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Biotechnology Advances

Shanquan Wang, Siyuan Chen, Yu Wang, Adrian Low, Qihong Lu, Rongliang Qiu
Due to massive production and improper handling, organohalide compounds are widely distributed in subsurface environments, primarily in anoxic groundwater, soil and sediment. Compared to traditional pump-and-treat or dredging-and-disposal treatments, in situ remediation employing abiotic or biotic reductive dehalogenation represents a sustainable and economic solution for the removal of organohalide pollutants. Both nanoscale zero-valent iron (nZVI) and organohalide-respiring bacteria remove halogens through reductive dehalogenation and have been extensively studied and successfully applied for the in situ remediation of chloroethenes and other organohalide pollutants...
October 17, 2016: Biotechnology Advances
Kirti M Yenkie, WenZhao Wu, Ryan L Clark, Brian F Pfleger, Thatcher W Root, Christos T Maravelias
Microbial conversion of renewable feedstocks to high-value chemicals is an attractive alternative to current petrochemical processes because it offers the potential to reduce net CO2 emissions and integrate with bioremediation objectives. Microbes have been genetically engineered to produce a growing number of high-value chemicals in sufficient titer, rate, and yield from renewable feedstocks. However, high-yield bioconversion is only one aspect of an economically viable process. Separation of biologically synthesized chemicals from process streams is a major challenge that can contribute to >70% of the total production costs...
October 15, 2016: Biotechnology Advances
Lauren A E Erland, Christina E Turi, Praveen K Saxena
Serotonin is an ancient indoleamine that was presumably part of the life cycle of the first prokaryotic life forms on Earth millions of years ago where it functioned as a powerful antioxidant to combat the increasingly oxygen rich atmosphere. First identified as a neurotransmitter signaling molecule in mammals, it is ubiquitous across all forms of life. Serotonin was discovered in plants many years after its discovery in mammals; however, it has now been confirmed in almost all plant families, where it plays important roles in plant growth and development, including functions in energy acquisition, seasonal cycles, modulation of reproductive development, control of root and shoot organogenesis, maintenance of plant tissues, delay of senescence, and responses to biotic and abiotic stresses...
October 11, 2016: Biotechnology Advances
Omar Y Abdelaziz, Daniel P Brink, Jens Prothmann, Krithika Ravi, Mingzhe Sun, Javier García-Hidalgo, Margareta Sandahl, Christian P Hulteberg, Charlotta Turner, Gunnar Lidén, Marie F Gorwa-Grauslund
Lignin is a major component of lignocellulosic biomass and as such, it is processed in enormous amounts in the pulp and paper industry worldwide. In such industry it mainly serves the purpose of a fuel to provide process steam and electricity, and to a minor extent to provide low grade heat for external purposes. Also from other biorefinery concepts, including 2nd generation ethanol, increasing amounts of lignin will be generated. Other uses for lignin - apart from fuel production - are of increasing interest not least in these new biorefinery concepts...
October 6, 2016: Biotechnology Advances
Qian Zhao, Yu Liu
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
October 5, 2016: Biotechnology Advances
Serena Croce, Qiao Wei, Giuliana D'Imporzano, Renjie Dong, Fabrizio Adani
Anaerobic digestion (AD) is a useful method for producing renewable energy/biofuel. Today, biogas production uses a large amount of energy crops (EC), with the effect of increasing AD costs and creating conflict between food/feed vs. energy use. A partial solution to this might be the substitution of EC with agricultural wastes, e.g. straw. Straw and corn stover are widely available in the world and approximately 1600millionMgyear(-1) of these substrates are available. Straw can be useful used for biogas production but its characteristics limit its performance so that sometimes the energetic balance can be negative...
September 30, 2016: Biotechnology Advances
Samit Kumar Nandi, Samiran Bandyopadhyay, Piyali Das, Indranil Samanta, Prasenjit Mukherjee, Subhasis Roy, Biswanath Kundu
Chronic osteomyelitis is a major challenge in bone surgery. Conventional use of antibiotics is not an effective way to control the malaise due to so many reasons. Determination of optimal treatment strategy becomes difficult for the orthopaedic surgeons and as a consequence, the patients suffer not only from therapeutic failure but also due to adverse side effects of antibiotics and financial loss due to additional stay at hospitals. A wide application of carrier systems, as a medium for local delivery of antibiotics, is being used experimentally and clinically for the treatment of osteomyelitis...
September 28, 2016: Biotechnology Advances
Dai Thien Nhan Tram, Hao Wang, Sigit Sugiarto, Tao Li, Wee Han Ang, Chengkuo Lee, Giorgia Pastorin
Nanotechnology has gained much attention over the last decades, as it offers unique opportunities for the advancement of the next generation of sensing tools. Point-of-care (POC) devices for the selective detection of biomolecules using engineered nanoparticles have become a main research thrust in the diagnostic field. This review presents an overview on how the POC-associated nanotechnology, currently applied for the identification of nucleic acids, proteins and antibodies, might be further exploited for the detection of infectious pathogens: although still premature, future integrations of nanoparticles with biological markers that target specific microorganisms will enable timely therapeutic intervention against life-threatening infectious diseases...
September 26, 2016: Biotechnology Advances
Peter Biely, Suren Singh, Vladimír Puchart
Significant progress over the past few years has been achieved in the enzymology of microbial degradation and saccharification of plant xylan, after cellulose being the most abundant natural renewable polysaccharide. Several new types of xylan depolymerizing and debranching enzymes have been described in microorganisms. Despite the increasing variety of known glycoside hydrolases and carbohydrate esterases, some xylan structures still appear quite recalcitrant. This review focuses on the mode of action of different types of depolymerizing endoxylanases and their cooperation with β-xylosidase and accessory enzymes in breakdown of complex highly branched xylan structures...
November 15, 2016: Biotechnology Advances
Daotong Li, Pan Wang, Pengpu Wang, Xiaosong Hu, Fang Chen
The interplay between the host and host-associated gut microbiota is an area of increasing interest during the recent decade. From young infants to elderly people, from primitive tribes to modern societies, accumulating evidence has suggested the association of critical physiological roles of gut microbiota in the pathogenesis of a variety of human metabolic, immunological and neurological diseases. Importantly, it appears that the relationship between the gut microbiota and disease is bidirectional, instead of causal or consequential...
November 15, 2016: Biotechnology Advances
Yuan Qin, Irina S Druzhinina, Xueyu Pan, Zhilin Yuan
Soil salinization adversely affects plant growth and has become one of the major limiting factors for crop productivity worldwide. The conventional approach, breeding salt-tolerant plant cultivars, has often failed to efficiently alleviate the situation. In contrast, the use of a diverse array of microorganisms harbored by plants has attracted increasing attention because of the remarkable beneficial effects of microorganisms on plants. Multiple advanced '-omics' technologies have enabled us to gain insights into the structure and function of plant-associated microbes...
November 15, 2016: Biotechnology Advances
Rui Xiao, Yi Zheng
Microalgae have been studied as natural resources for a number of applications, most particularly food, animal feed, biofuels, pharmaceuticals, and nutraceuticals. In addition to the intracellular compounds of interest, microalgae can also excrete various extracellular polymeric substances (EPS) into their immediate living environment during their life cycle to form a hydrated biofilm matrix. These microalgal EPS mainly consist of polysaccharides, proteins, nucleic acids and lipids. Most notably, EPS retain their stable matrix structure and form a 3-D polymer network for cells to interact with each other, and mediate their adhesion to surfaces...
November 15, 2016: Biotechnology Advances
Kyeong Rok Choi, Sang Yup Lee
Throughout the decades of its history, the advances in bacteria-based bio-industries have coincided with great leaps in strain engineering technologies. Recently unveiled clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR)/CRISPR-associated proteins (Cas) systems are now revolutionizing biotechnology as well as biology. Diverse technologies have been derived from CRISPR/Cas systems in bacteria, yet the applications unfortunately have not been actively employed in bacteria as extensively as in eukaryotic organisms...
November 15, 2016: Biotechnology Advances
Cédric Delattre, Guillaume Pierre, Céline Laroche, Philippe Michaud
The current interest of scientific but also industrial communities for the exploitation of microalgae is correlated with the development of specific culture and downstream processes. These processes are currently in progress, and the increasing of knowledges led to emergence of high value compounds such as pigments, proteins, polysaccharides, unsaturated fatty acids, enzymes and others. Exopolysaccharides from microalgae have been at this time poorly explored despite their original structural features associated with specific biological and physico-chemical properties...
November 15, 2016: Biotechnology Advances
Kyla R Rodgers, Richard C Chou
Biologics, both monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) and fusion proteins, have revolutionized the practice of medicine. This year marks the 30th anniversary of the Food and Drug Administration approval of the first mAb for human use. In this review, we examine the biotechnological breakthroughs that spurred the explosive development of the biopharmaceutical mAb industry, as well as how critical lessons learned about human immunology informed the development of improved biologics. We also discuss the most common mechanisms of action of currently approved biologics and the indications for which they have been approved to date...
November 1, 2016: Biotechnology Advances
Zhi-Bin Luo, Jiali He, Andrea Polle, Heinz Rennenberg
Heavy metal (HM)-accumulating herbaceous and woody plants are employed for phytoremediation. To develop improved strategies for enhancing phytoremediation efficiency, knowledge of the microstructural, physiological and molecular responses underlying HM-accumulation is required. Here we review the progress in understanding the structural, physiological and molecular mechanisms underlying HM uptake, transport, sequestration and detoxification, as well as the regulation of these processes by signal transduction in response to HM exposure...
November 1, 2016: Biotechnology Advances
Simone Bersini, Iman K Yazdi, Giuseppe Talò, Su Ryon Shin, Matteo Moretti, Ali Khademhosseini
In the past decade, significant advances have been made in the design and optimization of novel biomaterials and microfabrication techniques to generate vascularized tissues. Novel microfluidic systems have facilitated the development and optimization of in vitro models for exploring the complex pathophysiological phenomena that occur inside a microvascular environment. To date, most of these models have focused on engineering of increasingly complex systems, rather than analyzing the molecular and cellular mechanisms that drive microvascular network morphogenesis and remodeling...
November 1, 2016: Biotechnology Advances
Jianlong Wang, Libing Chu
Nitrate pollution in receiving waters has become a serious issue worldwide. Solid-phase denitrification process is an emerging technology, which has received increasing attention in recent years. It uses biodegradable polymers as both the carbon source and biofilm carrier for denitrifying microorganisms. A vast array of natural and synthetic biopolymers, including woodchips, sawdust, straw, cotton, maize cobs, seaweed, bark, polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA), polycaprolactone (PCL), polybutylene succinate (PBS) and polylactic acid (PLA), have been widely used for denitrification due to their good performance, low cost and large available quantities...
November 1, 2016: Biotechnology Advances
Pejman Azadi, Hedayat Bagheri, Ayoub Molaahmad Nalousi, Farzad Nazari, Stephen F Chandler
Cut flower markets are developing in many countries as the international demand for cut flowers is rapidly growing. Developing new varieties with modified characteristics is an important aim in floriculture. Production of transgenic ornamental plants can shorten the time required in the conventional breeding of a cultivar. Biotechnology tools in combination with conventional breeding methods have been used by cut flower breeders to change flower color, plant architecture, post-harvest traits, and disease resistance...
November 1, 2016: Biotechnology Advances
Yan Cheng, Huijun He, Chunping Yang, Guangming Zeng, Xiang Li, Hong Chen, Guanlong Yu
Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) emitted to the environment highly probably result in ecological and health risks. Many biotechnologies for waste gases containing hydrophobic VOCs have been developed in recent years. However, these biological processes usually exhibit poor removal performances for hydrophobic VOCs due to the low bioavailability. This review presents an overview of enhanced removal of hydrophobic VOCs in biofilters. Mechanisms and problems relevant to the biological removal of hydrophobic VOCs are reviewed, and then solutions including the addition of surfactants, application of fungal biocatalysts, biofiltration with pretreatment, innovative bioreactors and utilization of hydrophilic compounds are discussed in detail...
November 1, 2016: Biotechnology Advances
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