In the world according to Diversa Corp., the phrase "from dust were you created and unto dust shall you return" is extended to include "and from dust shall you find your next blockbuster drug."

The company is isolating genes from uncultured microorganisms to discover novel enzymes and metabolic pathways for small molecule biosynthesis. By isolating genomic DNA directly from environmental samples, Diversa hopes to sample unique products from microorganisms that have evolved to fill every imaginable niche the planet has to offer - soil or liquid habitats and ambient or extreme temperatures and acidities - from insect guts to industrial plants.