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Industrialization of Biology

A Roadmap to Accelerate the Advanced Manufacturing of Chemicals

; ; ; ; .

Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); .
ISBN-13: 978-0-309-31652-1ISBN-10: 0-309-31652-9

The tremendous progress in biology over the last half century — from Watson and Crick's elucidation of the structure of DNA to today's astonishing, rapid progress in the field of synthetic biology — has positioned us for significant innovation in chemical production. New bio-based chemicals, improved public health through improved drugs and diagnostics, and biofuels that reduce our dependency on oil are all results of research and innovation in the biological sciences. In the past decade, we have witnessed major advances made possible by biotechnology in areas such as rapid, low-cost DNA sequencing, metabolic engineering, and high-throughput screening. The manufacturing of chemicals using biological synthesis and engineering could expand even faster. A proactive strategy — implemented through the development of a technical roadmap similar to those that enabled sustained growth in the semiconductor industry and our explorations of space — is needed if we are to realize the widespread benefits of accelerating the industrialization of biology.

Industrialization of Biology presents such a roadmap to achieve key technical milestones for chemical manufacturing through biological routes. This report examines the technical, economic, and societal factors that limit the adoption of bioprocessing in the chemical industry today and which, if surmounted, would markedly accelerate the advanced manufacturing of chemicals via industrial biotechnology. Working at the interface of synthetic chemistry, metabolic engineering, molecular biology, and synthetic biology, Industrialization of Biology identifies key technical goals for next-generation chemical manufacturing, then identifies the gaps in knowledge, tools, techniques, and systems required to meet those goals, and targets and timelines for achieving them. This report also considers the skills necessary to accomplish the roadmap goals, and what training opportunities are required to produce the cadre of skilled scientists and engineers needed.

Contents

This study was supported by the U.S. Department of Energy under Grant DE-SC0010761 and the National Science Foundation under Grant CBET-1344363.

NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance.

This report was prepared as an account of work sponsored by an agency of the United States Government. Neither the United States Government nor any agency thereof, nor any of their employees, makes any warranty, express or implied, or assumes any legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any information, apparatus, product, or process disclosed, or represents that its use would not infringe privately owned rights. Reference herein to a specific commercial product, process, or service by trade name, trademark, manufacturer, or otherwise does not necessarily constitute or imply its endorsement, recommendation, or favoring by the United States Government or any agency thereof. The views and opinions of authors expressed herein do not necessarily state or reflect those of the United States Government or agency thereof.

Copyright 2015 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Bookshelf ID: NBK305461PMID: 26225395DOI: 10.17226/19001

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