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Frontiers in Climate Change and Grey Biotechnology

Author: Alumnus-Lawrence Jones

Photo Courtesy: Environmental Biotechnology

Kück and Dinkel (2015) posit that biotechnology has a broad reach and thus there must exist color coded classifications to provide a categorical context for discussion.  They touch on roughly eight classifications of biotechnology.  One classification for discussion here is grey biotechnology which focuses on environmental biotechnology and removal of pollutants and bioremediation (p.1). There are technological advances that enable the industry in grey biotechnology such as breakthroughs in chemical engineering and development.

Gwynneth Borges, a master’s student in the ChemBe program at Johns Hopkins Homewood and research student at the Gerecht Lab at the INBT center, publishes often in the science publication, Scientifist. She has recently published in Scientifist, that earth-orbiting satellites are consistently monitoring and collecting information revealing an alarming increase in carbon dioxide and of a changing climate.

Borges (2017) proffers that “increase in the levels of carbon dioxide (CO2) is a leading cause of global warming causing climate change. But, she asks “is it possible to somehow use this increased CO2 to our advantage?” Borges posits that scientists are thinking of ways in which carbon dioxide can be used to make its effects less daunting and convert CO2 into something useful.  “The process involves exposing a CO2 solution to irradiation by sunlight at an ambient temperature and pressure and this then triggers a molecular electro-catalysis” (Borges, 2017).

Smyth and Naseem (2017) add that the impact that climate change has an effect on agricultural production  and future strategies  will utilize  environmental (grey) biotechnology  to lessen these impacts. Active research looking  at the effects of climate change on crop yields, water consumption, and overall fluxation in temperatures will grow in the future. The impact of environmental changes may effect predicting acurate time paths of weather and how to adapt.


Borges, G. (September 29, 2017). Converting Carbon Dioxide Into Usable Fuel. Scientifist.http://scientifist.com/carbon-dioxide-into-usable-fuel/

Kück, U. and Dinkel, N.F. (2015). Biotechnology, Berlin, Germany, De Gruyter

Smyth, S. and Naseem, A. (2017). Environmental Sustainability and Biotechnology: Introduction to AgBioForum Special Issue of the 19th ICABR Conference.


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