Category: Science & Technology
A new study is the first to show that living organisms can be persuaded to make silicon-carbon bonds -- something only chemists had done before. Scientists at Caltech "bred" a bacterial protein to make the humanmade bonds -- a finding that has applications in several industries.
Molecules with silicon-carbon, or organosilicon, compounds are found in pharmaceuticals as well as in many other products, including agricultural chemicals, paints, semiconductors, and computer and TV screens. Currently, these products are made synthetically, since the silicon-carbon bonds are not found in nature.
The new study demonstrates that biology can instead be used to manufacture these bonds in ways that are more environmentally friendly and potentially much less expensive.