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To market, to market

Delivering to consumers the promised results of biotechnology is more than a matter of marketing. Scale-up from small laboratory experiments to mass production can be a problem when enlargement of standard support systems leads to collapse of support materials, destroying the microorganisms or tissues being used to make products like ethanol and hormones. As reported last week at a biotechnology convention in Washington, D.C., the search for incompressible support systems has spawned "enabling' technology from a group of private companies.

Examples of this technology are the new rigid support structures, such as fiberglass mats and the lacy skeletons of minute sea creatures called diatoms (above, cradling globular yeast cells). These are used to immobilize whole cells or enzymes in large columns, creating biological factories. The new systems allow recycling of the cells or enzymes, producing higher yields at lower costs.
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Title Annotation:incompressible support systems for biotechnology industries
Publication:Science News
Date:Nov 2, 1985
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