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Complementary Conjugated Polyelectrolye Complexes As Electronic Energy Relays

Photosynthetic organisms use “soft” macromolecular assemblies for light absorption and concentration of electronic excitation energy. These generally work via an optically inactive protein-based backbone that acts as a host matrix for an array of light-harvesting pigment molecules. The pigments are organized in space such that excited states can migrate between molecules, ultimately delivering the energy to the reaction center. 

High Yield Co-Conversion of Lignocellulosic Biomass Intermediates to Methylated Furans

Prof. Charles Cai and colleagues from the University of California, Riverside have developed a method for high yield co-conversion of lignocellulosic biomass to produce high octane fuel additives dimethyl furan (DMF) and methyl furans (MF). This technology works by using Cu-Ni/TiO2, a unique catalytic material that enables high yield (~90%) conversion of 5-(hydroxymethyl)furfural (HMF) and furfural (FF) sourced from lignocellulosic biomass into methylated furans (MF) in either single or co-processing schemes. This invention is advantageous compared to existing technologies due to its high yield and efficiency, low cost, and stable conversion process.   Fig 1: UCR’s furfural conversion and product yields as function of reaction time over Cu-Ni/TiO2.  

Biomimetic Chemical Compounds for Capturing Carbon Dioxide from Power Plant Stacks and the Atmosphere

Researchers at the University of California, Davis have developed synthetic biochemical compounds that capture carbon dioxide from the atmosphere or sources such as power plants. These new derivatives mimic how some plants capture carbon dioxide from the air and use it for photosynthesis.

Improved guide RNA and Protein Design for CasX-based Gene Editing Platform

The inventors have developed two new CasX gene-editing platforms (DpbCasXv2 and PlmCasXv2) through rationale structural engineering of the CasX protein and gRNA, which yield improved in vitro and in vivo behaviors. These platforms dramatically increase DNA cleavage activity and can be used as the basis for further improving CasX tools.The RNA-guided CRISPR-associated (Cas) protein CasX has been reported as a fundamentally distinct, RNA-guided platform compared to Cas9 and Cpf1. Structural studies revealed structural differences within the nucleotide-binding loops of CasX, with a compact protein size less than 1,000 amino acids, and guide RNA (gRNA) scaffold stem. These structural differences affect the active ternary complex assembly, leading to different in vivo and in vitro behaviors of these two enzymes.

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.

A Highly Error-Prone Orthogonal Replication System For Targeted Continuous Evolution In Vivo

Inventors at UC Irvine have engineered an orthogonal DNA replication system capable of rapid, accelerated continuous evolution. This system enables the directed evolution of specific biomolecules towards user-defined functions and is applicable to problems of protein, enzyme, and metabolic pathway engineering.

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.

A Molecular Rheostat Design that Maintains ATP Levels Needed to Drive Cell-Free Synthetic Biochemistry Systems

UCLA researchers in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry have developed a system for regulation of cofactors in cell free biochemical production.

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.

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.

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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