In 2004, the US Defense Department’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency announced a competition with the aim of providing soldiers with the means of carrying out battle operations and relocating without food stores. Under the project Metabolic Dominance we offer genetically modified human ingestion system bacteria, which synthesize cellulose disintegrating enzymes, thereby allowing to obtain nutrients from every material around that contains cellulose, for example, grass, wood, or else, in circumstances of urban warfare, from paper. Cellulose is a sugar glucose polymer that is indigestible for an ordinary human metabolism.
Credits: Developed in collaboration with microbiologist Janis Liepins and the company GenScript (www.genscript.com)
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