This week we are focusing on another of the runners up in the SPECTROstar Nano competition. Prof. Bashian Fang of the College of Chemistry & Chemical Engineering at the Xiamen University in China sent in the proposal "Discovery and Modification of Oxidoreductases for Construction of Biosynthetic Molecular Machineries."
“[Some] experts predict that by 2050, bio-catalysis and bio-conversion may account for 30% of chemical industry. Once one kind of suitable biological redox catalysts have been developed, a very short and easy route of biological catalysis may replace the cumbersome and expensive chemical catalytic route, which now is the main route for synthetic redox intermediates, alcohols, diols, aldehydes, esters and so on. This will not only bring enormous direct economic value, but also has a significant impact on adjustment of industrial structure, alleviation of energy crisis and the whole society.” Investigating marine extremophiles for mutant genes, Dr. Fang hopes to find a catalytic system of oxidoreductase enzymes that can be exploited for such use. The Spectrostar Nano will be used to monitor oxidoreductase cofactors such as NADH and NADPH.