January 17th, 2012 | Category: Metabolic engineering, Papers | Leave a comment

Parts & Pipes – know your biology

This paper from Patrick Boyle and Pam Silver at Harvard/the Wyss Institute of Biologically Inspired Engineering (and who wouldn’t want to work there!) gives a nice comparison of metabolic engineering and synthetic biology.  If you thought it was all a cut-and-paste process with a large element of luck, then think again.  You have to know your biology to be successful…or as the authors put it,

a quantitative understanding of the transcription, translation, interactions, and kinetics of a metabolic pathway as well as how that pathway interfaces with the host cell’s metabolism enables the metabolic engineer to tune pathway components to maximize product yields.

There really is no substitution for knowing your stuff!

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