Wednesday, August 18, 2004
Omni Future Almanac: Unlocking Enzymes
[Enzymes] will fill innumerable roles in nonbiological situations. They will make petrochemicals, digest garbage, form structural materials, and much more.
I feel like I've done an entry on enzymes already, but I can't seem to locate it, so here it is again: What ever happened to enzymes?
I know they're in my laundry detergent, and I know they're in my dishwashing soap, but I'm pretty sure they're not in our garbage (at least not the landfill type; I'm pretty sure they're in our waste water treatment processes). Did they live up to the above kinds of applications?
Assuming that enzymes are used in a wide variety of applications today, it just goes to underscore something I'm pretty sure I've said before (but, then again, I thought I had already written about enzymes, so there you go): The technologies that seem like they are about to be in every home, office, and recreational activies, are exactly the kinds of technologies that fade into the background of our lives, helping us from afar, more than they help us directly. It is on the fabric of these kinds of innovations that our society progresses, but this fabric is largely invisible to the vast majority of us.