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News Digest #198 – Bolt Threads Raises $123M + Can CRISPR Save the World’s Chocolate?


Hi all,

This week, TechCrunch reported that Bolt Threads raised a giant $123 million Series D round of funding, bringing up its total to $213 million raised so far. The company recently partnered with Best Made Company on the Microsilk™ Cap of Courage, knit from bioengineered silk that has an identical molecular structure to spider silk. Check out their video on Today posted on Monday.

Source: Bolt Threads.

In other news, scientists at the University of California are teaming up with Mars company to create disease-resistant cacao. They’re exploring the possibility of using the gene-editing technology CRISPR to make crops that can survive new challenges caused by climate change.

Yesterday’s Google Doodle honored the pioneering biochemist and Nobel Laureate Har Gobind Khorana, who wrote the dictionary for our genetic language and constructed the first synthetic gene.

Global Bioenergies and Clariant announced a new bio-based polymer for cosmetic creams and lotions derived from renewable isobutene, the International Gene Synthesis Consortium updated screening protocols for synthetic DNA, and Ingenza is partnering with the University of Dundee to engineer E. coli to capture, store and recycle carbon dioxide.

Inocucor raised a $38.5 Million series B financing to expand their fermentation technology that combines bacteria, yeasts and fungi to improve crop yields, and Zymergen acquired metagenomics company Radiant Genomics, accelerating their ability to identify and commercialize novel molecules used in a range of industries – including agriculture, healthcare, chemicals and materials, and more.

Finally, in a collaboration that could lead to a new class of drugs to replace opioids, Renew Biopharma and Indiana University are developing human therapeutics using Renew’s natural molecules.



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