@Ann: Many of the comments from your recent article about soy-based polyurethane foam would apply to this material. In fact, corn-based PLA is significantly more objectionable in terms of its impacts on the environment and the global food crisis.
Furthermore, if the goal is to increase the strength, stiffness, and heat deflection temperature of injection molded plastics, it's already possible to do so using traditional mineral fillers such as talc and calcium carbonate.
The mechanical properties of these new PLA blends look roughly equivalent to what could be expected from a talc-filled PC/ABS. The main selling point appears to be the ability to put a USDA "bio-based" label on them.
Of course, the role of the USDA is to expand markets for U.S. agricultural products, which the use of bio-based plastics certainly does.
Last year at Hannover Fair, lots of people were talking about Industry 4.0. This is a concept that seems to have a different name in every region. I’ve been referring to it as the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), not to be confused with the plain old Internet of Things (IoT). Others refer to it as the Connected Industry, the smart factory concept, M2M, data extraction, and so on.
Some of the biggest self-assembled building blocks and structures made from engineered DNA have been developed by researchers at Harvard's Wyss Institute. The largest, a hexagonal prism, is one-tenth the size of an average bacterium.
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