 The researchers even used a unique technique to make sure the E-coli weren’t eating other nutrients. The new bacterium uses formate as a form of chemical energy to drive CO2 fixation. The bacteria may provide the infrastructure for producing cleaner energy as well as sustainable production of food. E-Coli which can be synthesized electrochemically from renewable energy, might allow for the possibility of producing net-zero emissions ethanol, butanes, and even diesel, which can replace fossil fuels, according to the research. It’s amazing! Isn’t it so?

The bacteria and food production

Besides without using large amounts of land required for meat, vegetable, and fruit harvesting and agriculture, the bacteria could help with sustainable, renewable food production. This will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by reducing the amount of deforestation. Also, biotech companies that currently feed bacteria or yeast corn syrup to produce commodity chemicals could use the cultured bacteria feeding off CO2 and renewable electricity. This process would further reduce land demand and greenhouse gas emissions.

 Researchers think that, in time, manufacturers could use this CO2-eating bacteria production of alternative sources of protein. And that’s another important target in the food technology. They might be able to use renewable energy in the future to drive carbon fixation and protein production in the bacteria. They could scale this to produce protein from renewable sources, which could also serve to feed livestock.

 As sustainability is a major concern for climate researchers and scientists, this bacterium could provide millions with food and fuel, which could helm some of the more dreadful climate forecasts.

While planning drastic changes on a mass scale to delay the effects of climate change, in future scientists may use E-Coli as a best friend to find a way for the survival of human being on this earth. Let’s stay positive!

VIHANGI KODITHUWAKKU

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