b7- industrial use of microbes

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  • The industrial use of microorganisms
    • Features that make them ideal
      • They reproduce rapidly under the right conditions, so products can be made quickly
      • They have plasmids- these can be genetically modified. So you can make the microorganisms produce the product you need
      • They have simple biochemistry- fewer reactions happen in microorganisms than in humans
        • This means you can make the microorganism produce things that they normally wouldn't without causing them major problems
      • They can make complex molecules that are difficult to produce artificially
      • There aren't any ethical concerns with using microorganisms
    • Large scale microorganisms
      • Antibiotics- some types of bacteria and fungi can be used to produce medicines (eg. penicilin from penicillium mould being fermented)
      • Food from fungi- A type of single celled protein made by fungi is used to make meat substitutes
      • Enzymes for making food- enzymes are needed to make some types of food
        • Traditionally cheese is made using a mix of enzymes called rennet from the lining of a calf's stomach
        • Now chymosin (important enzyme in in rennet) can be produced by genetically modified microorganisms in large quantites- veggie substitute
      • Enzymes for washing powder- enzymes produced by bacteria can be used to make biological  washing powders because they help break down stains
      • Biofuels- microorganisms can be used to make fuel
        • Yeast can be used to produce ethanol, a waste product of anaerobic respiration
        • Microorganisms can be used to make biogas- used for heating, cooking and lighting- made by fermentation of plant and animal waste containing carbs


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