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Utah State University has begun operating a bioprocessing plant on its campus in North Logan that will enable it to make commercial quantities of biomolecules, including synthetic spider silk. The facility features two 500-L fermenters, a 125-L fermentation system that can serve as a seed reactor, as well as several centrifuges and a chromatography system for purifying spider silk proteins and other substances. Utah State’s Randy Lewis, a professor of biology and biological engineering, has been developing synthetic spider silk using systems that include engineered Escherichia coli.
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