Golden biotech: what it is and why it matters

You might be wondering: “what is golden biotech?”. The answer is rather simple: a biotechnology field that uses computer science as a main driving force. But do you know why it’s often referred to as “golden”? Or what exactly does it entail when taken into practice?

The color code of biotech

First of all, Golden biotech is known as “golden” because of the Rainbow Code of Biotechnology: a way to divide biotechnology’s vast array of applications into different categories, each one defined by a color.

Through this code, we know that when someone is talking about red biotech, they’re referring to health and medical applications; and when they’re talking about white biotech, they’re mostly talking about industrial uses.

All colors of the Biotech Rainbow are important, but what sets Golden Biotech apart is that it revolves around computers. For a technology to be considered golden, it has to rely heavily on some form of computational technique.

Golden biotech is a fairly recent addition to the biotech spectrum, but due to increasing advances in computer technology, one with a lot of potential to keep on growing in the following years.

Some of the main areas included in golden biotech are:

  • Bioinformatics. Field that focuses on analyzing large sets of biological data.
  • Nanotechnology. Field that uses technology at a nanoscale, or in other words, in atomic, molecular and macromolecular levels.
  • Computational Biology. Although closely linked to Bioinformatics, Computational Biology consists of using computational methods to develop models for the study of biological systems. This means relying on technologies like Machine Learning, Algorithms, Big Data (to name a few) for building these models.

Zymvol: an example of Golden Biotech company

Now that you know the definition of golden biotech and the main technologies behind it, you might say: “ok, but what does it really look like taken into practice?”

Just take a look at us. At ZYMVOL, we are golden. And is not that we are pretentious: it’s because we work in the golden branch of biotechnology.

At our company, we use a computational approach to improve and enable the discovery of industrial enzymes. We perform what we call “in silico enzyme evolution”, that is, engineer enzymes in the computer through molecular modeling, machine learning and other computer driven technologies. This allows us to fully understand the chemical structure and interactions between the enzyme, the substrate and their environment.

Take a look at the following video. What we do at ZYMVOL in a nutshell:

 

 

Through computer simulations we reproduce the enzyme, its environment and the desired reaction (substrates that interact with the enzyme) to be carried out: we perform different strategic mutations (amino acid substitutions) along the enzyme’s sequence and test its performance, looking at variables such as stability, activity or selectivity.

Thanks to computer simulations, we came up with the best combinations to test in the lab. We provide to our customers the sequences of the top performing candidates, so they produce in the lab only what matters.

This, at large, is the heart of golden biotechnology!

 


References:

Brown, K. (2018) Gold Biotechnology. Wikitech. https://wikitech21.wordpress.com/2018/08/26/gold-biotechnology/

DaSilva, Edgar J. (2004). The Colours of Biotechnology: Science, Development and Humankind. Electronic Journal of Biotechnology, 7(3), 01-02.