According to NPR, "Scientists have figured out how to turn cellulose from wood, bushes and grasses into edible starch" solving "how risky growing food has become because of the finite resources it requires: land, water, seeds and fertilizer."
What if we could convert the cellulose in this plentiful biomass to edible starch, which makes up 50 to 60 percent of the human diet? Maybe a technology like that could feed people while reducing the environmental impact of agriculture.
In a published this spring with colleagues in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Zhang explains a process he developed to transform solid cellulose -- which could come from wood, grass or crop residue (like corn husks) -- into a carbohydrate called amylose.
The process is a form of and relies on enzymes to break down the cellulose into smaller units and then restitch the molecules into starch. That means the final, edible food product -- a powder that Zhang says tastes sweet -- is completely synthetic but resembles other complex carbohydrates like corn starch.
|Central Perk, the Iconic Coffee Shop From 'Friends', Now Open in Beijing|
|Soylent Green Crackers: Just Like Grandma Used to Taste|
|Yogurt Hacking: Do-It-Yourself Bio-Engineering with Designer Tuur van Balen|
|In which a tale is told about the preparation of soup|
|Strange Fortune Cookies' Fortunes|
|“In comparison to the waste produced by every other kind of electricity production, that quantity is close to zero.”|
|“If I’m upset with Facebook, what’s the equivalent product I can go sign up for?”|
|Fake Name Generator|
|Japanese Robot Serves Ice Cream From Inside a Vending Machine|
|The (Very Scary) People of Public Transit|
|What Computers See When They Watch a Movie|
|Google Map Shows You the Most Photographed Areas of the World|
|“A man-powered machine that creates scarfs in 5 minutes.”|
|CaptchaTweet: Write Tweets in Captcha Form|
|“Research that could engineer dinosaurs back into existence within the next five to 10 years.”|
|Facebook, Twitter Users Could Face Insurance Hikes|