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Unnatural biopolymers

Genetically engineered bacteria could become polymer factories of the future. Bacteria can now turn non-natural chemicals into polythioesters — a new class of thermoplastic polymers hitherto inaccessible through chemical synthesis.

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Figure 1: The versatile production of polymers through biosynthetic routes.
Figure 2: Catalysis of polymerization of polythioesters by the enzyme PHA synthase.


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Doi, Y. Unnatural biopolymers. Nature Mater 1, 207–208 (2002).

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