"But 2015 was the year of designer yeast. Yeasts normally consume sugar and excrete carbon dioxide and alcohols, but new gene-editing technologies such as CRISPR have made it much easier and faster to insert strands of functional DNA from other organisms into the yeast genome, transforming its metabolism. The result is a cell-size factory that can pump out anything from flavorings to pharmaceuticals. This year, yeasts capable of producing spider silk, morphine, and palm oil all made their débuts—early signs, perhaps, of a transition from an economy based on agriculture and hydrocarbon chemistry to one run on fungi."
From "The Year in Fungi" in The New Yorker.