Center for Advanced BioEnergy Research, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Thursday, April 19, 2012

ORNL team points path to 30X improvement in enzyme function for biofuels

Biofuels Digest
Jim Lane April 18, 2012

In Tennessee, a team led by Pratul Agarwal of the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory have discovered that light of specific wavelengths can be used to boost an enzyme’s function by as much as 30 fold, potentially establishing a path to less expensive biofuels, detergents and a host of other products.

The researchers introduced a light-activated molecular switch across two regions of the enzyme Candida antarctica lipase B, or CALB – which breaks down fat molecules — identified through modeling performed on DOE’s Jaguar supercomputer.

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