Biopharmconsortium Blog

Expert commentary from Haberman Associates biotechnology and pharmaceutical consulting.

Posts filed under: Synthetic biology

Developing resistance-free antibiotics by targeting quorum sensing

Tweet  Way back in May 2000, Decision Resources published my short report entitled “New approaches to small-molecule antibacterial drug discovery” as part of its Spectrum Life Sciences series. As might be expected, the report is now out of print. The report was a brief review of then-novel approaches to antibacterial drug discovery, in the face…

2010: Breakthroughs, Newsmakers, and Deals of the Year

TweetBreakthroughs of the Year As it does every year, Science published its “Breakthrough of the Year” for 2010 in the 17 December issue of the journal. For its “Breakthrough of the Year”, Science chose a non-life science innovation, the first quantum machine. Interestingly, the same issue of Science included a Perspective on biophysicist Britton Chance,…

Will intermediary metabolism be a hot field of biology again?

TweetThe 3 December issue of Science featured a Special Section on metabolism, headed by an introductory article entitled “Metabolism is Not Boring”. Way back in the 1920s through the 1950s, intermediary metabolism was a hot field of biology. This culminated in the awarding of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1953 to Hans…

A bioethicist says that the “synthetic cell” does not refute vitalism

Tweet In our last two blog posts–dated July 12, 2010 and July 18, 2010, we discussed the “synthetic cell” that was recently constructed by researchers at the J. Craig Venter institute. As we discussed, at least several leading bioethicists and philosophers said that the construction of a “synthetic” microbial cell refuted vitalism–i.e., the contention that…

The “synthetic cell”: not such a big deal (part 2)

Tweet In our previous (July 12) blog post, we began a discussion of the creation of the “synthetic cell” by J. Craig Venter and his colleague at the J. Craig Venter Institute (JCVI).  In this study, the researchers produced a synthetic version of the genome of bacterium Mycoplasma mycoides. They then transferred the synthetic M….

The “synthetic cell”: not such a big deal (Part 1)

Tweet In late May of 2010–as most of you probably know–J. Craig Venter announced that he and his colleague at the J. Craig Venter Institute (JCVI) (Rockville, MD) had created a “synthetic cell”. This was a bacterial cell containing an entire genome that had been synthesized based on a nucleotide sequence stored on a computer,…

More metabolic engineering/synthetic biology

TweetIn a previous blog post, we talked about the role of metabolic engineering and synthetic biology in facilitating a return to natural products as drug candidates in drug discovery and development. In the August 13 issue of Nature, George Church (Harvard Medical School) and his colleagues reported on their new method for accelerating the optimization…

Now for some chemistry—Natural Products

TweetIn the 10 July issue of Science, Jesse W.-H. Li and John C. Vederas of the University of Alberta reviewed the current state of natural products-based drug discovery and development, in a report entitled “Drug Discovery and Natural Products: End of an Era or an Endless Frontier?” As of 1990, some 80% of marketed drugs…