Caltech scientists create silicon-carbon bonds naturally

Caltech scientists create silicon-carbon bonds naturally

Biology can be used to manufacture silicon-carbon bonds naturally in ways that are more environmentally friendly as well as potentially much less expensive, Caltech scientists demonstrated.

Revealing a revolutionary technique for making nature to incorporate silicon into the building blocks of life, scientists at Caltech successfully “bred” a bacterial protein to have the ability to make the silicon-carbon bonds.

They used a method known as directed evolution to mutate an enzyme called “cytochrome c” and catalyze a bonding reaction between silicon and carbon.

Life on our planet is entirely carbon based, but silicon-based life has always intrigued scientists because of its great potentialities. Scientists have long been able to artificially bond the two elements, but experts at Caltech are the first to successfully create silicon-carbon naturally.

Principal investigator Prof. Frances Arnold said, “This study shows how quickly nature can adapt to new challenges. The DNA-encoded catalytic machinery of the cell can rapidly learn to promote new chemical reactions when we provide new reagents and the appropriate incentive in the form of artificial selection.”

The new research, which was recently detailed in the journal Science, won Caltech’s Dow Sustainability Innovation Student Challenge Award (SISCA).


User login



You May Have Missed...

Caltech scientists create silicon-carbon bonds naturally
Mon, 11/28/2016 - 06:18

Biology can be used to manufacture silicon-carbon bonds naturally in ways that are more environmentally friendly as well as potentially much less...


Nigeria Update

Fresh Polio Cases lead to WHO Travel Restrictions on Pakistan and Syria
Tue, 05/06/2014 - 00:45

World Health Organization has slapped international travel restrictions on Pakistan, Cameroon...


Economy Watch

US Import Prices decline in April
Thu, 05/14/2015 - 01:13

For a straight 10th month, US import prices declined in April. The decline could be due to the...


Health Tonight

Several developing ‘countries’ hidden within borders of USA: study
Fri, 11/18/2016 - 10:07

The United States would look quite different if its fifty states were organized as per their...


Science Tonight

Sensor malfunction led to Schiaparelli’s crash landing: ESA
Fri, 11/25/2016 - 10:19

A sensor malfunction was likely responsible for the European Space Agency's (ESA's) Mars lander...


UK News

Researchers find direct link between bedtime media device use & inadequate sleep
Tue, 11/01/2016 - 09:53

Children and teenagers who use mobile devices like smartphones, tablets and computers at night...


Pharmaceuticals

Aetna
Sat, 01/17/2015 - 06:04

Aetna inc., health care company, on Friday announced that it has signed a deal with Gilead...


US News

Science Channel cancels ‘Punkin Chunkin’ special after cannon accident
Mon, 11/21/2016 - 08:52

An accident that left a woman injured during an event earlier this month in Delaware prompted...


Technology Tonight

Samsung plans to launch new Glossy Black version of Galaxy S7 next month
Thu, 11/24/2016 - 08:04

In a November 21 disclosure, unidentified smartphone industry sources have revealed that South...