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 Industry

Bacteria and big business? Enzymes and industry? Industrial applications of genetic engineering could revolutionize all kinds of products and processes. Explore more about industry's expectations for genetic engineering (GE).

Current Uses
The use of genetic engineering in industry tends to be for specific processes or products. There are some patterns of use developing that could be of real benefit to the environment.

Patterns
Genetic engineering may make it possible to decrease reliance on fossil fuels. Industries rely heavily on fossil fuels, like petroleum, to fuel their manufacturing processes and to create many of their products. Fossil fuels carry a heavy environmental price tag and aren't renewable.

Genetic engineering could provide alternative energy sources. Genetically engineered fuels are renewable and easier on the environment than fossil fuels.

Another pattern of use emerging for genetic engineering is finding ways to replace harsh chemicals used in manufacturing processes.

Industries are investigating ways to genetically engineer proteins and enzymes to do the work of the chemicals.

Bacteria and other microorganisms are everywhere and perform a mind-boggling variety of work. Scientists say we've only discovered one percent of the existing microorganisms and what they can do. Through a process called bioprospecting more is being discovered about the abilities of these organisms.

Once a useful process is discovered, genetic engineering can be used to replicate the process on a widespread scale.

Source
A.u. University of Florida Digest. "UF Biotech Breakthrough Drives World's First Biomass-to-Ethanol Plant in Jennings, La." (Online.) (http://www.napa.ufl.edu/digest/old/1998-99/biomass.htm). September 2002.


Explore More: Genetic Engineering
Copyright 2004, Iowa Public Television
The Explore More project is supported by funds from the
Roy J. Carver Charitable Trust
and the USDE Star Schools Program.


 

 

 

 

 

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