Interesting bit of research picked up by the mainstream press (albeit with no link to the article) in this week’s US News. In this case it’s a review article on the state of engineering plant secondary metabolism to create novel or high-value compounds:
Møller envisions a future where plants’ internal systems are re-engineered to create rare chemicals, such as artemisinin, a powerful anti-malarial drug that is found in trace amounts in only one plant worldwide. The plant would be rewired so that instead of making trace amounts of the drug, it would make lots of it.
Now that all the molecular tools are in place to even propose such an undertaking, the possibilities start to seem infinite.