|14 Jul 2009
"The drug Artemisinin, made from the leaves of the sweet wormwood shrub, is a proven cure for malaria. At $2 per dose, however, it is far beyond the reach of the developing countries that need it most. A team of systems biologists solved this problem by designing a new organism that produces the same drug compound for $.02 a dose.
From medicine and environmental science to alternative fuel technology and agriculture, systems biologists are literally changing the world. Revolutionary new pharmaceuticals have moved to clinical trials in a fraction of the time taken by traditional methods. Systems biologists are not only accelerating the drug discovery process, they are also developing synthetic viruses to attack cancer cells, creating biosensors to detect arsenic in drinking water, developing biofuels, and designing algae that process carbon dioxide to reduce powerplant emissions..."
By Ricardo Paxson and Kristen Zannella, The MathWorks
This article appeared in The MathWorks News & Notes, June 2007,