A remarkable discovery was made as researchers from the Weizmann Institute of Science have designed bacteria that consume carbon dioxide instead of sugar, which could tackle climate change.
The landmark achievement could allow humanity to limit the release of carbon during specific tasks, improve the quality of biofuels and the production of food that could reduce the amount of carbon dioxide present in the atmosphere. It is well-known that plants and cyanobacteria which live in the ocean employ a process called photosynthesis, harnessing the power of the sun to convert carbon dioxide into a form of organic carbon which can be used for the development of DNA, proteins, and fats.
Previous research inferred that photosynthesizes could be quite challenging to implement at a genetic level. The team of researchers took E.coli bacteria, which is often linked with food poisoning. With the help of genetic engineering, they enhanced the bacteria, which is now able to convert carbon dioxide into organic carbon without the need to be exposed to the sun.
The Bacteria That Consumes Carbon Dioxide And Can Fight Climate Change
During the transition periods, the researchers starved the bacteria while at the same time offering a generous amount of carbon dioxide and formate, with the latter being a substance that triggers the photosynthesis process. Some also perceive formate as an excellent tool for producing clean energy.
The team of researchers was the first to explore the potential benefits of altering the traits of a heterotroph (which consumes organic substances) and to successfully convert it to autotrophic (consumption of air). At first, the challenge appeared to be too high. Still, the researchers learned a lot of valuable information during the study, and a large amount of data will contribute to the development of efficient devices and protocols.
Global warming has remained an important topic among researchers, and in recent times more politicians have started to push changes that seek to halt the phenomenon. A paper was published in a scientific journal.