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Nov 14, 2006

Genomatica Patents Main Component in Metabolic Engineering System

  • Genomatica obtained a patent covering a central component of the company’s integrated approach for the metabolic engineering of living cells. The system combines rational computational-based design with the ability to adaptively evolve organisms to transform living cells into bio-factories, which can produce chemical and biological products.

    "This technology and others that are rounding out our platform are now enabling us to unlock large market opportunities for biologically-derived products, including small molecule chemicals and fuels, as well as protein-based therapeutics," comments Christophe H. Schilling, Ph.D., president and CSO.

    The origins of the technology are based on research at the University of California, San Diego in the laboratory of Bernhard O. Palsson, Ph.D., the lead inventor on the patent. "Bringing together computational design tools with evolutionary engineering principles in this manner is opening a new dimension in Metabolic Engineering,” says Dr. Palsson. “We now have the ability to produce stable strains that can self-optimize in a processing environment, something which has not previously been possible."

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Scientifically Studying Ecstasy

MDMA (commonly known as the empathogen “ecstasy”) is classified as a Schedule 1 drug, which is reserved for compounds with no accepted medical use and a high abuse potential. Two researchers from Stanford, however, call for a rigorous scientific exploration of MDMA's effects to identify precisely how the drug works, the data from which could be used to develop therapeutic compounds.

Do you agree that ecstasy should be studied for its potential therapeutic benefits?

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