Antarctic biodiversity hotspots exist wherever penguins and seals poop

phys.org | May 09, 2019

Scientists have found that on the desolate Antarctic peninsula, nitrogen-rich poop from colonies of penguins and seals enriches the soil so well that it helps create biodiversity hotspots throughout the region. Their work, appearing May 9 in the journal Current Biology, finds that the influence of this excrement can extend more than 1,000 meters beyond the colony. Researchers braved the wicked cold of the Antarctic and maneuvered through fields of animal waste and groups of clamoring elephant seals, gentoo, chinstrap, and Adélie penguins to examine the soils and plants surrounding these colonies. "What we see is that the poo produced by seals and penguins partly evaporates as ammonia," says Stef Bokhorst, a researcher in the Department of Ecological Sciences at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. "Then, the ammonia gets picked up by the wind and is blown inland, and this makes its way into the soil and provides the nitrogen that primary producers need in order to survive in this landscape."

Spotlight

On average, GMOs take 13 years and US$130 million of R&D before coming to market.  And the regulatory process alone can take 5 to 7 years.  This has been illustrated in the infographic developed by GMOAnswers.com. When people refer to genetically modified organisms - GMOs - they are referring to crops developed through genetic engineering, a more precise method of plant breeding.  Genetic engineering, also referred to as biotechnology, allows plant breeders to take a desirable trait found in nature and transfer it from one plant or organism to the plant they want to improve, as well as make a change to an existing trait in a plant they are developing.

Spotlight

On average, GMOs take 13 years and US$130 million of R&D before coming to market.  And the regulatory process alone can take 5 to 7 years.  This has been illustrated in the infographic developed by GMOAnswers.com. When people refer to genetically modified organisms - GMOs - they are referring to crops developed through genetic engineering, a more precise method of plant breeding.  Genetic engineering, also referred to as biotechnology, allows plant breeders to take a desirable trait found in nature and transfer it from one plant or organism to the plant they want to improve, as well as make a change to an existing trait in a plant they are developing.

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INDUSTRIAL IMPACT

SIGA Announces Oncology Collaboration with KaliVir Immunotherapeutics

SIGA Technologies Inc. | July 16, 2022

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CELL AND GENE THERAPY

Spatial Biology CRO Flagship Biosciences Acquires Pharma Services Business from Interpace Biosciences

Flagship Biosciences, Inc. | September 01, 2022

Flagship Biosciences, Inc., a leader in spatial biology and biomarker analytics services, announced the acquisition of Interpace Pharma Solutions® a division of Interpace Biosciences and provider of cytogenetic, molecular pathology, and genomic profiling solutions. This acquisition follows a growth equity investment in Flagship from Ampersand Capital Partners, BroadOak Capital Partners, and Research Corporation Technologies. The strategic combination of Flagship and IPS creates a full repertoire of biomarker lab and analytic services to advance precision therapeutic development and adds a state-of-the-art laboratory in Research Triangle Park, NC. Flagship Biosciences offers cutting-edge spatial biology services, powered by its patented AI image analysis technology that improves the accuracy of tissue-based pathology by delivering thousands of measurements on every cell and enabling the discovery of biomarkers that might be missed using traditional histology methods. Experts in pathology and regulatory strategy, the team at Flagship offers advanced end-to-end biomarker and analytics services to support drug trials, biomarker discovery, and clinical diagnostics. They also offer guidance in the development of companion diagnostics. To better serve their biopharma and diagnostics clients, Flagship Biosciences will integrate the technologies and services of IPS to support all phases of clinical trials and diagnostic development in immuno-oncology, hematology, solid tumors, and various non-oncology sectors. Flagship Biosciences' expanded services menu will now include advanced molecular biomarker solutions, flow cytometry, cytogenetics, genomics, and bioinformatics solutions. New genomic profiling capabilities will enhance biomarker characterization and improve patient stratification for clinical trials and treatment selection. "By combining these organizations, we create a single-source provider offering a larger range of biomarker and analytics services while maintaining and expanding the proven expertise of each laboratory. This will allow our customers to gain deeper insights into their clinical projects through multiple biomarker testing paradigms with cohesive data and analytical capabilities, managed in a simplified project workflow." Trevor Johnson, CEO at Flagship Biosciences About Flagship Biosciences Founded in 2009 and headquartered in Broomfield, Colorado, Flagship Biosciences, Inc. is a technology-driven tissue analysis services company delivering the most accurate and informative data available. We are revolutionizing tissue analysis to improve drug development and diagnostics using the power of AI with a consultative approach. Our services and technology dramatically improve on the data and interpretation from traditional pathology methods, eliminating variability associated with typical tissue assessments, and bringing new insights to tissue analysis results. We provide expert scientific consultation for every client. Our team interprets results, contextualizes tissue biology, and identifies the best course for success. For more information, please visit flagshipbio.com and follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn. About Interpace Pharma Solutions Based in Research Triangle Park, NC, Interpace Pharma Solutions provides complex molecular analysis services supporting clinical trials and diagnostic development. These services include genomic profiling, biomarker solutions, project and data management, bioinformatics analysis, and biorepository services. About Ampersand Capital Partners Founded in 1988, Ampersand is a middle market private equity firm with more than $3 billion of assets under management dedicated to growth-oriented investments in the healthcare sector. With offices in Boston, MA and Amsterdam, Netherlands, Ampersand leverages a unique blend of private equity and operating experience to build value and drive superior long-term performance alongside its portfolio company management teams. Ampersand has helped build numerous market-leading companies across each of the firm's core healthcare sectors. About BroadOak Capital Partners BroadOak Capital Partners, with headquarters in Washington, DC, and San Francisco, is a life-sciences focused boutique financial institution that provides direct investment and investment banking services to companies in research tools and consumables, diagnostics, biopharma services, and adjacent markets. BroadOak has led or participated in investments in more than fifty companies across multiple funds and investment vehicles. About Research Corporation Technologies Research Corporation Technologies is a Tucson, Arizona based technology investment and management company that provides funding and development for promising life science and biomedical companies. RCT has assets of more than $500 million to advance technology and product development through flexible, long-term investment options.

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INDUSTRIAL IMPACT

Co-Diagnostics, Inc. to Announce Expansion of OEM Agreement with Bio Molecular Systems at AACC

Co-Diagnostics | July 27, 2022

Co-Diagnostics, Inc. a molecular diagnostics company with a unique, patented platform for the development of molecular diagnostic tests, announced today that it will be disclosing the global expansion of its OEM agreement with Bio Molecular Systems (BMS) at the Company's customer and distributor update today at AACC. Located in the Gold Coast area of Queensland, Australia, BMS includes the founders and senior personnel from the company responsible for inventing and developing the original Rotor-Gene Real-Time PCR instrument, with a reputation for expertise in developing innovative, versatile, robust, and easy-to-use products. BMS currently manufactures the magnetic induction PCR instrument that is sold by the Company as the Co-Dx Box™, which includes software that optimized specifically to enhance ease-of-use of the Company's molecular assays. The expanded branding and distribution OEM agreement increases Co-Dx's approved sales territories to 193 countries worldwide. "We are excited for the opportunities that we believe this expanded agreement will provide the Company to increase the reach of our state-of-the-art products. Co-Dx tests have already been sold to laboratories and distributors in over 50 countries, and with this expanded agreement we expect that even more areas will be able to benefit from Co-Dx's high-quality, affordable molecular testing tools." Company CEO Dwight Egan About Co-Diagnostics, Inc. Co-Diagnostics, Inc., a Utah corporation, is a molecular diagnostics company that develops, manufactures and markets state-of-the-art diagnostics technologies. The Company's technologies are utilized for tests that are designed using the detection and/or analysis of nucleic acid molecules (DNA or RNA). The Company also uses its proprietary technology to design specific tests to locate genetic markers for use in industries other than infectious disease and license the use of those tests to specific customers.

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