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3242 PWToday Stories

Fat Cat, moi?

20 May 03

The positive side of e-coli

02 Jun 03

Scientists at UCL Berkeley have succeeded in using pioneering DNA techniques to manufacture the powerful anti-malarial Artemisinin at a much cheaper cost than has previously been possible. Artemisinin was originally developed in the 1970s in China. It is a derivative of the sweet wormwood plant, but is prohibitively expensive for many of the people who need it most. However the UCL scientists took 10 genes from the E. coli bacteria, yeast and wormwood, and successfully made them work together. The rapid replication of e-coli bacteria means that artemisinin can now be produced quickly and cheaply and the research may also lead to the technique being used to produce other expensive plant-derived chemicals cheaply, including the powerful anti-cancer drug Taxol.

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