Caltech bred bacteria creating microscopic high energy carbon rings

Caltech bred bacteria creating microscopic high energy carbon rings during their recent study funded by the Donna and Benjamin M. Rosen Bioengineering Center, the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health. The team has engineered a unique type of biosensor, which identifies potentially harmful bacteria being survived in number of meat items.

The new scientific development has been engineered by the scientists from the Caltech, who tried to alter these bacterial enzymes in such a way that they could get unique molecular structures. The bacteria later became able to produce smaller ever energy-packed carbon providing an initial component for creating other material.


“The enzymes could be engineered successfully so that they can make crazy carbon rings under ambient conditions,” said leading author of the study and graduate student from the Arnold’s lab, Kai Chen. “This is the first time anyone has introduced a non-native pathway for bacteria to forge these high-energy structures.”

In the issue of journal science, the findings of the new study have been disclosed with the title as ‘Enzymatic Construction of Highly Strained Carbocycles’. The new development is named as ‘Sentinel Wrap’, which determines different DNA of pathogenic bacteria in meat products.

“The beauty is that a well-defined active-site environment was crafted in the enzyme to greatly facilitate the formation of these high-energy molecules,” a member and Postdoc from Arnold’s lab Xiongyi Huang said, while another member of the lab, Jennifer Kan said that, “In the future, instead of building chemical plants for making the products we need to improve lives, wouldn’t it be great if we could just program bacteria to make what we want?”