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01 April 2024

Desperately Seeking Sustainable Human Well-Being: A Review of Indicators, Concepts, and Methods

Evaluating progress in human development and well-being is imperative for policymakers to assess the impact of their policies. Traditional measurement methods focus mostly on economic growth and socio-economic objectives, often neglecting vital components of the natural environment, particularly the ecological determinants essential for the sustainability of human well-being. The tension between sustainability and development becomes apparent as the recognition of the dependence of human well-being on the natural environment and ecosystem services is crucial for safeguarding the environment for present and future generations. This highlights the necessity for indicators that capture the intricate relationship between human well-being and environmental changes while addressing the challenges posed by the tension between sustainable practices and traditional development models. This paper presents a literature review examining the domains, dimensions, and indicators related to the sustainability of human well-being regarding economic, social, and natural environments. Emphasizing the multidimensional nature, this paper highlights the drawbacks of relying solely on socioeconomic indicators for assessment. The review explores diverse concepts and methodologies proposed to evaluate the components and multidimensional factors influencing the sustainability of human well-being. Ultimately it offers a holistic understanding serving as a foundation for further research and policy development.

Keywords: Human well-being; Sustainable development; Ecosystem services; Assessment; Indicators; GDP; Ecological Footprint


22 March 2024

Modulation of the MEP Pathway for Overproduction of 13-R-manoyl Oxide in Cyanobacteria

The cyanobacterium Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803 has gained scientific interest for its potential to use solar energy and atmospheric CO2 for the production of high-value chemicals like pharmaceuticals, flavors, and fragrances. Forskolin is a diterpenoid found in the root cork of the plant Plectranthus barbatus and its biosynthetic pathway is initiated by two terpene synthases that convert geranylgeranyl diphosphate (GGDP) into the precursor 13-R-manoyl oxide (13-R-MO). Using the cyanobacterium Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803 as host, we expressed the two terpene synthases resulting in the synthesis of 0.83 mg/L 13-R-MO. Three different geranylgeranyl diphosphate synthases (GGDPSs) were selected for screening; a prokaryotic (Synechococcus sp. JA-3-3Ab (Sj)), a yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae (Sc)), and a plant (P. barbatus (Pb)) derived GGDPS. Strains containing the prokaryotic Sj- or the yeast ScGGDPS consistently yielded more 13-R-MO than the base strain. By overexpression of 1-Deoxy-D-xylulose-5-phosphate synthase (DXS) positioned at the entry of the 2-C-methyl-d-erythritol 4-phosphate pathway (MEP) together with the prokaryotic SjGGDPS, the 13-R-MO titer was increased 11-fold to reach 9.7 mg/L by boosting the synthesis of GGDP, the direct substrate for the diterpenoid synthases. We further show that application of a n-dodecane overlay to remove 13-R-MO from the culture medium provided a 2–3 fold increase of the 13-R-MO in a separate cultivation system.

Keywords: Diterpenoids; Plectranthus barbatus; Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803; GGDP synthase; Dodecane overlay; Light-driven production