Basic biology research at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) has led to the formation of Cinder Biological, or CinderBio, a startup company producing a new class of enzymes made from microbes, or extremophiles, that thrive in hot volcanic waters. Co-founded by Molecular Biophysics & Integrated Bioimaging scientists Steve Yannone and Jill Fuss, CinderBio will first target the food processing industry, where its enzymes can significantly reduce the vast amounts of chemicals and water used to clean equipment. Eventually it expects to formulate enzymes for the biofuels, paper, and textile industries, and possibly even more. CinderBio won a cash prize in the 2014 FLoW DOE National Clean Energy Business Plan Competition at Caltech, and this year, with a SBIR (Small Business Innovation Research) Phase 1 grant from the National Science Foundation, CinderBio tested its technology at a local creamery. Steve Yannone, Jill Fuss, and Adam Barnebey (pictured, L-R) worked on the extremophile and the molecular biology that led to the technology patented by Berkeley Lab. They are under consideration for a Phase 2 SBIR grant and next year may seek additional outside funding. They plan to further refine the platform and scale up production while seeking practical feedback from the food processing industry, a vast market. Read more at Berkeley Lab News Center.
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