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Synthetic Biology and Greenhouse Gases

Book Series:  A Cold Spring Harbor Perspectives in Biology Collection
Subject Area(s):  BiotechnologyMicrobiologyPlant Biology

Edited by Daniel Drell, U.S. Department of Energy, Retired; L. Val Giddings, Information Technology and Innovation Foundation; Aristides Patrinos, Novim Group, University of California, Santa Barbara; Richard J. Roberts, New England Biolabs, Inc.; Charles DeLisi, Boston University

© 2024 • 114 pages, illustrated (24 color and 2 B&W), index
Hardcover •
ISBN  978-1-621825-19-7

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  •     Description    
  •     Contents    


Climate change caused by human activity will have devastating effects on the biosphere, increasing the frequency of natural disasters, displacing communities, and destroying habitats. Global efforts to reduce dependence on fossil fuels and curb greenhouse gas emissions may not be sufficient to avert catastrophe. We must therefore consider approaches that actively sequester carbon from the atmosphere alongside a switch to clean energy and changes in lifestyle.

The authors of this volume present a series of proposals for tackling climate change using synthetic biology approaches with the potential to work at scale. These include genetic engineering of crops and forest plants, the use of bacteria to capture methane and accelerate mineral weathering to draw down carbon dioxide, and development of biological nitrification inhibitors to reduce nitrate production and ozone depletion. They also discuss the regulatory challenges and policy obstacles to implementation of these technologies, arguing that bold corrective action is needed to avoid irreversible and insufferable planetary warming.


Foreword by Marc Van Montagu
Introduction: Innovations like These Will Help Solve the Climate Crisis
L. Val Giddings
An Agrigenomics Trifecta: Greenhouse Gas Drawdown, Food Security, and New Drugs
Charles DeLisi
Optimizing Crop Plant Stomatal Density to Mitigate and Adapt to Climate Change
Julie Gray and Jessica Dunn
Direct Methane Removal from Air by Aerobic Methanotrophs
Mary E. Lidstrom
Agritech to Tame the Nitrogen Cycle
Lisa Y. Stein
Microbial Catalysis for CO2 Sequestration: A Geobiological Approach
Martin Van Den Berghe, Nathan G. Walworth, Neil C. Dalvie, Chris L. Dupont, Michael Springer, M. Grace Andrews, Stephen J. Romaniello, David A. Hutchins, Francesc Montserrat, Pamela A. Silver, and Kenneth H. Nealson
Photosynthesis 2.0: Realizing New-to-Nature CO2-Fixation to Overcome the Limits of Natural Metabolism
Tobias J. Erb
Engineering Crassulacean Acid Metabolism in C3 and C4 Plants
Xiaohan Yang, Yang Liu, Guoliang Yuan, David J. Weston, and Gerald A. Tuskan
Transformation of Plantation Forestry Productivity for Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation
Mike May, Stanley Hirsch, and Miron Abramson
Overcoming Obstacles to Gene-Edited Solutions to Climate Challenges
L. Val Giddings