Monsanto, Harvard make breakthroughs on protein science

Monsanto has exclusive, yet limited-term use of PACE for agricultural applications.
Monsanto has exclusive, yet limited-term use of PACE for agricultural applications.

Breakthroughs in the role of protein science were published in April as well as the application of phage-assisted continuous evolution (PACE) technology. 

The PACE technology is used for insect control and uses proteins to specifically target insects which are attracted to specific plants. PACE was invented by Dr. David Liu, professor of chemistry and chemical biology at Harvard University.

Monsanto and Harvard University teamed up with co-authors from Cornell to publish the manuscript "Continuous evolution of Bacillus thuringiensis toxins overcomes insect resistance" in the journal Nature to show how protein science is useful in agriculture.

“Scientific breakthroughs like PACE technology are key to continue bringing solutions to farmers to help them get more out of every acre,” Tom Adams, Monsanto's vice president of biotechnology, said. “The remarkable progress that’s been made in applying PACE to agriculture biotechnology is a huge testament to the success that comes when parties work together and collaborate to advance science in a way that can bring long-term benefits to global agriculture.”

Monsanto has exclusive, yet limited-term use of PACE for agricultural applications.

“The research published in Nature is an important demonstration of David Liu’s PACE platform, validating its potential as a tool not only for agriculture, where it can address compelling scientific challenges, but across diverse areas of future application including health care, where it could evolve tailor-made therapies for human disease,” Isaac Kohlberg, Harvard’s chief technology development officer, said. “The PACE collaboration is just one example of how researchers in academia and industry can pool their expertise to advance science in areas of mutual interest and speed the development of impactful technologies.”

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