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Efficient Production of Cellulase Enzymes Using Transient Agroinfiltration

Researchers at the University of California, Davis have developed a method to produce cellulase enzymes by utilizing agroinfiltration to transiently express full-length cellulases in plant tissue.

Design Random Heteropolymer To Transport Proton Selectively And Rapidly

Despite decades of effort, it remains challenging, if not impossible, to achieve similar transport performance similar to natural channels. Inspired by the known crystal structures of transmembrane channel proteins, protein sequence-structure-transport relationships have been applied to guide material design. However, producing both molecularly defined channel sizes and channel lumen surfaces that are chemically diverse and spatially heterogeneous have been out of reach. We show that a 4-monomer-based random heteropolymer (RHP) exhibits selective proton transport at a rate similar to those of natural proton channels. Statistical control over the monomer distribution in the RHP leads to well-modulated segmental heterogeneity in hydrophobicity, which facilitates the single RHP chains to insert into lipid bilayers. This in turn produces rapid and selective proton transport, despite the sequence variability among RHP chains. We have demonstrated the importance of:the adaptability enabled by the statistical similaritythe modularity afforded by monomer chemical diversity to achieve uniform behavior in heterogeneous systems. 

High Pressure Heat Exchanger Produced by Additive Manufacturing

Researchers at the University of California, Davis and Carnegie Mellon University have developed a new design and fabrication method for high pressure heat exchangers (HX) using additive manufacturing (AM). This method would allow for the creation of primary heat exchanger (PHX) systems with minimal energy loss.

Conversion Of Co2 To Higher Alcohols Using Photosynthetic Microorganisms

UCLA researchers have discovered a way to convert carbon dioxide into potential biofuels through the metabolic engineering of cyanobacteria.  This method enables more efficient production of biofuels using an industrial waste product as a starting material.

Isobutanol Production Using Metabolically Engineered Escherichia Coli

UCLA researchers at the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering have engineered Escherichia coli bacteria to produce isobutanol from glucose.

Electrical Conduction In A Cephalopod Structural Protein

Fabricating materials from naturally occurring proteins that are inherently biocompatible enables the resulting material to be easily integrated with many downstream applications, ranging from batteries to transistors. In addition, protein-based materials are also advantageous because they can be physically tuned and specifically functionalized. Inventors have developed protein-based material from structural proteins such as reflectins found in cephalopods, a molluscan class that includes cuttlefish, squid, and octopus. In a space dominated by artificial, man-made proton-conducting materials, this material is derived from naturally occurring proteins.

Non-Oxidative Glycolysis For Production Of Acetyl-CoA Derived Compounds

The Liao group at UCLA has constructed a Non-Oxidative Glycolysis pathway for the synthesis of biofuel precursors with a 100% carbon conversion rate.

Hydrocarbon Production, H2 Evolution And CO2 Conversion By Whole Cells Or Engineered Azotobacter Vinelandii Strains

Using metal catalysts in industrial synthesis of hydrocarbons for fuels can be costly, inefficient, and harmful to the environment. This simple approach uses genetically-modified soil bacterium to synthesize valuable hydrocarbons using recycled components. This novel process is environmentally-friendly and is more cost- and energy-efficient than current industrial synthesis.

Rapid, Portable And Cost-Effective Yeast Cell Viability And Concentration Analysis Using Lensfree On-Chip Microscopy And Machine Learning

UCLA researchers in the Department of Electrical Engineering have developed a new portable device to rapidly measure yeast cell viability and concentration using a lab-on-chip design.

Renewable Energy Synthesis System

Researchers at the University of California, Davis have developed a novel system for acetoin and 2,3-butanediol synthesis from carbon dioxide.

Engineered Yeast for Cellulosic Ethanol Production

Prof. Wilfred Chen and his lab at the University of California, Riverside designed and expressed a cellulosome that simultaneously hydrolyzes cellulose and produces ethanol that has an efficiency that is four times greater when compared to free floating enzymes like cellulases. A cellulosome is a consortium of hydrolytic enzymes that is expressed on the surface of yeast. This novel cellulosome design was inspired by anaerobic microbes that use enzyme consortiums to achieve sufficient energy production in unfavorable conditions. In close proximity, the constituent enzymes in the consortium can work synergistically, rapidly converting cellulose into ethanol. Fig. 1 shows the functional assembly of cellulosomes on the yeast cell surface. Cohesin and dockerin proteins are linked to the enzymes to help assemble the complex cellulosome. Fig. 2 shows time profiles of ethanol production from cellulose. A variety of different enzyme consortiums (At, At+Ec etc.) were used in the study, as well as free-floating cellulosomes and a control group (no cellulosome or free enzymes)    

Novel Synthesis of 2,5- Dimethylfuran from 5- (Chloromethyl)furfural

Researchers at the University of California, Davis have developed an efficient synthesis of 2,5- dimethylfuran (DMF) from 5- (chloromethyl)furfural (CMF).

Green Production of Fuels and Plastics

The invention is a method for making plastics that is environmentally-friendly and energy-efficient. Utilizing this innovative technology, a relatively cheap hydrocarbon source is converted to a more useful and valuable plastic or fuel.

Novel Enzymes Enabling Microbial Fermentation of Sugar into Long Chain Alcohols

Researchers at the University of California, Davis have developed a novel group of enzymes with the potential to facilitate production of energy dense alcohols for use in biofuel and chemical production.

Thermal Devices for Controlling Heat Transfer

The technology is a heat transfer device. The key properties are a unidirectional heat flow, thin, sandwich structure, and a T-dependent thermal resistance. The technology functions via the heat pipe effect. The purpose of the technology is to provide a one-way heat flow in a compact form (in a thin layer) with T-dependent thermal resistance.

Novel Peptide Ligation Process Under Mild, Reagent-Free Conditions

A novel peptide ligation process and compound for preparing native peptide bonds under mild, aqueous, reagent-free conditions, with water and carbon dioxide as the only byproducts.

Novel Catalysts for Use in Direct Production of Sugar Acids and Sugar Oligomers from Cellulosic Biomass

A method of production of sugar oligosaccharides and sugar oligosaccharide adonic acids directly from inexpensive cellulosic biomass. Researchers have engineered a fungus that can directly produce sugar oligosaccharides and/or sugar oligosaccharide adonic acids from cellulose without any addition of exogenous cellulase. Sugar oligosccahride adonic acids are valuable chemicals numerous applications in the pharmaceutical, cosmetic, food and chemical industries. Sugar oligosaccharides can be used as feedstock for further fuels and chemicals production.

A Controllable and Robust Cell-Free System for Fatty Acids Production

Researchers from the UCLA have designed a cell-free system capable of producing fatty acids at a rate that is an order of magnitude higher than normal cell culture systems.

Self-Biased and Sustainable Microbial Electrohydrogenesis Device

To employ energy-efficient processes for wastewater treatment while simultaneously recovering the energy contained as organic matter in wastewater would be incredibly beneficial to the environment. It has been demonstrated that utilizing microbial fuel cell (MFC) technology can generate energy, such as electricity. A MFC, or biological fuel cell, is a bioelectrochemical system that drives a current by mimicking bacterial interactions found in nature. These devices use electrogenic bacteria to oxidize  organic matter and then transfer the electrons to an electrode to generate electrical energy. UCSC researchers have been pursuing methods to enhance, harness, and utilize the energy produced directly from the degradation of organic matter in a microbial fuel cell.    

Hydrogen-Treated Semiconductor Metal Oxides For Photoelectrochemical (PEC) Water Splitting

Photoelectrochemical (PEC) water splitting for solar hydrogen production has attracted extensive interest in the past few decades. In PEC water splitting, hydrogen is produced from water using sunlight and specialized semiconductors called photoelectrochemical materials. Moreover, Titanium dioxide (TiO2) has been extensively investigated as a photoanode for PEC water splitting. TiO2 photoanodes provide favorable band-edge positions, strong optical absorption, superior chemical stability and photocorrosion resistance, and are low cost. However, reported photocurrent densities and photoconversion efficiencies of TiO2 photoanodes are substantially lower than projected. UC Santa Cruz researchers have developed a strategy which demonstrates that hydrogen treatment can significantly enhance the photoconversion efficiency of TiO2 materials by improving their donor density and electrical conductivity.

Printed Biofuel Cells

The fuel cell has been considered a clean alternative to fossil-fuel-based power generation. Conventional fuel cells, however, are large solid-state devices that employ costly mechanical and chemical components and have thus witnessed very limited commercial adoption since their introduction several decades ago. Further, such devices use inorganic fuels, many of which produce substantial carbon footprints when processed and refined. Biofuel cells (BFCs) derive power from organic/biological compounds; e.g., glucose (in blood), lactate (in perspiration), and urea (in urine, wastewater, sewage) - and represent a new, compelling class of energy conversion devices. BFCs have the ability to operate under mild conditions and are envisioned to be applicable as implantable power sources.

Escherichia Coli Capable of Producing Isobutyraldehyde

Researchers at the University of California, Davis have developed strains of Escherichia coli capable of producing the valuable chemical feedstock, isobutyraldehyde. This strain is specifically optimized for the production of isobutyraldehyde.

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