Elaeis is a genus of palms containing two species, called oil palms. They are used in commercial agriculture in the production of palm oil; the African oil palm Elaeis. It is native to southwest Africa, occurring between Angola and Gambia; the American oil palm Elaeis oleifera is native to tropical Central and South America, is used locally for oil production. Mature palms are single-stemmed, can grow well over 20 m tall; the leaves are pinnate, reach between 3–5 m long. The flowers are produced in dense clusters; the palm fruit is reddish, about the size of a large plum, grows in large bunches. Each fruit is made up of an oily, fleshy outer layer, with a single seed rich in oil; the two species, E. guineensis and E. oleifera can produce fertile hybrids. The genome of E. guineensis has been sequenced, which has important implications for breeding improved strains of the crop plants. Since palm oil contains more saturated fats than oils made from canola, linseed, soybeans and sunflowers, it can withstand extreme deep-frying heat and resists oxidation.
It contains no trans fat, its use in food has increased as food-labelling laws have changed to specify trans fat content. Oil from Elaeis guineensis is used as biofuel. Human use of oil palms may date back to about 5,000 years in coastal west Africa. Palm oil was discovered in the late 19th century by archaeologists in a tomb at Abydos dating back to 3000 BCE, it is thought. Elaeis guineensis is now extensively cultivated in tropical countries outside Africa Malaysia and Indonesia which together produce most of the world supply. Palm oil is considered the most controversial of the cooking oils - for both health and environmental reasons. Palm oil plantations are under increasing scrutiny for social and environmental harm because rainforests with high biodiversity are destroyed, greenhouse gas output is increased, because people are displaced by unscrupulous palm-oil enterprises and traditional livelihoods are negatively impacted. In Indonesia, there is growing pressure for palm oil producers to prove that they are not harming rare animals in the cultivation process.
In 2018 a Christmas TV advertisement by supermarket chain Iceland, produced by Greenpeace, was banned by the UK advertising watchdog Clearcast. Iceland had committed to banning palm oil from its own-brand products by the end of 2018. Attalea maripa, another oil-producing palm Journal of Oil Palm Research Energy and the environment List of Arecaceae genera Social and environmental impact of palm oil
Castor oil is a vegetable oil pressed from castor beans. The name comes from its use as a replacement for castoreum. Castor oil is a colourless to pale yellow liquid with a distinct taste and odor, its boiling point is 313 °C and its density is 961 kg/m3. It is a triglyceride in which 90 percent of fatty acid chains are ricinoleates. Oleate and linoleates are the other significant components. Castor oil and its derivatives are used in the manufacturing of soaps, lubricants and brake fluids, dyes, inks, cold resistant plastics and polishes, nylon and perfumes. Castor oil is well known as a source of ricinoleic acid, a monounsaturated, 18-carbon fatty acid. Among fatty acids, ricinoleic acid is unusual in that it has a hydroxyl functional group on the 12th carbon; this functional group causes ricinoleic acid to be more polar than most fats. The chemical reactivity of the alcohol group allows chemical derivatization, not possible with most other seed oils; because of its ricinoleic acid content, castor oil is a valuable chemical in feedstocks, commanding a higher price than other seed oils.
As an example, in July 2007, Indian castor oil sold for about US$0.90 per kilogram whereas U. S. soybean and canola oils sold for about US$0.30 per kilogram. Annually 270,000–360,000 tonnes of castor oil are produced for a variety of uses. In the food industry, castor oil is used in food additives, candy, as a mold inhibitor, in packaging. Polyoxyethylated castor oil is used in the food industries. In India and Nepal food grains are preserved by the application of castor oil, it stops rice and pulses from rotting. For example, the legume pigeon pea is available coated in oil for extended storage. Use of castor oil as a laxative is attested to in the circa 1550 BC Ebers Papyrus, was in use for several centuries prior; the United States Food and Drug Administration has categorized castor oil as "generally recognized as safe and effective" for over-the-counter use as a laxative with its major site of action the small intestine where it is digested into ricinoleic acid. Despite castor oil being used to induce labor in pregnant women, to date there is not enough research to show whether it is effective to dilate the cervix or induce labor.
Therapeutically, modern drugs are given in a pure chemical state, so most active ingredients are combined with excipients or additives. Castor oil, or a castor oil derivative such as Kolliphor EL, is added to many modern drugs, including: Miconazole, an antifungal agent. Optive Plus and Refresh Ultra, are artificial tears to treat dry eye. Castor oil is one of the components of Vishnevsky liniment. In naturopathy castor oil has been promoted as a treatment for a variety of human health conditions, including cysts; the claim has been made that applying it to the skin can help cure cancer. However, according to the American Cancer Society, "available scientific evidence does not support claims that castor oil on the skin cures cancer or any other disease." Castor oil has been used in cosmetic products included in creams and as a moisturizer. It has been used to enhance hair conditioning in other products and for supposed anti-dandruff properties. Castor oil is used as a bio-based polyol in the polyurethane industry.
The average functionality of castor oil is 2.7, so it is used as a rigid polyol and in coatings. One particular use is in a polyurethane concrete where a Castor Oil emulsion is reacted with an isocyanate and a Cement and Construction aggregate; this is applied thickly as a slurry, self-levelling. This base is further coated with other systems to build a resilient floor, it is not a drying oil, meaning that it has a low reactivity with air compared to oils such as linseed oil and tung oil. Dehydration of castor oil yields linoleic acids, which do have drying properties. In this process, the OH group on the ricinoleic acid along with a hydrogen from the next carbon atom are removed yielding a double bond which has oxidative cross-linking properties yielding the drying oil. Castor oil can be broken down into other chemical compounds that have numerous applications. Transesterification followed by steam cracking gives undecylenic acid, a precursor to specialized polymer nylon 11, heptanal, a component in fragrances.
Breakdown of castor oil in strong base gives 2-octanol, both a fragrance component and a specialized solvent, the dicarboxylic acid sebacic acid. Hydrogenation of castor oil saturates the alkenes, giving a waxy lubricant.. Castor oil may be epoxidized by reacting the OH groups with Epichlorohydrin to make the triglycidyl ether of castor oil, useful in epoxy technology; this is available commercially
Sucrose is common sugar. It is a molecule composed of two monosaccharides: glucose and fructose. Sucrose is produced in plants, from which table sugar is refined, it has the molecular formula C12H22O11. For human consumption, sucrose is extracted, refined, from either sugar cane or sugar beet. Sugar mills are located where sugarcane is grown to crush the cane and produce raw sugar, shipped around the world for refining into pure sucrose; some sugar mills process the raw sugar into pure sucrose. Sugar beet factories are located in colder climates where the beet is grown and process the beets directly into refined sugar; the sugar refining process involves washing the raw sugar crystals before dissolving them into a sugar syrup, filtered and passed over carbon to remove any residual colour. The by-now clear sugar syrup is concentrated by boiling under a vacuum and crystallized as the final purification process to produce crystals of pure sucrose; these crystals are clear and have a sweet taste. En masse, the crystals appear white.
Sugar is an added ingredient in food production and food recipes. About 185 million tonnes of sugar were produced worldwide in 2017; the word sucrose was coined in 1857 by the English chemist William Miller from the French sucre and the generic chemical suffix for sugars -ose. The abbreviated term Suc is used for sucrose in scientific literature; the name saccharose was coined in 1860 by the French chemist Marcellin Berthelot. Saccharose is an obsolete name for sugars in general sucrose. In sucrose, the components glucose and fructose are linked via an ether bond between C1 on the glucosyl subunit and C2 on the fructosyl unit; the bond is called a glycosidic linkage. Glucose exists predominantly as two isomeric "pyranoses", but only one of these forms links to the fructose. Fructose itself exists as a mixture of "furanoses", each of which having α and β isomers, but only one particular isomer links to the glucosyl unit. What is notable about sucrose is that, unlike most disaccharides, the glycosidic bond is formed between the reducing ends of both glucose and fructose, not between the reducing end of one and the nonreducing end of the other.
This linkage inhibits further bonding to other saccharide units. Since it contains no anomeric hydroxyl groups, it is classified as a non-reducing sugar. Sucrose crystallizes in the monoclinic space group P21 with room-temperature lattice parameters a = 1.08631 nm, b = 0.87044 nm, c = 0.77624 nm, β = 102.938°. The purity of sucrose is measured by polarimetry, through the rotation of plane-polarized light by a solution of sugar; the specific rotation at 20 °C using yellow "sodium-D" light is +66.47°. Commercial samples of sugar are assayed using this parameter. Sucrose does not deteriorate at ambient conditions. Sucrose does not melt at high temperatures. Instead, it decomposes at 186 °C to form caramel. Like other carbohydrates, it combusts to carbon water. Mixing sucrose with the oxidizer potassium nitrate produces the fuel known as rocket candy, used to propel amateur rocket motors. C12H22O11 + 6 KNO3 → 9 CO + 3 N2 + 11 H2O + 3 K2CO3This reaction is somewhat simplified though; some of the carbon does get oxidized to carbon dioxide, other reactions, such as the water-gas shift reaction take place.
A more accurate theoretical equation is: C12H22O11 + 6.288 KNO3 → 3.796 CO2 + 5.205 CO + 7.794 H2O + 3.065 H2 + 3.143 N2 + 2.998 K2CO3 + 0.274 KOH Sucrose burns with chloric acid, formed by the reaction of hydrochloric acid and potassium chlorate: 8 HClO3 + C12H22O11 → 11 H2O + 12 CO2 + 8 HClSucrose can be dehydrated with sulfuric acid to form a black, carbon-rich solid, as indicated in the following idealized equation: H2SO4 + C12H22O11 → 12 C + 11 H2O + Heat. The formula for sucrose's decomposition can be represented as a two-step reaction: the first simplified reaction is dehydration of sucrose to pure carbon and water, carbon oxidises to CO2 with O2 from air. C12H22O11 + heat → 12 C + 11 H2O 12 C + 12 O2 → 12 CO2 Hydrolysis breaks the glycosidic bond converting sucrose into glucose and fructose. Hydrolysis is, however, so slow. If the enzyme sucrase is added, the reaction will proceed rapidly. Hydrolysis can be accelerated with acids, such as cream of tartar or lemon juice, both weak acids.
Gastric acidity converts sucrose to glucose and fructose during digestion, the bond between them being an acetal bond which can be broken by an acid. Given heats of combustion of 1349.6 kcal/mol for sucrose, 673.0 for glucose, 675.6 for fructose, hydrolysis releases about 1.0 kcal per mole of sucrose, or about 3 small calories per gram of product. The biosynthesis of sucrose proceeds via the precursors UDP-glucose and fructose 6-phosphate, catalyzed by the enzyme sucrose-6-phosphate synthase; the energy for the reaction is gained by the cleavage of uridine diphosphate. Sucrose is formed by plants and cyanobacteria but not by other organisms. Sucrose is found in many food plants along with the monosaccharide fructose. In many fruits, such as pineapple and apricot, sucrose is the main sugar. In others, such as grapes and pears, fructose is the main sugar. Although sucrose is invariably isolated from natural sources, its chemical synthesis was first achieved in 1953 by Raymond Lemieux. In nature, sucrose is present in many plants, in particular their roots and nectars, because it serves as a way to store energy from photosynthesis.
Many mammals, birds and bacteria accumulate and feed on the sucrose in plants and for some it is their main food sou
Ethanol fuel in Brazil
Brazil is the world's second largest producer of ethanol fuel. Brazil and the United States have led the industrial production of ethanol fuel for several years, together accounting for 85 percent of the world's production in 2017. Brazil produced 26.72 billion liters, representing 26.1 percent of the world's total ethanol used as fuel in 2017. Brazil is considered to have the world's first sustainable biofuels economy and the biofuel industry leader, a policy model for other countries. However, some authors consider that the successful Brazilian ethanol model is sustainable only in Brazil due to its advanced agri-industrial technology and its enormous amount of arable land available. Brazil’s 40-year-old ethanol fuel program is based on the most efficient agricultural technology for sugarcane cultivation in the world, uses modern equipment and cheap sugar cane as feedstock, the residual cane-waste is used to produce heat and power, which results in a competitive price and in a high energy balance, which varies from 8.3 for average conditions to 10.2 for best practice production.
In 2010, the U. S. EPA designated Brazilian sugarcane ethanol as an advanced biofuel due to its 61% reduction of total life cycle greenhouse gas emissions, including direct indirect land use change emissions. There are no longer any light vehicles in Brazil running on pure gasoline. Since 1976 the government made it mandatory to blend anhydrous ethanol with gasoline, fluctuating between 10% to 22%, and requiring just a minor adjustment on regular gasoline engines. In 1993 the mandatory blend was fixed by law at 22% anhydrous ethanol by volume in the entire country, but with leeway to the Executive to set different percentages of ethanol within pre-established boundaries. In 2003 these limits were set at a minimum of 20% and a maximum of 25%. Since July 1, 2007 the mandatory blend is 25% of anhydrous ethanol and 75% gasoline or E25 blend; the lower limit was reduced to 18% in April 2011 due to recurring ethanol supply shortages and high prices that take place between harvest seasons. By mid March 2015 the government raised temporarily the ethanol blend in regular gasoline from 25% to 27%.
The Brazilian car manufacturing industry developed flexible-fuel vehicles that can run on any proportion of gasoline and hydrous ethanol. Introduced in the market in 2003, flex vehicles became a commercial success, dominating the passenger vehicle market with a 94% market share of all new cars and light vehicles sold in 2013. By mid-2010 there were 70 flex models available in the market, as of December 2013, a total of 15 car manufacturers produce flex-fuel engines, dominating all light vehicle segments except sports cars, off-road vehicles and minivans; the cumulative production of flex-fuel cars and light commercial vehicles reached the milestone of 10 million vehicles in March 2010, the 20 million-unit milestone was reached in June 2013. As of June 2015, flex-fuel light-duty vehicle cumulative sales totaled 25.5 million units, production of flex motorcycles totaled 4 million in March 2015. The success of "flex" vehicles, together with the mandatory E25 blend throughout the country, allowed ethanol fuel consumption in the country to achieve a 50% market share of the gasoline-powered fleet in February 2008.
In terms of energy equivalent, sugarcane ethanol represented 17.6% of the country's total energy consumption by the transport sector in 2008. Sugarcane has been cultivated in Brazil since 1532 as sugar was one of the first commodities exported to Europe by the Portuguese settlers; the first use of sugarcane ethanol as a fuel in Brazil dates back to the late twenties and early thirties of the twentieth century, with the introduction of the automobile in the country. Ethanol fuel production peaked during World War II and, as German submarine attacks threatened oil supplies, the mandatory blend became as high as 50% in 1943. After the end of the war cheap oil caused gasoline to prevail, ethanol blends were only used sporadically to take advantage of sugar surpluses, until the seventies, when the first oil crisis resulted in gasoline shortages and awareness of the dangers of oil dependence; as a response to this crisis, the Brazilian government began promoting bioethanol as a fuel. The National Alcohol Program -Pró-Álcool-, launched in 1975, was a nationwide program financed by the government to phase out automobile fuels derived from fossil fuels, such as gasoline, in favor of ethanol produced from sugar cane.
The first phase of the program concentrated on production of anhydrous ethanol for blending with gasoline. The Brazilian government made mandatory the blending of ethanol fuel with gasoline, fluctuating from 1976 until 1992 between 10% to 22%. Due to this mandatory minimum gasoline blend, pure gasoline is no longer sold in the country. A federal law was passed in October 1993 establishing a mandatory blend of 22% anhydrous ethanol in the entire country; this law authorized the Executive to set different percentages of ethanol within pre-established boundaries. Since the government has set the percentage of the ethanol blend according to the results of the sugarcane harvest and the levels of ethanol production from sugarcane, resulting in blend variations within the same year. Since July 2007 the mandatory blend is 75 % gasoline or E25 blend. However, in 2010, as a result of supply c
Photorespiration refers to a process in plant metabolism where the enzyme RuBisCO oxygenates RuBP, wasting some of the energy produced by photosynthesis. The desired reaction is the addition of carbon dioxide to RuBP, a key step in the Calvin–Benson cycle, however 25% of reactions by RuBisCO instead add oxygen to RuBP, creating a product that cannot be used within the Calvin–Benson cycle; this process reduces the efficiency of photosynthesis reducing photosynthetic output by 25% in C3 plants. Photorespiration involves a complex network of enzyme reactions that exchange metabolites between chloroplasts, leaf peroxisomes and mitochondria; the oxygenation reaction of RuBisCO is a wasteful process because 3-phosphoglycerate is created at a reduced rate and higher metabolic cost compared with RuBP carboxylase activity. While photorespiratory carbon cycling results in the formation of G3P around 25% of carbon fixed by photorespiration is re-released as CO2 and nitrogen, as ammonia. Ammonia must be detoxified at a substantial cost to the cell.
Photorespiration incurs a direct cost of one ATP and one NADH. While it is common to refer to the entire process as photorespiration, technically the term refers only to the metabolic network which acts to rescue the products of the oxygenation reaction. Addition of molecular oxygen to ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate produces 3-phosphoglycerate and 2-phosphoglycolate. PGA is the normal product of carboxylation, productively enters the Calvin cycle. Phosphoglycolate, inhibits certain enzymes involved in photosynthetic carbon fixation, it is relatively difficult to recycle: in higher plants it is salvaged by a series of reactions in the peroxisome and again in the peroxisome where it is converted into glycerate. Glycerate by the same transporter that exports glycolate. A cost of 1 ATP is associated with conversion to 3-phosphoglycerate, within the chloroplast, free to re-enter the Calvin cycle. Several costs are associated with this metabolic pathway. Hydrogen peroxide is a dangerously strong oxidant which must be split into water and oxygen by the enzyme catalase.
The conversion of 2× 2Carbon glycine to 1 C3 serine in the mitochondria by the enzyme glycine-decarboxylase is a key step, which releases CO2, NH3, reduces NAD to NADH. Thus, 1 CO2 molecule is produced for every 2 molecules of O2; the assimilation of NH3 occurs via the GS-GOGAT cycle, at a cost of one ATP and one NADPH. Cyanobacteria have three possible pathways, they are unable to grow if all three pathways are knocked out, despite having a carbon concentrating mechanism that should reduce the rate of photorespiration. The oxidative photosynthetic carbon cycle reaction is catalyzed by RuBP oxygenase activity: RuBP + O2 → Phosphoglycolate + 3-phosphoglycerate + 2H+ During the catalysis by RuBisCO, an'activated' intermediate is formed in the RuBisCO active site; this intermediate is able to react with either CO2 or O2. It has been demonstrated that the specific shape of the RuBisCO active site acts to encourage reactions with CO2. Although there is a significant "failure" rate, this represents significant favouring of CO2, when the relative abundance of the two gases is taken into account: in the current atmosphere, O2 is 500 times more abundant, in solution O2 is 25 times more abundant than CO2.
The ability of RuBisCO to specify between the two gases is known as its selectivity factor, it varies between species, with angiosperms more efficient than other plants, but with little variation among the vascular plants. A suggested explanation into RuBisCO's inability to discriminate between CO2 and O2 is that it is an evolutionary relic: The early atmosphere in which primitive plants originated contained little oxygen, the early evolution of RuBisCO was not influenced by its ability to discriminate between O2 and CO2. Photorespiration rates are increased by: Factors which influence this include the atmospheric abundance of the two gases, the supply of the gases to the site of fixation, the length of the liquid phase. For example, when the stomata are closed to prevent water loss during drought: this limits the CO2 supply, while O2 production within the leaf will continue. In algae, it has been predicted that the increase in ambient CO2 concentrations predicted over the next 100 years may reduce the rate of photorespiration in most plants by around 50%.
At higher temperatures RuBisCO is less able to discriminate between CO2 and O2. This is. Increasing temperatures reduce the solubility of CO2, thus reducing the concentration of CO2 relative to O2 in the chloroplast. Certain species of plants or algae have mechanisms to reduce uptake of molecular oxygen by RuBisCO; these are referred to as Carbon Concentrating Mechanisms, as they increase the concentration of CO
Safflower is a branched, thistle-like annual plant. It is commercially cultivated for vegetable oil extracted from the seeds and was used by the early Spanish Colonies along the Rio Grande river as a substitute for Saffron. Plants are 30 to 150 cm tall with globular flower heads having orange, or red flowers; each branch will have from one to five flower heads containing 15 to 20 seeds per head. Safflower is native to arid environments having seasonal rain, it grows a deep taproot. Safflower is one of humanity's oldest crops. Chemical analysis of ancient Egyptian textiles dated to the Twelfth Dynasty identified dyes made from safflower, garlands made from safflowers were found in the tomb of the pharaoh Tutankhamun. John Chadwick reports that the Greek name for safflower κάρθαμος occurs many times in Linear B tablets, distinguished into two kinds: a white safflower, measured, red, weighed. "The explanation is. An heirloom variety originating from Corrales, New Mexico called "Corrales Azafran" is still cultivated and used as a saffron substitute in New Mexican cuisine.
In 2016, global production of safflower seeds was 948,516 tonnes, led by Russia with 30% of the total. Other significant producers were Kazakhstan. Traditionally, the crop was grown for its seeds, used for coloring and flavoring foods, in medicines, making red and yellow dyes before cheaper aniline dyes became available. For the last fifty years or so, the plant has been cultivated for the vegetable oil extracted from its seeds. Safflower seed oil is flavorless and colorless, nutritionally similar to sunflower oil, it is used in cosmetics and as a cooking oil, in salad dressing, for the production of margarine. INCI nomenclature is Carthamus tinctorius. There are two types of safflower that produce different kinds of oil: one high in monounsaturated fatty acid and the other high in polyunsaturated fatty acid; the predominant edible oil market is for the former, lower in saturated fats than olive oil. The latter is used in painting in the place of linseed oil with white paints, as it does not have the yellow tint which linseed oil possesses.
Safflower flowers are used in cooking as a cheaper substitute for saffron, sometimes referred to as "bastard saffron". The dried safflower petals are used as a herbal tea variety. In coloring textiles, dried safflower flowers are used as a natural dye source for the orange-red pigment carthamin. Carthamin is known, in the dye industry, as Carthamus Red or Natural Red 26. In preliminary research where high-linoleic safflower oil replaced animal fats in the diets of people with heart disease, the group receiving safflower oil in place of animal fats had a higher risk of death from all causes, including cardiovascular diseases. Conjugated linoleic acid Suetsumuhana Tsheringma Safflower field crops manual, University of Wisconsin, 1992 The Paulden F. Knowles personal history of safflower germplasm exploration and use, University of California-Davis, Department of Plant Sciences
Synthetic biology is an interdisciplinary branch of biology and engineering. The subject combines disciplines from within these domains, such as biotechnology, genetic engineering, molecular biology, molecular engineering, systems biology, membrane science, biophysics and biological engineering and computer engineering, control engineering and evolutionary biology. Synthetic biology applies these disciplines to build artificial biological systems for research and medical applications. Synthetic biology is seen differently by engineers. Seen as part of biology, in recent years the role of electrical and chemical engineering has become more important. For example, one description designates synthetic biology as "an emerging discipline that uses engineering principles to design and assemble biological components". Another portrayed it as "a new emerging scientific field where ICT, biotechnology and nanotechnology meet and strengthen each other"; the definition of synthetic biology is debated in the human sciences and politics.
One popular definition: "designing and constructing biological modules, biological systems, biological machines or, re-design of existing biological systems for useful purposes". The functional aspects of this definition are rooted in molecular biotechnology; as usage of the term has expanded, synthetic biology was defined as the artificial design and engineering of biological systems and living organisms for purposes of improving applications for industry or biological research. In general its purpose can be described as the design and construction of novel artificial biological pathways, organisms or devices, or the redesign of existing natural biological systems. Synthetic biology has traditionally been divided into two different approaches. Top down synthetic biology involves using metabolic and genetic engineering techniques to impart new functions to living cells. Bottom up synthetic biology involves creating new biological systems in vitro by bringing together'non-living' biomolecular components with the aim of constructing an artificial cell.
Biological systems are thus assembled module-by-module. Cell-free protein expression systems are employed, as are membrane-based molecular machinery. There are increasing efforts to bridge the divide between these approaches by forming hybrid living/synthetic cells, engineering communication between living and synthetic cell populations; the first identifiable use of the term "synthetic biology" was in Stéphane Leduc’s publication of Théorie physico-chimique de la vie et générations spontanées and his La Biologie Synthétique. A contemporary interpretation of synthetic biology was given by Polish geneticist Wacław Szybalski in a panel discussion during Eighteenth Annual "OHOLO" Biological Conference on Strategies for the Control of Gene Expression in 1973 Zichron Yaakov, Israel. In 1978, Arber and Smith won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for the discovery of restriction enzymes, leading Szybalski to offer an editorial comment in the journal Gene: The work on restriction nucleases not only permits us to construct recombinant DNA molecules and to analyze individual genes, but has led us into the new era of synthetic biology where not only existing genes are described and analyzed but new gene arrangements can be constructed and evaluated.
A notable advance in synthetic biology occurred in 2000, when two articles in Nature discussed the creation of synthetic biological circuit devices of a genetic toggle switch and a biological clock by combining genes within E. coli cells. In April 2019, scientists at ETH Zurich reported the creation of the world's first bacterial genome, named Caulobacter ethensis-2.0, made by a computer, although a related viable form of C. ethensis-2.0 does not yet exist. Engineers view biology as a technology – a given system's biotechnology or its biological engineering. Synthetic biology includes the broad redefinition and expansion of biotechnology, with the ultimate goals of being able to design and build engineered biological systems that process information, manipulate chemicals, fabricate materials and structures, produce energy, provide food, maintain and enhance human health and our environment. Studies in synthetic biology can be subdivided into broad classifications according to the approach they take to the problem at hand: standardization of biological parts, biomolecular engineering, genome engineering.
Biomolecular engineering includes approaches that aim to create a toolkit of functional units that can be introduced to present new technological functions in living cells. Genetic engineering includes approaches to construct synthetic chromosomes for whole or minimal organisms. Biomolecular design refers to the general idea of de novo design and additive combination of biomolecular components; each of these approaches share a similar task: to develop a more synthetic entity at a higher level of complexity by inventively manipulating a simpler part at the preceding level. On the other hand, "re-writers" are synthetic biologists interested in testing the irreducibility of biological systems. Due to the complexity of natural biological systems, it would be simpler to rebuild the natural systems of interest from the ground up. Re-writers draw inspiration from refactoring, a process sometimes used to improve computer software. Several novel enabling technologies were critical to the success of synthetic biology.
Concepts include standardization of biological parts and hierarchical abstraction to permit using those parts in synthetic systems. Basic technologies include reading and writing DNA (sequenci