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GRO Biosciences, a Boston-based synthetic biology start-up that spun out of Harvard University geneticist George Church’s lab, has received $2.1 million in seed funding from Digitalis Ventures and Innovation Endeavors. GRO uses genetically recoded bacteria, which incorporate additional amino acids beyond nature’s standard set of 20 molecules, to improve stability, potency, and other properties of therapeutic proteins. CEO Daniel Mandell says GRO is making antibodies and human growth hormone containing the nontraditional amino acid selenocysteine. The resulting diselenide bonds are more stable than the protein’s original disulfide bonds.
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