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Planet Earth

A Natural Factory

The LoomBy Carl ZimmerDecember 19, 2006 4:18 AM


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The manuscript clock is still ticking, and so, in lieu of true blogging, let me direct your attention to another article of mine. This time it's the cover story in the December issue of Discover. Discover chose Jay Keasling as their scientist of the year and asked me to interview him. Keasling, who directs the Berkeley Center for Synthetic Biology, is trying to get either E. coli or yeast to crank out a powerful malaria drug normally only made by the sweet wormwood plant. I had already been getting familiar with Keasling's work, since it is a great example of the sort of work that's being done on E coli, the subject of my book. So it was a pleasure to talk to Keasling at length about this ambitious project. You can read the interview here.

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