A rose by any other name would smell as yeast

Friday, July 14, 2017 - 14:22 in Mathematics & Economics

From afar, the multistory fermenters — towering metal cylinders encompassed by scaffolding, ladders, and pipes — look like rockets on a launch pad. Climbing to the top of the fermenter, visitors to the Mexico City manufacturing plant can peer down at a set of paddles churning 50,000 liters of frothy, golden broth. Within the mixture, genetically engineered yeast are synthesizing lactones — a family of molecules responsible for the aromas of fruits and flowers. MIT Department of Biology alumna Emily Havens Greenhagen ’05 has visited the plant over several weeks to monitor her company’s most promising project: a plan to make perfume from yeast cells. Greenhagen is director of fermentation engineering at Ginkgo Bioworks, a Boston-based synthetic biology company seeking to turn microbes into customizable factories to produce products ranging from pesticides to perfumes. Scientists such as Greenhagen know that microbes can manufacture organic products more efficiently than any machine or...

Read the whole article on MIT Research

More from MIT Research

Latest Science Newsletter

Get the latest and most popular science news articles of the week in your Inbox! It's free!

Check out our next project, Biology.Net