• Strategy

Chemicals made with natural ingredients: bacteria


Escherichia Coli Bacteria / National Ins.. / LicensePD - Public Domain

Bacteria can use natural chemicals to create complex molecules, including antibiotics, with special enzymes.

"Until now, only the intricate machinery inside cells could take a mix of enzyme ingredients, blend them together and deliver a natural product with an elaborate chemical structure such as penicillin. Researchers at UC San Diego's Scripps Institution of Oceanography and Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences and the University of Arizona have for the first time demonstrated the ability to mimic this process outside of a cell.

"A team led by Qian Cheng and Bradley Moore of Scripps was able to synthesize an antibiotic natural product created by a Hawaiian sea sediment bacterium. They did so by combining a cocktail of enzymes, the protein catalysts inside cells, in a relatively simple mixing process inside a laboratory flask…The antibiotic synthesized in Moore's laboratory, called enterocin, was assembled in approximately two hours. Such a compound would normally take months if not a year to prepare chemically." (Scripps News Service 2007)
About the inspiring organism

Learn more at EOL.org
Organism/taxonomy data provided by:
Species 2000 & ITIS Catalogue of Life: 2008 Annual Checklist

Bioinspired products and application ideas

Application Ideas: Green chemistry technique to create synthetic drugs without the use of man-made chemicals.

Industrial Sector(s) interested in this strategy: Medicine

Moore Laboratory
Bradley Moore
Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of Calfornia San Diego
Scripps Institution of Oceanography/UC San Diego. 2007 September 4. Researchers develop simple method to create natural drug products.
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about 1 year ago
Hi Peter,

Thank you for informing us of this updated reference link and suggesting we link this strategy to a product. I've made these updates. Feel free to submit other suggestions or ideas!

Jen Schill
about 1 year ago
Reference link should be updated to https://scripps.ucsd.edu/news/2528
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