“If there is a chemical you want to break down, there is probably a microbe that can do it. If there is a compound you wish to synthesize, a microbe can probably help”
Microbes can be highly efficient, versatile and sophisticated manufacturing tools, and have the potential to form the basis of a vibrant economic sector. In order to take full advantage of the opportunity microbial-based industry can offer, though, educators need to rethink how future microbiologists are trained, according to a report by the American Academy of Microbiology.
“Industrial microbiology is experiencing a Renaissance; microorganisms make products ranging from the tightly regulated pharmaceuticals industry to large-scale production of commodity chemicals and biofuels. Educating and training the next generation of employees for these rapidly expanding industries is critically important to their survival,” says Joy Doran-Peterson of the University of Georgia who chaired the steering committee that produced the report.
For thousands of years humans have harnessed the power of microbes to make products such as bread, cheese, beer and wine. In the early 20th century scientists discovered how to use mold to produce antibiotics. It has only been in the past few decades, with the advent of DNA-based technologies, that our understanding of the vast diversity of microbial capabilities has exploded.
“If there is a chemical you want to break down, there is probably a microbe that can do it. If there is a compound you wish to synthesize, a microbe can probably help,” says the report, entitled Microbe-Powered Jobs: How Microbiologists Can Help Build the Bioeconomy. The report provides a litany of examples of potential biological products including bioenergy, biofuels, environmentally friendly industrial chemicals, and bioenzymes (the production of which already fuels a nearly $4 billion market).
To take full advantage of the potential the bioeconomy offers, academia needs to re-think and take a broader approach to teaching microbiology at the undergraduate level. According to the report, the future growth of a microbial-based industry sector depends on two crucial elements: expansion of the fundamental understanding of microbiology and translation of that understanding into viable products.
Current microbiology education primarily trains scientists with an eye toward academic research, which is what is needed to continue the expansion of knowledge. Most undergraduates that take microbiology, though, have an eye on a medical career, so many undergraduate microbiology curricula focus on the biomedical aspects of microbiology, according to the report.
“One can imagine that instead of the current situation where pre-medicine is virtually the only undergraduate program with a microbiology component, there could be a series of majors with microbiology at their cores,” says the report.
One specific major, which the report outlines, could be an industrial microbiology track, with a focus towards translation. Not only would it emphasize microbiology, but it would also include quantitative skills important for success in industry. This type of curriculum could also be made available to engineering students in the form of a bioengineering track.
In addition to the traditional degree programs, the report also recommends other formats be used to teach specialized skills or offer intensive introductions to new fields of study.
The Latest on: Bioeconomy
via Google News
The Latest on: Bioeconomy
- The Promise of Africa's Bioeconomy #AfricaClimateCrisison May 27, 2022 at 3:37 am
Africa feels the impacts of COVID-19, conflict, and climate change perhaps more than any other region in the world. The costs of food, fuel, and fertilizer have skyrocketed over the past several ...
- Africa: Insect Meat Loaf, Fertilizer Trees, and Mosquito-repelling Plants - The Promise of Africa's Bioeconomy #AfricaClimateCrisison May 27, 2022 at 3:37 am
Guest Column - Africa feels the impacts of COVID-19, conflict, and climate change perhaps more than any other region in the world. The costs of food, fuel, and fertilizer have skyrocketed over the ...
- Queensland signs bioeconomy partnership with German Governmenton May 26, 2022 at 8:46 pm
Queensland’s status as a bioeconomy powerhouse has been bolstered by the signing of a new strategic partnership with the German Government. The Joint Declaration of Intent for Cooperation in ...
- Industrial biotech funding boost will help Scotland's journey to net zeroon May 26, 2022 at 8:45 am
Scotland’s bioeconomy has been given a funding boost thanks to a fresh round of innovation support.Awards of up to £100,000 will be made by the Industrial Biotechnology Innovation Centre (IBioIC) to ...
- EU-funded €2m climate education project to be led by UCDon May 26, 2022 at 3:46 am
BioBeo is a Horizon Europe project that aims to increase awareness of sustainability and bioeconomy among young people in 10 countries.
- Biotech centre announces new funding to help grow Scottish bioeconomyon May 26, 2022 at 2:13 am
New funding has been made available by the Industrial Biotechnology Innovation Centre to help grow Scotland's bioeconomy.
- Time to tap into circular bioeconomy, says Midaon May 26, 2022 at 12:00 am
Mida CEO Arham Abdul Rahman says Malaysia should leverage on its abundant availability of biomass as the main source for advanced bioeconomy and circularity of the industry.
- China to Boost Bioeconomy Through Innovationon May 25, 2022 at 9:22 pm
The first-ever five-year plan for the development of the bioeconomy has been unveiled by China's top economic planner, aiming to accelerate the development of biotechnology and industries, with ...
- Policy innovation around nature-based solutions can boost Africa’s food security: bioeconomy reporton May 25, 2022 at 12:54 am
A bioeconomy approach to the utilization and conservation of biological resources can lead to "better nutrition and more resilient livelihoods" in Africa.
- Converting dairy ‘waste’ into biodegradable plastics. The future of the bioeconomy starts here!on May 24, 2022 at 10:37 pm
Sorcha Daly is a postdoctoral researcher working at University College Dublin (UCD) School of Chemical and Bioprocess Engineering, and BiOrbic, [...]Read More... from Converting dairy ‘waste’ into ...
via Bing News