The Coalition for BioMolecular Products

Living organisms contain an enormous array of molecules specialized for diverse chemical and structural roles. Since the beginning of civilization, humans have domesticated plants and animals for food, labor, clothing and other purposes. In historical times molecules produced by animals, plants, fungi and bacteria have been adapted by humans for important uses. Most people are familiar with the medical uses of natural products, for instance antibiotics, pain-killers and anti-cancer drugs. The use of natural products in agriculture, food processing, manufacturing, diagnostics and many other fields is less widely known but important nonetheless.

Recent advances in the ability to manipulate and study biomolecules foreshadow revolutionary applications in many fields of human endeavor. The most important of these advances are methods to manipulate DNA, probe the organization and expression of genes, and elucidate the structures and functions of biological molecules. Some of the promises offered by these technologies are already at hand. For instance, advances in understanding human genetic diseases have resulted from the Human Genome Initiative. However these advances in technology and instrumentation hold the promise to improve understanding in areas other than medicine, including (but not limited to) agriculture, environmental diagnostics and remediation, and manufacturing.

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