High-tech Melanin Might Help Put Technology Inside Our Bodies

BILL ANDREWS | March 27, 2019 | 57 views

We have a complicated relationship with melanin, the natural chemical pigment that gives color to our eyes, hair and skin. It protects our skin from harmful radiation from the sun, but can also lead to cancer. Theres also the whole matter of discrimination based on differences in physical appearance caused by melanin, which we as a species are apparently still working on.Scientifically, things are no different. A type of melanin known as eumelaninis electrically conductive, meaning it could be a great material for biotechnology, since our bodies are already familiar with the stuff and its a biodegradable substance. But, this kind of melanin is unfortunately not quite conductive enough to be useful right now - electricity just doesnt flow as well across it as we need it to.

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Top 10 biotech IPOs in 2019

Article | August 16, 2022

The big question at the start of 2019 was whether the IPO window would stay open for biotech companies, particularly those seeking to pull off ever-larger IPOs at increasingly earlier stages of development. The short answer is yes—kind of. Here’s the long answer: In the words of Renaissance Capital, the IPO market had “a mostly good year.” The total number of deals fell to 159 from 192 the year before, but technology and healthcare companies were standout performers. The latter—which include biotech, medtech and diagnostics companies—led the pack, making up 43% of all IPOs in 2019. By Renaissance’s count, seven companies went public at valuations exceeding $1 billion, up from five the year before

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MEDTECH

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

Article | October 7, 2022

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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MEDTECH

Closing bacterial genomes from the human gut microbiome using long-read sequencing

Article | September 22, 2022

In our lab, we focus on the impact of the gut microbiome on human health and disease. To evaluate this relationship, it’s important to understand the particular functions that different bacteria have. As bacteria are able to exchange, duplicate, and rearrange their genes in ways that directly affect their phenotypes, complete bacterial genomes assembled directly from human samples are essential to understand the strain variation and potential functions of the bacteria we host. Advances in the microbiome space have allowed for the de novo assembly of microbial genomes directly from metagenomes via short-read sequencing, assembly of reads into contigs, and binning of contigs into putative genome drafts. This is advantageous because it allows us to discover microbes without culturing them, directly from human samples and without reference databases. In the past year, there have been a number of tour de force efforts to broadly characterize the human gut microbiota through the creation of such metagenome-assembled genomes (MAGs)[1–4]. These works have produced hundreds of thousands of microbial genomes that vastly increase our understanding of the human gut. However, challenges in the assembly of short reads has limited our ability to correctly assemble repeated genomic elements and place them into genomic context. Thus, existing MAGs are often fragmented and do not include mobile genetic elements, 16S rRNA sequences, and other elements that are repeated or have high identity within and across bacterial genomes.

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Selexis Cell Line Development Strategies

Article | February 11, 2020

In today’s biotechnology landscape, to be competitive, meet regulations, and achieve market demands, “we must apply Bioprocessing 4.0,” said Igor Fisch, PhD, CEO, Selexis. In fact, in the last decade, “Selexis has evolved from cloning by limiting dilution to automated cell selection to nanofluidic chips and from monoclonality assessment by statistical calculation to proprietary bioinformatic analysis,” he added. Single-use processing systems are an expanding part of the biomanufacturing world; as such, they are a major component of Bioprocessing 4.0. “At Selexis, we use single use throughout our cell line development workflow. Currently, we have incorporated single-use automated bioprocessing systems such as ambr® and the Beacon® optofluidic platform for accelerated cell line development. By using these systems and optimizing our parameters, we were able to achieve high titers in shake flasks. Additionally, the Beacon systems integrate miniaturized cell culture with high-throughput liquid handling automation and cell imaging. This allows us to control, adjust, and monitor programs at the same time,” noted Fisch.

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Oncomark

OncoMark Ltd. is a private company centred on the development and application of biomarker panels, particularly supporting oncology drug development.

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Technology Networks | December 17, 2019

By combining RNA sequencing, bioinformatics and mathematical modeling, University of California San Diego School of Medicine and Moores Cancer Center researchers identified a sudden transcriptomic switch that turns healthy liver tissue cancerous. The finding was used to develop a quantitative analytical tool that assesses cancer risk in patients with chronic liver disease and to predict tumor stages and prognosis for patients with liver cancer. In the December 16, 2019 online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science (PNAS), Gen-Sheng Feng, PhD, professor of in the Department of Pathology and Section of Molecular Biology, Division of Biological Sciences at UC San Diego, and team describe developing a tumorigenic index score that identifies a shift from healthy to malignant cells

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Transcriptomic Switch Turns Healthy Liver Tissue Cancerous

Technology Networks | December 17, 2019

By combining RNA sequencing, bioinformatics and mathematical modeling, University of California San Diego School of Medicine and Moores Cancer Center researchers identified a sudden transcriptomic switch that turns healthy liver tissue cancerous. The finding was used to develop a quantitative analytical tool that assesses cancer risk in patients with chronic liver disease and to predict tumor stages and prognosis for patients with liver cancer. In the December 16, 2019 online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science (PNAS), Gen-Sheng Feng, PhD, professor of in the Department of Pathology and Section of Molecular Biology, Division of Biological Sciences at UC San Diego, and team describe developing a tumorigenic index score that identifies a shift from healthy to malignant cells

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