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Twists and Turns in Path from Lab to Startup to Major Acquisition

As often happens in science, what started as a research project to make one thing turned into something completely different. Berkeley Lab researchers Nitash Balsara and Hany Eitouni were developing an electroresponsive polymer that turned out to be not such a good artificial muscle, their original goal, but an excellent basis for a battery electrolyte—so good, in fact, that it was recently acquired by a major multinational company.

CinderBio Harnesses Extreme Microbes for Greener Industry

It’s no secret that extremophiles, or microbes that live in places like polar glaciers and toxic waste pools, may hold treasures worth billions. Now basic biology research has led to the formation of CinderBio, a startup co-founded by Berkeley Lab scientists Steve Yannone and Jill Fuss that produces heat- and acid-stable enzymes.