Foray Bioscience is opening up possibilities for biomanufacturing in forestry

By Abdullahi Tsanni
MIT Technology Review
February 28, 2024
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building

Ashley Beckwith

CAMBRIDGE, Massachusetts — Ashley Beckwith…at Foray Bioscience aims to disrupt traditional manufacturing of wood products—which involves harvesting lots of trees. …Foray’s process involves extracting live cells from the leaves of plants such as the black cottonwood, a popular species for making fiber products, which is used as a model plant for testing the company’s methods. Leaves are first cultured into a kind of liquid broth until the cells reproduce. Then cells are transferred into a gel containing two plant hormones, auxin and cytokinin, allowing researchers to coax the cells to grow into wood-like structures. …“We’re bringing biomanufacturing to forestry, and leveraging its tools to protect and restore forests,” says Beckwith. Applications could range from food and medical products to cosmetics and bioplastics. …Shawn Mansfield, a professor of forestry and tree biotechnology at the University of BC, says he’s skeptical that the technology can have much impact in the big scheme of things.

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