Frankenfixation refers to the use of genetic modification to fix carbon dioxide into the soil.
It derives from term popularised by critics of genetically modified foods, ‘Frankenfoods’. The U.S. Department of Energy’s Joint Genome Institute recently oversaw an effort to piece together an artificial metabolism from the bits and pieces of biosynthetic pathways that were once scattered across the three kingdoms of life.
What they found was a novel pathway based on a new CO2-fixing enzyme that is nearly 20 times faster than the most prevalent enzyme in nature responsible for capturing CO2 in plants by using sunlight as energy.
Were such pathways to be perfected, new species of plants, trees or entirely new organisms, could be grown that are specifically designed to take in carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and hold off the looming crisis of rising global temperatures.