Written by: Ping
Translated by: billwilliam
Proofread by: Ermat
After six years of studies, a research team designed the de novo synthesis of starch from carbon dioxide at the Tianjin Institute of Industrial Biotechnology, Chinese Academy of Sciences. The results were published in the international journal “Science” on September 24, Beijing time.
As the report claims, this technology opens the door for industrial production of starch, and the artificial starch synthesis is 8.5 times more efficient than plants like corn. There are about 30,000 products that use starch as a raw material around the globe, so it is critical to find cheaper and larger quantities of alternative starch. This is reportedly a game-changing technology to design an artificial biological system that can fix carbon dioxide for starch synthesis without relying on photosynthesis. The technology purportedly can also play a positive role in alleviating the food crisis and climate change.
It appears that artificial starch synthesis technology can bring many changes to our lives, but one concern must be addressed—production cost.
Through biochemical technology, the scientists have succeeded in extracting 62 biological enzymes from 31 different species. After outcoming tech hurdles (thermodynamic mismatch, kinetic traps), they have successfully synthesized artificial starch in a lab setting through the extracted enzymes.
Despite the apparent success, there are concerns over practical application. First, enzyme production requires high technology. The entire production chain including transportation, storage, extraction, analysis, and other processes must be done in a strictly sterile environment. Only a few companies are qualified to produce specialized enzymes in China. The price of certain specialized enzymes has long surpassed the price of gold. A test tube of enzyme may cost thousands or even tens of thousands of RMB.
Perhaps the artificial synthesis of starch from carbon dioxide is a breakthrough, yet how many years are needed before commercial production? Is it time to be complacent that the world food crisis has been resolved and that the climate problem is improving?
This report is reminiscent of the Great Leap Forward in Communist China’s history, during which government propaganda falsely claimed that each sow can give birth to 100 piglets. Scientists at that time also lied and supported fake government propaganda for the CCP’s political purposes, and tens of millions of Chinese people starved to death as a result. The technology of starch synthesis from carbon dioxide may be real, but it is a long time away from resolving the current food shortage crisis in Communist China. Particularly, now that the CCP is facing severe food shortages, such news is probably a propaganda to deceive the top CCP leader and to fool the common people. The Chinese people at the bottom of the society should be alert and be prepared for the upcoming food crisis.
Disclaimer: This article only represents the author’s view. Gnews is not responsible for any legal risks.