What colored blobs in the brain can tell us about environmental decision making

Growing up in California in the 1990s with a brittle bone disability, Nik Sawe appreciated every chance he got to go to Yosemite National Park. Spending time outside meant he was healthy, and that association helped touch off a lifelong love of nature. That love led him to study biology in college, but breaking bones every few months due to seemingly minor injuries left him unable to do fieldwork. He shifted his focus from ecology to neuroscience and, after college, took a job in the medical device industry. Reading research papers late at night, Sawe became interested in neuroeconomics, a field that explores our brain’s role in how we allocate scarce resources and weigh trade-offs between short- and long-term benefits. He saw that the questions neuroeconomics was asking could be applied to environmental issues. After reaching out to his old biology professors at Stanford, he ended up applying to an interdisciplinary environmental Ph.D. program with a proposal to use neuroeconomics to study how people make environmental decisions.

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MedTech

How to Choose a Reliable Biotech Clinical Trial Management System?

Article | July 12, 2022

Introduction The medical and life-science industries are experiencing a robust transformation with the increasing prevalence of various types of diseases, including infectious diseases, chronic disorders, and acute conditions around the world. As a result, a significant rise in demand for more effective therapeutic drugs and bionics is being witnessed, leading to a swift increase in the number of clinical trials. For a successful trial, it is important for biotech companies to ensure the data submitted to regulatory bodies regarding clinical trials is accurate, reliable, and definitive from an ethical point of view. A reliable clinical trial management system plays a vital role in collecting, monitoring, and managing clinical data. The availability of high-quality clinical data also helps clinical research institutions make efficient treatment decisions and provide proper patient care. Hence, a number of biotech companies and research organizations are focusing on leveraging innovative clinical trial management solutions to handle a large amount of data, particularly in multi-center trials, and generate reliable, high-quality, and statistically sound data from clinical trials. However, selecting the most appropriate and reliable clinical trial management system is vital for the clinical trial's success. Let's see some of the steps that will assist these firms in choosing the right CTMS. Key Steps for Selecting Right Biotech Clinical Trial Management System Prioritize Study Needs Considering and prioritizing study needs is a crucial step in choosing the most reliable clinical trial management system for biotech companies. Prioritizing helps them to identify a solution that improves the study's quality and removes uncertainty for researchers when faced with difficult choices. Hence, biotech and life-science organizations should choose a clinical trial system that is simple to use, well-organized, and suitably designed to minimize the number of clicks required to complete a task. Select CTMS with Multiple Integrations Integrated clinical trial management systems provide the best value for the companies’ funds as they guarantee the smooth functioning of research protocols. In addition, integrations are necessary to fully understand the importance and advantages of clinical trial management software for ensuring smooth transitions between site management and data collection. Biotech and clinical research should look for CTMS platforms that can integrate with electronic medical record (EMR) platforms and clinical research process content (CRPC) billing grids. This will allow them to use the same billing designations and ensure compliance while minimizing the need for duplicate processes. Ensure System Compliance and Security Clinical research organizations need to adhere to a plethora of complex regulations in order to ensure compliance with one of the most challenging environments of principles, which is information security and privacy. Security and system compliance are vital aspects of choosing the right CTMS solutions for biotech firms as they assist in building trust and form a part of the system’s duties. While selecting CTMS systems, it is essential for companies engaged in clinical research to ensure that these platforms are able to configure both, group and individual permissions, along with having a data backup and recovery plan for hosted systems. This will allow companies to assess the privacy and security implications of research and anticipate complications that may arise in each phase of the project. Assess the Scalability Choosing a scalable CTMS that can accommodate various types of fluctuations and expansions enables biotech and clinical firms to quickly adapt to fast-changing trends and demand spikes while reducing maintenance costs and enhancing user agility. As scalability also means secure and expanded data storage, these businesses should instead use SaaS solutions than manually manage an ever-growing collection of hard drives. The right CTMS ensures accommodating the firm’s availability requirements without incurring the capital costs associated with expanding a physical infrastructure. The Closing Thought A well-executed and successful clinical trial involves multiple stages and processes. Several quality controls and stringent adherence to regulations are essential for the steps, along with efficient cross-departmental processes and procedures. Incorporating the right CTMS paves the way for paperless data collection, regulatory filing, and fiscal management tools for biotech researchers and administrative personnel.

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MedTech

Immunology: A New Frontier in Medical Science

Article | September 22, 2022

Introduction Recent developments in the bioengineering of monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) have revolutionized the treatment of numerous rheumatic and immunological disorders. Currently, several immunological disorders are successfully being targeted and treated using innovative medical techniques such as immunotherapy. Leading companies are increasingly investing in research activities to expand the usage and application of immunology for the treatment of various infectious diseases, including multiple sclerosis, inflammatory bowel disorders, lupus, and psoriasis, leading companies are increasingly investing in research activities. Today, the efforts of researchers in immunology, with a long history of study and research, have borne fruit, as bioengineered mAbs are now being employed in clinical practices. Accelerating Investments: Paving the Way for Immunology The increasing prevalence of infectious diseases, cancer, and immune-mediated inflammatory disorders (IMIDs) is raising the need for more precise classification and an in-depth understanding of the pathology underlying these ailments. Numerous leaders in the biotechnology domain are thus focusing on undertaking numerous strategies, such as new facility launches and collaborations, to address the need by finding deeper inroads into immunology and its use in disease treatments. For instance, in 2022, the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center announced the launch of a visionary research and innovation hub, the James P. Allison Institute, to find new roads in immunotherapy, develop new treatments, and foster groundbreaking science. These developments will result in better diagnosis through the use of selective biomarkers, and early detection of fatal diseases and their treatment, which will prevent complications from happening. Also, the identification of high-risk populations through a deeper understanding of genetic and environmental factors can assist in the prevention of disease through immunotherapy. The Way Forward Immunology has led to the development of biotechnology, making it possible to develop novel drugs and vaccines, as well as diagnostic tests, that can be used to prevent, diagnose, and treat a wide range of autoimmune, infectious, and cancerous diseases. With the rapid advancement in technology and the integration of artificial intelligence, immunology is finding its way into an array of domains and industries, encompassing several research areas including medicine, pharmaceuticals, agriculture, and space. Today, not only researchers but also leading biotech and pharmaceutical companies have recognized that conventional therapies with pharmaceutical and chemical products are being replaced by products derived from immunology. This is because they work well for health problems, are environmentally friendly, and are also emerging as a wealth-generating business in the medical field.

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Medical

Laboratory Information Management System for Biotech Labs: Significance & Benefits

Article | July 14, 2022

If you have ever visited the testing laboratory of a large biotechnology company, you will be aware that managing the laboratory's operations single-handedly is no easy task. The greater the size of a lab, the more research and testing activities it must accommodate. A variety of diagnostic tests are prescribed for patients in order to detect various diseases. For example, it may include blood glucose testing for diabetics, lipid panel, or liver panel tests for evaluating cardiac risk and liver function, cultures for diagnosing infections, thyroid function tests, and others. Laboratory management solutions such as laboratory information management systems (LIMS) and other software play a significant role in managing various operational data at biotech laboratories. It is one of the important types of software developed to address thedata management and regulatory challenges of laboratories. The software enhances the operational efficiency of biotech labs by streamlining workflows, proper record-keeping, and eradicating the need for manually maintaining data. What Are the Benefits of Laboratory Information Management Software in Biotechnology? As the trends of digitization and technology continue to create deeper inroads into the biotechnology sector, a significant rise in the adoption of innovative medical software solutions, such as LIMS, is being witnessed for managing research data, testing reports, and post-research results globally. Here are a few reasons that are encouraging biotech facilities to adopt LIMS solutions Real-Time Data Collection and Tracking Previously, collecting and transporting samples was a tedious and time-consuming task. However, the adoption of LIMS with innovative tracking modules has made the job easier. The real-time sample tracking feature of LIMS has made it possible for personnel to collect the research data in real-time and manage and control the workflow with a few mouse clicks on the screen. Increase Revenue LIMS makes it possible to test workflows while giving users complete control over the testing process. A laboratory is able to collect data, schedule equipment maintenance or upgrades, enhance operational efficiency, and maintain a lower overhead with the help of the LIMS, thereby increasing revenue. Streamlined Workflow With its completion monitoring, LIMS speeds up laboratory workflows and keeps track of information. It assigns tasks to the specialist along with keeping a real-time track of the status and completion of each task. LIMS is integrated into the laboratory using lab information, which ultimately speeds up internal processes and streamlines the workflow. Automatic Data Exchange LIMS solutions store data in a centralized database. Automated transfer of data between departments and organizations is one of the major features of LIMS. Through its automated information exchange feature, LIMS improves internal operations, decreases the reporting time for data sharing, and assists in faster decision-making. Final Thoughts As the healthcare sector continues to ride the wave of digital transformation, biotech laboratories are emphasizing adopting newer technologies to keep up with the changes. Citing this trend, laboratory information management systems are becoming crucial for biotech and medical organizations for maintaining research data, instant reporting, and managing confidential, inventory, and financial data with centralized data storage.

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Research

2022 U.S. Market Research Report with COVID-19 Forecasts2

Article | July 11, 2022

The global biotechnology market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 13.9 percent from 2022 to 2030, with a value estimated at USD 1,023.92 billion in 2021. The market is being propelled by strong government support in the form of initiatives aimed at modernizing the regulatory framework, improving approval processes and reimbursement policies, and standardizing clinical studies. The growing presence of personalized medicine and an increasing number of orphan drug formulations are opening up new avenues for biotechnology applications and driving the influx of emerging and innovative biotechnology companies, which is driving market revenue even further. The 2022 Biotech Research and Development Market Research Report is one of the most comprehensive and in-depth assessments of the industry in the United States, containing over 100 data sets spanning the years 2013 to 2026. This Kentley Insights report contains historical and forecasted market size, product lines, profitability, financial ratios, BCG matrix, state statistics, operating expense details, organizational breakdown, consolidation analysis, employee productivity, price inflation, pay bands for the top 20 industry jobs, trend analysis and forecasts on companies, locations, employees, payroll, and much more. Companies in the Biotech Research and Development industry are primarily engaged in biotechnology research and experimental development. Biotechnology research and development entails the investigation of the use of microorganisms and cellular and bimolecular processes to create or modify living or non-living materials. This biotechnology research and development may result in the development of new biotechnology processes or prototypes of new or genetically altered products that can be replicated, used, or implemented by various industries. This report was created using the findings of extensive business surveys and econometrics. The professionals follow reports with accurate and apt information on market sizing, benchmarking, strategic planning, due diligence, cost-cutting, planning, understanding industry dynamics, forecasting, streamlining, gap analysis, and other ana

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Neurocrine Biosciences and Xenon Launch Up-to-$1.7B Epilepsy, Neuroscience Collaboration

GEN | December 02, 2019

Neurocrine Biosciences has agreed to exclusively license and co-develop Xenon Pharmaceuticals’ Phase I epilepsy candidate XEN901 as a treatment for children—as well as develop three preclinical compounds, the companies said today—through a collaboration that could generate up to $1.7 billion for Xenon. XEN901 is designed as a highly selective Nav1.6 sodium channel inhibitor being developed to treat children with SCN8A developmental and epileptic encephalopathy (SCN8A-DEE) and other potential indications, including adult focal epilepsy. Xenon has completed a Phase I trial of a powder-in-capsule formulation of XEN901 in healthy adults. However, Xenon has also developed a pediatric-specific, granule formulation of XEN901, and has completed juvenile toxicology studies intended to support pediatric development of the drug candidate. “With its proven expertise in developing and commercializing treatments for neurological disorders, we believe Neurocrine Biosciences is an ideal partner to maximize the potential value of XEN901 for patients,” Xenon CEO Simon Pimstone, MD, PhD, FRCPC, said in a statement.

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Using Machine Learning To Reveal How the Brain Encodes Memories

Technology Networks | November 28, 2019

Researchers working in The N.1 Institute for Health at NUS, led by Assistant Professor Camilo Libedinsky from NUS Psychology, and Senior Lecturer Shih-Cheng Yen from the Innovation and Design Programme at NUS Engineering, have discovered that a population of neurons in the brain’s frontal lobe contain stable short-term memory information within dynamically-changing neural activity. This discovery may have far-reaching consequences in understanding how organisms have the ability to perform multiple mental operations simultaneously, such as remembering, paying attention and making a decision, using a brain of limited size. In the human brain, the frontal lobe plays an important role in processing short-term memories. Short-term memory has a low capacity to retain information. “It can usually only hold six to eight items. Think for example about our ability to remember a phone number for a few seconds – that uses short-term memory,” Libendisky explained.

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Researchers Uncovered a New Mechanism of Neurodegeneration

Technology Networks | November 22, 2019

Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease (CMT) is an inherited neurodegenerative condition that affects 1 in 2500 individuals. Currently, however, it is still lacking effective treatment options. New research has demonstrated that a class of cytoplasmic enzymes called tRNA synthetases can cause CMT by interfering with the gene transcription in the nucleus. This breakthrough is the result of an international academic collaboration, where scientists from the VIB-UAntwerp Center for Molecular Neurology and the Scripps Research Institute were the driving force. The study was published in the leading journal Nature Communications. Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease (CMT) is a condition that affects the peripheral nervous system. It leads to progressive muscle weakness and loss of sensation in the lower and - later on - upper limbs. It is the most commonly inheritable neuromuscular disorder and, at the moment, remains incurable. The first symptoms can appear both in early childhood or during adult life. Over 90 genes are implicated in the pathology so far and these are involved in a variety of processes. This complexity makes it a difficult condition to study and find a treatment for.

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Neurocrine Biosciences and Xenon Launch Up-to-$1.7B Epilepsy, Neuroscience Collaboration

GEN | December 02, 2019

Neurocrine Biosciences has agreed to exclusively license and co-develop Xenon Pharmaceuticals’ Phase I epilepsy candidate XEN901 as a treatment for children—as well as develop three preclinical compounds, the companies said today—through a collaboration that could generate up to $1.7 billion for Xenon. XEN901 is designed as a highly selective Nav1.6 sodium channel inhibitor being developed to treat children with SCN8A developmental and epileptic encephalopathy (SCN8A-DEE) and other potential indications, including adult focal epilepsy. Xenon has completed a Phase I trial of a powder-in-capsule formulation of XEN901 in healthy adults. However, Xenon has also developed a pediatric-specific, granule formulation of XEN901, and has completed juvenile toxicology studies intended to support pediatric development of the drug candidate. “With its proven expertise in developing and commercializing treatments for neurological disorders, we believe Neurocrine Biosciences is an ideal partner to maximize the potential value of XEN901 for patients,” Xenon CEO Simon Pimstone, MD, PhD, FRCPC, said in a statement.

Read More

Using Machine Learning To Reveal How the Brain Encodes Memories

Technology Networks | November 28, 2019

Researchers working in The N.1 Institute for Health at NUS, led by Assistant Professor Camilo Libedinsky from NUS Psychology, and Senior Lecturer Shih-Cheng Yen from the Innovation and Design Programme at NUS Engineering, have discovered that a population of neurons in the brain’s frontal lobe contain stable short-term memory information within dynamically-changing neural activity. This discovery may have far-reaching consequences in understanding how organisms have the ability to perform multiple mental operations simultaneously, such as remembering, paying attention and making a decision, using a brain of limited size. In the human brain, the frontal lobe plays an important role in processing short-term memories. Short-term memory has a low capacity to retain information. “It can usually only hold six to eight items. Think for example about our ability to remember a phone number for a few seconds – that uses short-term memory,” Libendisky explained.

Read More

Researchers Uncovered a New Mechanism of Neurodegeneration

Technology Networks | November 22, 2019

Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease (CMT) is an inherited neurodegenerative condition that affects 1 in 2500 individuals. Currently, however, it is still lacking effective treatment options. New research has demonstrated that a class of cytoplasmic enzymes called tRNA synthetases can cause CMT by interfering with the gene transcription in the nucleus. This breakthrough is the result of an international academic collaboration, where scientists from the VIB-UAntwerp Center for Molecular Neurology and the Scripps Research Institute were the driving force. The study was published in the leading journal Nature Communications. Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease (CMT) is a condition that affects the peripheral nervous system. It leads to progressive muscle weakness and loss of sensation in the lower and - later on - upper limbs. It is the most commonly inheritable neuromuscular disorder and, at the moment, remains incurable. The first symptoms can appear both in early childhood or during adult life. Over 90 genes are implicated in the pathology so far and these are involved in a variety of processes. This complexity makes it a difficult condition to study and find a treatment for.

Read More

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