Metabolix (NASDAQ:MBLX) just seriously burned some short-sellers. On Friday, the company reported that its corn-based bioplastic resin, Mirel, has been found to dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions over its complete life cycle. That's a refreshing contrast to corn-derived ethanol, which can boast no such claim.

Shares are leaping higher today, which would be almost inexplicable if not for the huge short interest in the stock. According to the latest short interest figures from the Nasdaq, more than 2 million shares were held short at the end of September. That's more than two weeks' worth of average trading volume.

I don't know what the shorts were thinking here. Metabolix, which has successfully defended its intellectual property against no less than Procter & Gamble (NYSE:PG), is no pie-in-the-sky penny stock. Archer Daniels Midland (NYSE:ADM) is Metabolix's partner in this Mirel endeavor, which is the best partner you could possibly hope for when it comes to processing massive amounts of corn. Throw in a pristine balance sheet with more than $100 million in cash, and you're looking at an upstart with some real heft.

Fool contributor Toby Shute doesn't have a position in any company mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.