Always Disorganized? That Might Actually Be A Good Thing

goodnewsnetwork | April 21, 2019

There’s never been a better time to be disorganized. For those of who you have been criticized for being messy, we have some good news. According to Steven Johnson, “the more disorganized your brain is, the smarter you are.” He is the author of Where Good Ideas Come From: The Natural History of Innovation. In his book, he notes that this revelation was discovered in a neuroscience experiment conducted by bio-psychologist Robert Thatcher. In addition, Johnson and other sources have cited “messy” ideas as proving to have a profound impact on creativity. For instance, research has revealed “wandering minds” to be more creative—and even large cities as being more creative than smaller towns due to the amount of spurring ideas. “Being right keeps you in place,” says this author of seven books focused around science, technology and life. “Being wrong forces us to explore.”

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The Applied Biotechnology Sector within the ISAT program provides a comprehensive understanding of living systems in the context of the following applications: improving medical biotechnology, enhancing agricultural yields, improving industrial and environmental applications, and developing clean-burning, renewable biofuels. Courses focusing on federal regulations, legal issues, and social, moral, and ethical considerations are offered in addition to those emphasizing technical scientific principles.

Spotlight

The Applied Biotechnology Sector within the ISAT program provides a comprehensive understanding of living systems in the context of the following applications: improving medical biotechnology, enhancing agricultural yields, improving industrial and environmental applications, and developing clean-burning, renewable biofuels. Courses focusing on federal regulations, legal issues, and social, moral, and ethical considerations are offered in addition to those emphasizing technical scientific principles.

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INDUSTRIAL IMPACT

Heska to Acquire LightDeck Diagnostics to Invest in Manufacturing Capabilities and Accelerate Research and Development Efforts

LightDeck Diagnostics and Heska | September 13, 2022

Heska Corporation a leading global provider of advanced veterinary diagnostic and specialty solutions, announced today that the Company has entered a definitive agreement to acquire 100% of the share capital of MBio Diagnostics, Inc. d/b/a LightDeck Diagnostics a pioneer in innovative planar waveguide fluorescence immunoassay diagnostics with strong manufacturing and specialized production capabilities. Founded in 2009 and headquartered in Boulder, Colorado, LightDeck has developed a scalable and innovative platform for rapid and accurate point of care diagnostics. LightDeck's 80-member team includes industry veterans, engineers, and scientists, with deep technical expertise in assay development, manufacturing, and software development, who have collaborated with commercial, academic, and government partners worldwide to build an extensive intellectual property portfolio of 16 US patents and 15 international patents with broad applications, including in veterinary diagnostics, water testing, and human in-vitro diagnostics use. LightDeck's planar waveguide technology optimizes laser activated fluorescence and microfluidics to provide point of care cartridge-based testing without compromise, enabling reference lab-quality results in minutes with inexpensive, quantitative, and easy-to-use functionality. LightDeck's current Boulder location includes fully equipped laboratories for assay development and controlled manufacturing capabilities that support its new, state-of-the-art, highly automated facility in Longmont, Colorado, anticipated to go online in 2023 to dramatically scale-up capacity, production, and research and development. "We are thrilled to welcome the entire LightDeck team to Heska. We have known and closely followed their success for years and we are happy to fully join with them today as one team focused on supercharging their great work. LightDeck brings to Heska best-in-breed, highly scalable manufacturing and world-class assay development to help drive our strategies for winning at innovation and winning at scale," commented Kevin Wilson, Heska's Chief Executive Officer and President. "LightDeck was central in developing Heska's leading immunodiagnostic platform, Element i+®, including its current menu of Total T4, cTSH, Cortisol, and Progesterone. Having proven our capability, we now take this next important step as we aim to drive production of Element i+® analyzers and cartridges at scale and to accelerate key test menu expansion, such as our recently announced Nu.Q® Vet Cancer Screen, cCRP, SDMA, infectious diseases, and more, in single and multi-plex formats that are substantially better than the competition. We expect to drive gross margin improvement with new manufacturing capabilities and scaling across the business. The addition of LightDeck is a great strategic, financial, and cultural fit with Heska as we continue our march to the top of the innovation and manufacturing competition for the most valuable diagnostics," concluded Mr. Wilson. "This is a terrific outcome for LightDeck and Heska and their shareholders, employees and commercial partners. We have known and worked with Heska for years and we greatly admire the Heska organization. Since its founding in 2009, LightDeck has been dedicated to revolutionizing testing at the point of care- for faster, more accurate, less expensive, multi-plex testing of the most important diagnostic tests. We have developed one of the most innovative and technologically-advanced assay platforms in the world, which has led to our recent addition to Fast Company's Annual List of the World's 50 Most Innovative Companies for 2022. I am very proud of the work our team has accomplished over the last 13 years." LightDeck's Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer, Mike Lochhead, went on to say, "We are excited to now enter this next phase with Heska to dramatically expand our reach and scale. What we do at LightDeck matters a great deal. With Heska, we go confidently into our next commercial, manufacturing, and development chapters, strongly engaged, highly supported, and clearly set-up for long-term success and growth." Nick Traggis, LightDeck's Chief Executive Officer About Heska Heska Corporation manufactures, develops and sells advanced veterinary diagnostics, informatics, and specialty healthcare solutions through its two business segments: North America and International. Both segments include Point of Care Lab testing instruments and consumables, digital imaging products, software and services, data services, allergy testing and immunotherapy, and single-use offerings such as in-clinic diagnostic tests and heartworm preventive products. The North America segment also includes private label vaccine and pharmaceutical production for third-parties, primarily for herd animal health. About LightDeck Diagnostics LightDeck Diagnostics believes in a new approach to healthcare, where quick and accurate diagnostic tests will be run wherever and whenever they are needed. The company's proprietary LightDeck® platform combines an advanced laser waveguide with novel materials and patented manufacturing techniques to deliver lab-quality results anywhere, in minutes. The LightDeck platform is achieving success in veterinary diagnostics and for environmental testing. LightDeck is also developing a portfolio of in vitro diagnostic panels. The company is based in Boulder, Colorado, and is recognized as Colorado BioScience Association's Company of the Year, 2021.

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INDUSTRIAL IMPACT

Ordaōs and NonExomics Announce Research Collaboration

Ordaōs and NonExomics | September 29, 2022

Ordaōs, a biotechnology company designing novel miniPROTM mini-proteins to help drug hunters deliver life-saving treatments, and NonExomics, a company specializing in the identification of novel targets from non-conventional protein-coding regions, announced a proof-of-concept research collaboration. As part of this endeavor, Ordaōs will use its proprietary design engine to generate and rank novel miniPRO™ candidates that meet specific target product profiles, beginning with three targets. NonExomics will conduct pre-clinical certification of these identified MinPRO™ proteins to demonstrate their promising commercial value. "This partnership allows us to spotlight the power of our Design Engine to create customized miniPRO™ proteins that are more configurable, penetrable and stable, and easier to manufacture. Our collaboration with NonExomics also allows us the mutual opportunity to underscore the potential of our specialties utilizing machine-driven technology." David Longo, CEO of Ordaōs NonExomics identifies whether novel proteins can function as drug targets for therapeutic purposes or can be used for diagnostic processes. The company has developed a technology that effectively combines artificial intelligence, proteomics, transcriptomics, and genomics to identify novel targets for quicker diagnosis and treatment of diseases that are currently considered to be incurable or difficult to manage. NonExomics plans to develop new therapies and diagnostics based on its proprietary nonexomic targets. "We at NonExomics are thrilled to be embarking on this exciting collaboration between our companies to fuel our shared goal of pursuing and developing new therapies for poorly treated or currently deemed incurable diseases," said Sudhakaran Prabakaran, PhD, CEO and Co-Founder of NonExomics. To select miniPRO™ candidates, Ordaōs will use its multitask meta-learning Ordaōs Design Engine to generate, appraise, and rank hundreds of thousands of proteins on their structures and drug-like properties for novel miniPRO™ candidates that meet the requirements of the desired specifications of NonExomics' product profile. NonExomics will then conduct a series of pre-clinical demonstrations of the selected Ordaōs miniPRO™ designs to prove they meet the specified product profiles. More About The Ordaōs Design Engine Ordaōs uses The Ordaōs Design Engine, to deliver true protein property design - leveraging continuous learning loops and proprietary data sets to translate human-targeted product criteria into machine-designed mini-proteins. Starting with amino acids, the Design Engine generates, appraises, and ranks billions of protein sequences and hundreds of thousands of protein structures and properties to create customized miniPRO™ proteins. These proteins are then rapidly evaluated in vitro to provide intelligent feedback on multiple design objectives including protein structure, binding specificity and affinity, solubility, stability, immunogenicity, and developability. This iterative process delivers optimized mini-proteins to meet the client's specific molecular target product profile (mTPP). They are also less likely to cause adverse side effects and are easier and less expensive to test, develop, and manufacture than traditional proteins. Using this approach, the Ordaōs Design Engine creates more ideal, unseen protein leads than others and can accelerate drug candidate development, increasing the probability of more therapeutically effective candidates. All of this provides clients with a high level of confidence in their investigational new drug (IND) applications. About Ordaōs Ordaōs is a human-enabled, machine-driven drug design company that helps birth novel therapies to reduce patient suffering, improve health, and extend life. Our flagship solution, miniPRO™ mini-proteins, enable drug hunters to deliver safer and more effective treatments in a fraction of the time of traditional discovery methods. About NonExomics NonExomics science and platform developed over eight years of rigorous academic and industry research, mines novel disease-associated proteins using the dark genome. NonExomics has opened up a new area of science with unlimited possibilities to cure diseases.

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CELL AND GENE THERAPY

GenScript and Gladstone-UCSF Institute of Genomic Immunology Collaborate on Groundbreaking Non-Viral Cell Therapy Study

Genscript Biotech Corporation | September 23, 2022

GenScript USA Inc., the world's leading life-science research tools and services provider, is collaborating with researchers at the Gladstone-UCSF Institute of Genomic Immunology to advance the development of new, non-viral cell therapies that modify genomic sequences in the pursuit of more effective cell therapy products while limiting the cellular toxicity that is typically associated with previously available methods. A new study, published in Nature Biotechnology, details methods for achieving highly efficient non-viral knock-in using GenScript's GenExact™ single-strand DNA modified with Cas9-target sequences. This method achieved up to ˜40% knock-in efficiency in primary immune cell types. One powerful application of CRISPR/Cas genome editing technology involves the precise insertion of DNA sequences via the HDR pathway. Traditionally, researchers have relied on viral vectors to deliver DNA insertion templates used for gene therapy into cells. However, difficulties manufacturing large amounts of clinical-grade viral vectors have delayed getting cell therapies to patients. Additionally, viral vectors can insert genes at any location within the genome, leading to safety concerns. Previous research by the group at Gladstone and UCSF has shown that synthetic DNA templates can be delivered without the use of viral vectors, but high levels of double-stranded DNA can be toxic to cells, resulting in low efficiency. Efficiency can be improved using a modified version of the DNA templates that can bind to the Cas9 enzyme. However, additional work was required to improve the yield of successfully engineered cells and to make the process compatible with the manufacturing of future cell therapies. Those goals motivated the team's current study. In this study, the team tested modified GenExact ssDNA designed with Cas9-targeted sequences to determine if the gene-editing efficiency could be improved with lower toxicity. First, synthetic sgRNA was complexed with Cas9 protein to form a RNP complex. Then the RNP and ssDNA template were delivered into the cell via electroporation, enabling efficient gene editing. The team discovered that this combination of GenExact ssDNA with Cas9-targeted sequence offers up to 40% knock-in editing efficiency with minimal cellular toxicity. This approach can accelerate the development and manufacture of novel, high-yield non-viral gene therapies — and at lower cost. "We are very proud to have collaborated on this groundbreaking scale-up work by the talented team at Gladstone and UCSF. GenScript is excited for the opportunities that this high-yield cell-line engineering process will provide to our customers," said Ray Chen, Ph.D, president of GenScript Life Science Group. "We were very happy to partner with Genscript on critical experiments demonstrating high efficiency and yield of CAR knock-in cells at clinical scale. The long ssDNA produced by Genscript exceeded our expectations and helped us clearly demonstrate the potential for future therapeutic applications using these methods.", Brian Shy, MD, PhD, a former clinical fellow in the lab of Alex Marson, MD, PhD, director of the Gladstone-UCSF Institute of Genomic Immunology About GenScript Biotech Corporation GenScript Biotech Corporation is a global biotechnology group. Based on its leading gene synthesis technology, GenScript has developed four major platforms including the global cell therapy platform, the biologics contract development and manufacturing organization platform, the contract research organization platform, and the industrial synthesis product platform. GenScript was founded in New Jersey, USA in 2002 and listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange in 2015. GenScript's business operation spans over 100 countries and regions worldwide, with legal entities located in the USA, mainland China, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, the Netherlands, and Ireland. GenScript has provided premium, convenient, and reliable products and services for over 100,000 customers.

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