Scientists have used DNA engineering to create engines that are more efficient and more environmentally friendly than the world’s current generation of jet engines.
The technique is a major advance in engine technology and has the potential to revolutionize jet engine design, engineering and maintenance.
“Genetic engineering is an incredibly powerful tool to explore the boundaries of the biological domain and unlock the mysteries of the natural world,” said Dr. Christopher Filippetti, an associate professor at the University of Calgary’s Institute for Nanotechnology and one of the authors of the new research article.
“It’s an incredibly valuable tool that allows us to solve the fundamental questions of engineering and materials science.”
For the study, Filippini and his colleagues engineered the DNA of two species of bacteria.
They then transferred the genes into a strain of bacteria, which they fed with a diet containing oxygen.
After the bacteria fed, the researchers then added a chemical called dimethylsulfoxide, which produces hydrogen gas when it breaks down carbon dioxide.
The researchers then exposed the bacteria to a chemical cocktail of two other gases, which are a result of the action of hydrogen sulfide and carbon monoxide.
Both the dimethyl and the carbon monozone are compounds produced in nature by the decomposition of water.
The carbon mono compound is toxic, and it can lead to a variety of health problems.
Filippi said the results suggest that dimethyl sulfoxide may be useful in jet engine engines.
“This new approach will allow us to create the most efficient engines available,” he said.
The new technique, which is the first to use gene-editing technology, uses the same technique that was used to create artificial photosynthesis.
“These technologies can make huge advances in fuel efficiency, fuel safety, and environmental sustainability,” Filippii said.
“But we’re not there yet.”
For decades, the use of gene-based technology has been restricted to small amounts of synthetic biology, which can only be used in some applications.
The genetic engineers of the paper, which appeared in Nature Nanotechnology, say they have a more broad use, including designing new chemical-based fuels.
The research was supported by a $1.2-million grant from the National Science Foundation and a $500,000 grant from Boeing.