CRISPR Code Cracked For Precise Human Genome Editing

PREETY SUMAN | December 17, 2018

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CRISPR Cas9 has been a trending technique effective in editing genes in various organisms. Tons of experiments have been conducted using CRISPR, latest being the CRISPR baby born in China claimed by a Chinese scientist. However, there has been no lead in predicting the editing outcome in specific sites. In a major breakthrough, scientists at the Francis Crick Institute have unveiled a simple set of rules determining the precision of CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing in human cells. 

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Circulomics Inc

Circulomics is a Maryland biotechnology company that spun out of a $14M Cancer Nanomedicine Center at Johns Hopkins to commercialize micro- and nanotechnology enabled tools for biomarker analysis and cancer diagnostics. These tools include Nanobind DNA/RNA Extraction Technology, Ligo-miR Multiplexed microRNA Assay, and PicoSep Single Molecule DNA Sizing Platform.

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DIAGNOSTICS

Making Predictions by Digitizing Bioprocessing

Article | April 20, 2021

With advances in data analytics and machine learning, the move from descriptive and diagnostic analytics to predictive and prescriptive analytics and controls—allowing us to better forecast and understand what will happen and thus optimize process outcomes—is not only feasible but inevitable, according to Bonnie Shum, principal engineer, pharma technical innovation, technology & manufacturing sciences and technology at Genentech. “Well-trained artificial intelligence systems can help drive better decision making and how data is analyzed from drug discovery to process development and to manufacturing processes,” she says. Those advances, though, only really matter when they improve the lives of patients. That’s exactly what Shum expects. “The convergence of digital transformation and operational/processing changes will be critical for the facilities of the future and meeting the needs of our patients,” she continues. “Digital solutions may one day provide fully automated bioprocessing, eliminating manual intervention and enabling us to anticipate potential process deviations to prevent process failures, leading to real-time release and thus faster access for patients.” To turn Bioprocessing 4.0 into a production line for precision healthcare, real-time release and quickly manufacturing personalized medicines will be critical. Adding digitization and advanced analytics wherever possible will drive those improvements. In fact, many of these improvements, especially moving from descriptive to predictive bioprocessing, depend on more digitization.

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Cell Out? Lysate-Based Expression an Option for Personalized Meds

Article | April 20, 2021

Cell-free expression (CFE) is the practice of making a protein without using a living cell. In contrast with cell line-based methods, production is achieved using a fluid containing biological components extracted from a cell, i.e., a lysate. CFE offers potential advantages for biopharma according to Philip Probert, PhD, a senior scientist at the Centre for Process Innovation in the U.K.

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Wisconsin biotech companies could play key roles in long-term economic recovery from COVID-19 pandemic

Article | April 20, 2021

Whether it’s called a modern “Manhattan Project” or a medical moon shot, the concept of long-term economic recovery rests on how confident people are they won’t risk serious illness by venturing forth in public again. Wisconsin stands to be a significant part of such an undertaking, whatever it’s called. The shorter-term debate is well under way over the gradual lifting of COVID-19 emergency rules, such as the now-extended “safer-at-home” order in Wisconsin. At least a dozen states, including regional coalitions on the East and West coasts, are exploring next steps as they seek to balance responses to the virus with calls for reopening the economy, at least, in part. Wisconsin’s ability to shape longer-term responses will come from private and public resources, which range from companies engaged in production of diagnostics.

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MEDICAL

Better Purification and Recovery in Bioprocessing

Article | April 20, 2021

In the downstream portion of any bioprocess, one must pick through the dross before one can seize the gold the biotherapeutic that the bioprocess was always meant to generate. Unfortunately, the dross is both voluminous and various. And the biotherapeutic gold, unlike real gold, is corruptible. That is, it can suffer structural damage and activity loss. When discarding the dross and collecting the gold, bioprocessors must be efficient and gentle. They must, to the extent possible, eliminate contaminants and organic debris while ensuring that biotherapeutics avoid aggregation-inducing stresses and retain their integrity during purification and recovery. Anything less compromises purity and reduces yield. To purify and recover biotherapeutics efficiently and gently, bioprocessors must avail themselves of the most appropriate tools and techniques. Here, we talk with several experts about which tools and techniques can help bioprocessors overcome persistent challenges. Some of these experts also touch on new approaches that can help bioprocessors address emerging challenges.

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Spotlight

Circulomics Inc

Circulomics is a Maryland biotechnology company that spun out of a $14M Cancer Nanomedicine Center at Johns Hopkins to commercialize micro- and nanotechnology enabled tools for biomarker analysis and cancer diagnostics. These tools include Nanobind DNA/RNA Extraction Technology, Ligo-miR Multiplexed microRNA Assay, and PicoSep Single Molecule DNA Sizing Platform.

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