Printer Friendly

BIOLOGY MOVES OUT OF THE LAB INTO REALITY

 CLEVELAND, Jan. 15 /PRNewswire/ -- Pork-chop-bearing trees and pigs capable of photosynthesis may never be possible, but as of yet no one in the biotechnology arena is ruling out anything, said the Jan. 18 issue of "Industry Week." What's already possible is startling:
 -- Cells can be modified to serve as drug factories;
 -- Disease-prevention is possible by selectively blocking genetic messages;
 -- Tomato plants are being genetically altered to delay decay;
 -- Corn plants can produce their own systemic insecticide;
 -- Plants are being re-engineered to produce new products such as polymers.
 While often labeled an industry, biotechnology is more a set of techniques to alter the genetic programs of living organisms. It provides the opportunity for controlling biosystems to do things presently done only by physics or chemistry -- or perhaps not done at all, explained the industry management magazine.
 Most significant, perhaps, is biotechnology's encroachment on many conventional industries. For example, analysts predict that by the year 2000, the market shares of old-line pharmaceutical companies will decline by 30 to 40 percent as the new biotechnology firms increase their penetration of the drug business.
 The new menu of genetically engineered drugs being developed by the biotechnology industry shows the determination of scientists to improve on Mother Nature, not just to mimic her, "Industry Week" said. The first generation of biotechnology drugs -- most genetically engineered proteins -- were similar to their naturally occurring versions. The second generation differs in approach and concept. Instead of stimulating biological processes or correcting deficiencies, researchers are now considering compounds that can block the genetic instructions that create adverse conditions.
 The sheer volume of advances in pharmaceutical biotechnology has almost overshadowed important developments in agriculture. However, they are about to gain a share of the spotlight, too, in the wake of a 1992 FDA ruling which held that biotechnology-based foods are no more risky than foods produced through traditional cross breeding.
 Armed with the tools of genetic manipulation, farmers now can go further than ever before in achieving greater yields, reducing spoilage, improving flavor, even producing new classes of crops.
 By this time next year, for example, consumers will be able to taste the difference. By then, biotechnology will serve up a solution to one of the greatest injustices ever wrought by the food distribution system -- the store-bought tomato. Calgene Inc., Davis, Calif., has found a way to genetically tailor the tomato's ripening characteristics to the needs of the distribution system.
 "Industry Week" is the management magazine for industry published by Penton Publishing.
 -0- 1/15/93
 /CONTACT: Chuck Day of Industry Week, 216-696-7000 or 216-521-3861 after hours/


CO: Industry Week ST: Ohio IN: PUB SU:

KK -- CLFNS1 -- 5176 01/15/93 07:32 EST
COPYRIGHT 1993 PR Newswire Association LLC
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1993 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jan 15, 1993
Words:444
Previous Article:MERRY LAND FILES COMMON STOCK OFFERING
Next Article:BLACK AGENTS EXPAND SUIT AGAINST BUREAU OF ALCOHOL, TOBACCO & FIREARMS
Topics:


Related Articles
LAWRENCE LIVERMORE NATIONAL LABORATORY: THIS WEEK AT THE LAB
Attorney says researchers in genetic theft case married.
Virtual reality design lab opens: technology facilitates exchange of information, ideas. (IT Strategies: Special Report).
Ribonomics Announces Breakthrough in Systems Biology Approach to Disease Pathway Discovery; Company Discovers New Opportunities to Produce...
LI-COR Biosciences Awards Instrument System to Muhlenberg College.
GenoLogics and the Institute for Systems Biology (ISB) Form Strategic Partnership.
Principles of Human Anatomy, 10th ed.
Action! School tackles ethics.
The 2006 ABRF meeting.
Getting recycling down to a science.

Terms of use | Copyright © 2017 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters