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Advancement in Chemical Manufacturing through Metabolic Engineering and Synthetic Biology

Available scientific data and technological capability have enabled teams made up of engineers and biologists to design and develop new biological organisms and processes to serve specific purposes. The scientific procedures involved in these endeavors are called metabolic engineering and synthetic biology.

The concepts of such scientific advances were already conceived of even during the 1990s, though it is only through the present technological capability that these are gaining unprecedented advances. Thus, through these processes, engineers and biologists are given the capability to convert biomass to fuel or chemicals, as well as protect the body against harm and manufacture new drugs with therapeutic effect.

The basic resource of synthetic biology and metabolic engineering is the genetic code found at the core of everything that has life. Though each of these sciences have particular interests that may lie apart from each other, researchers have identified certain areas where the interests of each overlap.

Metabolic engineering, through the use of synthetic DNA, designs, constructs and optimizes the potentials of cell factories for the biological production of pharmaceutical and chemical products; synthetic biology, on the other hand, works on the fabrication of genetic circuits, synthetic cells, nonlinear cell dynamics and other cell-related issues, through the application of pathway engineering. It is the systematic combination of these two areas, coupled with today’s capability to re-engineer or re-define cellular metabolism, which is seen to be a really promising advancement in chemical manufacturing.