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Sweet Smell of Sustainability: Renewable Sources for Artificial Scents

March 10, 2014
Fresh banana, a waft of flowers, blueberry: the scents in Shota Atsumi's laboratory in the UC Davis Department of Chemistry are a little sweeter than most. That's because Atsumi and his team are engineering bacteria to make esters -- molecules widely used as scents and flavorings, and also as basic feedstock for chemical processes from paints to fuels.