October 3, 2018

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Duke Biomanufacturing Technology Licensed by Spinoff Company DMC


Technology simplifies and maximizes chemical production by decoupling microbial growth and product formation processes

Duke has licensed technology developed in its engineering research laboratories to a spinoff company looking to help transform carbohydrate feedstocks into high-value products.

Microbes are responsible for making a wide variety of everyday products, from fragrances to beer to biofuels. Some are simply doing what they’ve been doing for hundreds of years, while others have been engineered for more efficiency or for producing more high-value specific products. The companies that harness this potential tend to look for a way to make more while spending less.

Although a typical microbe’s array of life processes is highly complex, finding the best combinations of genetic and environmental factors is not altogether straight-forward.

Mike Lynch (left) and Matt Lipscomb (right)

Mike Lynch (left) and Matt Lipscomb (right)

“The number of potential combinations of biochemical reactions to engineer in a microbe is something on the order of a septillion. That’s a one with 24 zeroes after it,” commented Matt Lipscomb, CEO and co-founder of DMC. “Even with the recent significant advances in lab automation, computing power and machine learning algorithms, it’s impossible to experimentally explore the entire design space.”

 

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[Originally posted by Duke Pratt School of Engineering —May 31, 2018]