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In Current opinion in biotechnology

Machine learning is transforming many industries through self-improving models that are fueled by big data and high computing power. The field of metabolic engineering, which uses cellular biochemical network to manufacture useful small molecules, has also witnessed the first wave of machine learning applications in the past five years, covering reaction route design, enzyme selection, pathway engineering and process optimization. This review focuses on pathway engineering, and uses a few recent studies to illustrate (1) how machine learning models can be useful in overcoming an evident rate-limiting step, and (2) how the models may be used to exhaustively search - or guide optimization algorithms to search - a large design space when the cellular regulation of the reaction network is more convoluted.

Zhou Kang, Ng Wenfa, Cortés-Peña Yoel, Wang Xiaonan