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Industrial biotechnology news

A landmark technique in plant science is being given a £5M backing in the form of a new business and a purpose-built facility a stone’s throw from the Norwich laboratory where it was developed. Professor George Lomonossoff and Dr Frank Sainsbury, at the John Innes Centre (JIC), discovered a new way to use individual plants to produce new high value products, including therapeutic drugs and vaccines.

Plants vs petrol! is part of a series of animations about the ways that everyday plants are doing amazing things. Our dependence on fossil fuels is complex and it’s increasing.

Led by farm management company Velcourt, a BBSRC-funded collaboration of researchers and plant breeders are working to establish the commercial feasibility of a new type of oilseed rape (OSR) that could provide a greener alternative to the mineral-based oils currently used industrially. It is estimated that 50% of all lubricants sold world-wide end up in the environment, with few alternatives currently available to the mineral-based products that can be harmful pollutants.