US firm to open DNA factory10th April 2007
A company based in Cambridge, Massachusetts is developing a new way of manufacturing component DNA strands which could soon change the face of molecular biology, it says.
Codon Devices was founded with the emergence in 2005 of synthetic biology, out of the recognition that scientists' ability to make complex genetic constructs would be greatly furthered by the availability of DNA strands in made-to-order "kit" form.
It has already created what it believes was the biggest piece of man-made DNA incorporating several genes needed to synthesise a pharmaceutical compound.
Potential applications for Codon's products range from pharmaceuticals, to energy, to agriculture.
Harvard genetics professor George Church, one of Codon's founders, said he expected that genetically engineered cells would be manufactured in the next few years with the capability to deliver drugs or create cellular sensors.
While DNA synthesis is still too expensive to replace more-traditional molecular-biology methods on a broad scale, experts say the DNA-synthesis market is about to boom, much as the DNA-sequencing market has in the past few years.
Codon is confident enough about future prospects to be planning to open a DNA mass-production facility scheduled to open in summer 2007.
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Title: US firm to open DNA factory
Author: Luisetta Mudie
Article Id: 2472
Date Added: 10th Apr 2007