Commodity molecules are vital ingredients for everything important to our modern world including food, energy, and medicine. However, creating these molecules still largely relies on old processes that suffer from low yield, laborious methods, and unsustainable inputs and byproducts. Tina envisions a world where all molecules are created quickly, easily, and sustainably through enzymes, biology’s chemical catalyst. Here, Tina describes how she used an extremely powerful method called directed evolution to build a novel enzyme that can create the non-canonical amino acid 4-cyanotryptophan, a fluorescent molecule that is extremely difficult to make with traditional chemistry.
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