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Make: Technology on Your Time Volume 31 by Mark Frauenfelder

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BUILDING LIVING MACHINES

The birth of a kitchen-table biotech company.

BY JAMES PEYER

image I’ve always been amazed by manufacturing. A Ford automobile factory in Kansas, one of the biggest in the world, makes a car every minute. That’s 1,440 cars every day. But factories come in all shapes and sizes; they can even be microscopic. A single bacterium can be turned into a factory that makes proteins, the building blocks that make all living things work.

A single bacterial factory can make 500 to 600 proteins every second (43 million each day), all the while dividing about every half hour to generate over 200 trillion identical factories in 24 hours, each ...

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