The rapid development of modern science and technology is, in many cases, a result of highly interdisciplinary integration. For instance, chemical biology, an interdiscipline of traditional chemistry, biology, and physics, involves the application of chemical techniques, tools, and analyses, and often compounds produced through synthetic chemistry, to the study and manipulation of biological systems. The rapid development of chemical biology prompts more frontier disciplines, such as synthetic biology, chemical biotechnology, and chemical engineering.
In particular, with the growing global population as well as energy and environmental crises, using the combination of different disciplines makes it possible to solve some problems that are otherwise hard to resolve by one specific discipline. Chemical biotechnology and bioengineering utilize small chemical molecules to manipulate bioprocesses. The modified processes will make it possible to generate some chemicals more ecologically and economically, overcoming the resources and environmental crises that traditional chemical biology faces. It could also strengthen the natural bioprocesses that are not presently robust for practical application.
This book attempts to show some examples of chemical biotechnology and engineering from macro-biomolecules to cells and whole plants, including chemical modulators in enzymatic reactions; chemical regulators in the regulation of non-canonical DNA structures; chemical biomimetic cofactors in vitro biosystems in the production of high-value chemicals and low-value bio-commodities; some chemicals in microbial electrochemical systems for the improvement of the performance/ efficiency of extracellular electron transfer between the bacteria and the electrode; elicitors in plant cell culture for precious natural products; and plant activators in crop protection.
Attention is paid not only to the chemicals that can affect the biological processes, but also to solving some major issues, by introducing some application examples in this book. To date, few books have been published in these areas; this publication will fill a gap and also catch the hot topic at the interface of chemistry and biotechnology or bioengineering. Consequently, the book should appeal to members of the chemistry as well as the biology and medical communities.
Finally, I thank all the chapter contributors. Without their hard work, the appearance of this book might never have occurred. I, on behalf of all contributors to this book, must express my heartfelt gratitude to the chance that the Royal Society of Chemistry has given us to introduce some of our work. We are also indebted to the editorial team for patiently keeping us on time and suggesting some revisions to our book.
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