Yesterday Your Screen Was Built With Fossil Fuels -Today It’s Built With Biology


Hyaline, a transparent film made biofactured by microbes rather than petrochemicals.


Modern manufacturing essentially hasn’t changed in 200 years. Fossil fuels are burned or converted into other materials to make everything from skyscrapers to phone screens. But now scientists and entrepreneurs are going back to nature’s oldest building blocks to design a newer, more sustainable future.

Why pump oil out of the ground to make chemicals when microbes can make higher quality materials that are better for our planet?

When companies use nature’s tools for manufacturing, these bio-manufacturing platforms are inherently sustainable. Partnering with nature also allows companies to create better products with new properties such as phone screens that bend without breaking or microbes that transform waste into useful items.

Zymergen, a company using microbes to develop breakthrough products, calls this process biofacturing. Biofacturing produces novel materials using microorganisms with new genetic instructions. “Manu” is not part of the name because the processes cannot be done by hand—instead more...