Creating Insulin With a little help from E. coli

September 1978
Time;9/18/1978, Vol. 112 Issue 12, p102
The article reports on the success of scientists in California in creating a microbe that can manufacture human-type insulin. The joint effort of two five-man research teams led by biochemist David Goeddell successfully created insulin, which is needed by the body to metabolize sugar and other carbohydrate, with the little help of Escherichia coli. The scientists hitched their two synthetic insulin genes individually to one of the bacterium's own genes with the use new gene-splicing or recombinant DNA techniques and inserted both the synthetic and the natural material into fresh E. coli. The result reveals that each new generation of E. coli retained the insulin-making ability in which more research is required before bacterial-made insulin reaches the retail pharmacy.


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