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Synthetic biology can impact the pharmaceutical industry

This is Science Today. Synthetic biology is the manipulation of biology for a particular purpose. Scientist Jay Keasling of the University of California, Berkeley and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, says it's an exciting field that has the potential to produce next generation biofuels and chemicals and can also impact the pharmaceutical industry.

Keasling:        One of the things that my colleagues are working on is engineering a microbe to be a tumor-killing microbe. This microbe would be completely non-toxic to humans. So, rather than taking a drug and having it being distributed throughout your body and potentially toxic to you, you could actually make a microbe that would target your tumor, hone in on it. Once it got there, produce a drug that would actually kill the tumor and then the organism would just dissolve itself and go away. This is the potential of synthetic biology. So, it has the potential to change the face of energy, chemicals and even drug production.

Narrator:        For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.