Antarctic biodiversity hotspots exist wherever penguins and seals poop

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

Spotlight

Related News

Medical

Frontage Laboratories Acquires Accelera S.r.l.'s Bioanalytical and DMPK Businesses

Frontage | January 02, 2024

Frontage Laboratories, Inc. announced that, through its wholly-owned subsidiary Frontage Europe S.r.l., it has completed the acquisition of the Bioanalytical and Drug Metabolism & Pharmacokinetics businesses of Accelera S.r.l (Accelera). Accelera is a premier Contract Research Organization located in Nerviano, within the Lombardy region of Italy, part of the well-established NMS Group S.p.A. which has positioned itself as a global niche player in delivering discovery & preclinical studies and clinical bioanalysis to pharma and biotechnology companies, academic institutions, and other healthcare stakeholders. "Today marks a very significant achievement in the 23-year history of Frontage Laboratories, as we establish a base of operations in continental Europe. Accelera has developed a tremendous reputation for high quality R&D services and we look forward to welcoming their Bioanalytical and Drug Metabolism & Pharmacokinetics teams to the Frontage family," said Dr. Abdul Mutlib, CEO of Frontage. "We envision this strategic acquisition as a first step in establishing Frontage's footprint in Europe, with the intent of adding other service areas in the continent. We believe both existing Frontage and Accelera clients stand to benefit greatly by leveraging Frontage's increasingly global platform. In addition, we are looking forward to partnering with the remaining Accelera business on exciting opportunities to service clients across our organizations." According to Dr. Song Li, Founder and Chairman of Frontage: "It has been a long-standing goal of Frontage to expand our operations in Europe. We consider ourselves fortunate to capitalize on our outstanding relationship with the Accelera team, which has enabled us to bring our plans to fruition. We are very enthusiastic about working together as we further develop the Frontage platform in Europe, starting from a footprint in the Biopark in Nerviano Lombardy, where Accelera and Nerviano Medical Sciences Srl have already established a long-standing and efficient value chain. As always, our ongoing focus will remain on delivering the highest levels of quality, technology and expertise to our clients." "We are thrilled to join forces with Frontage as part of this strategic acquisition that marks a significant milestone in Accelera's journey," said Luca Leone, CEO of Accelera. "Accelera has built a strong reputation for delivering high-quality R&D services through all phases of drug research and development with extensive experience in oncology. This unique occasion opens up new horizons for collaboration and growth. On one hand, we will further focus on offering top-notch In-vivo (end-to-end services) for multiple emerging modalities. At the same time, we look forward to exploring exciting opportunities to serve our clients across continents through our ongoing collaboration. This partnership reflects our commitment to advancing research and providing innovative solutions in the European market and beyond," said Luca Leone, CEO of Accelera S.r.l. "Having Frontage as part of the growing partners operating from our Biopark is a landmark moment for us. In addition to the endless potential of the Accelera-Frontage collaboration, Nerviano Medical Sciences can leverage Frontage's world-class capabilities to drive breakthrough advancements in our drug discovery and development process. By uniting our strengths, we believe we can accelerate the pace of innovation and make a lasting difference in the field where all companies of this strong alliance operate and thrive here in Nerviano," said Hugues Dolgos, CEO of NMS Group S.p.A and Nerviano Medical Sciences Srl.V About Frontage Frontage Holdings Corp together with its wholly owned subsidiary Frontage Laboratories, Inc., is a global Contract Research Organization (CRO) which provides integrated, science-driven, product development services from drug discovery to late phase clinical process to enable biopharmaceutical companies to achieve their development goals. Comprehensive services include drug metabolism and pharmacokinetics, analytical testing and formulation development, preclinical and clinical trial material manufacturing, bioanalysis, preclinical safety and toxicology assessment and early phase clinical studies. Frontage has enabled many biotechnology companies and leading pharmaceutical companies of varying sizes to advance a myriad of new molecules through development and to successfully file global regulatory submissions.

Read More

Medical

Biocytogen Enters into Bispecific Antibody Drug Conjugate Agreement with Radiance Biopharma

Biocytogen | January 15, 2024

Biocytogen Pharmaceuticals Co., Ltd. a global biotech company focusing on the discovery of novel antibody therapeutics, announces that it has entered into an Exclusive Option and License Agreement with Radiance Biopharma Inc. a biotechnology company specializing in developing next generation Antibody Drug Conjugates. The agreement grants Radiance an option to license from Biocytogen a first-in-class fully human anti-HER2/TROP2 bispecific antibody-drug conjugate (BsADC) for therapeutic product development, manufacturing and commercialization for all human indications worldwide. HER2 and TROP2 are two tumor-associated antigens (TAAs) that have been found to be commonly expressed and co-expressed by multiple tumor types, including breast, gastric, colorectal, bladder, pancreatic, and non-small-cell lung cancer. Under the terms of the agreement, upon the option exercised, Biocytogen will be entitled to receive an option fee, licensing fee, development and commercialization milestone payments, as well as single-digit royalties on net sales. In addition, Biocytogen has the right to collect the sharing of sublicensing fee, if any, between Radiance and third party. Dr. Yuelei Shen, President and CEO of Biocytogen, said: “We are excited to collaborate with Radiance, a strong team with extensive experience in drug development, to develop a leading proprietary fully human bispecfic antibody drug conjugate. We are optimistic that the combination of our strength in BsADC discovery and the extensive experience of Radiance’s team will help expedite the commercialization of this dual-targeting BsADC.” Marc Lippman, MD, Chairman of the Board of Radiance said: “We are excited to enter into this Exclusive Option and License Agreement with Biocytogen for a novel human anti- HER2 and Trop2 Bispecific Antibody Drug Conjugate. Preclinical data from in vitro and in vivo assays of this BsADC shows promising high potency of anti-tumor activities in leading tumor indications. We are eager to work with Biocytogen to move the product to the clinic to benefit patients.” About Biocytogen Biocytogen is a global biotechnology company that drives the research and development of novel antibody-based drugs with innovative technologies. Founded on gene editing technology, Biocytogen leverages genetically engineered proprietary RenMice® (RenMab™/RenLite®/RenNano®/RenTCR-mimic™) platforms for fully human monoclonal/bispecific/multispecific antibody discovery, bispecific antibody-drug conjugate discovery, nanobody discovery and TCR-mimic antibody discovery, and has established an off-the-shelf library of over 400,000 fully human antibody sequences against approximately 1000 targets for worldwide collaboration. As of June 30, 2023, 50 therapeutic antibody and multiple clinical asset co-development/out-licensing/transfer agreements and 42 target-nominated RenMice® licensing projects have been established around the globe, including several partnerships with multinational pharmaceutical companies (MNCs). Biocytogen pioneered the generation of drug target knock-in humanized models for preclinical research, and currently provides a few thousand off-the-shelf animal and cell models under the company’s sub-brand, BioMice™, along with preclinical pharmacology and gene-editing services for clients worldwide. Headquartered in Beijing, Biocytogen has branches in China (Haimen Jiangsu, Shanghai), USA (Boston, San Francisco), and Germany (Heidelberg). About Radiance Biopharma Radiance is focused on developing a pipeline of antibody-based cancer therapeutics including mono and bispecific Antibody Drug Conjugates (ADCs) for the treatment of cancer and to address other unmet medical needs. Marc Lippman, MD, a co-founder and Chairman of the Board of Radiance is a renowned oncologist and former founding board member of Seagen, a leader in the field of ADCs, recently acquired by Pfizer. Based in Boston, Massachusetts, Radiance has a world class, proven leadership team that brings together the best of ADC engineering, clinical, managerial expertise and track record. Radiance is an affiliated company to Alphageneron Pharmaceuticals Inc., a clinical-stage biotechnology company developing unique targeted cell and gene therapies for treating cancer and other unmet medical needs.

Read More

MedTech

PanGIA Biotech Plans Expanded Multi-Cancer Early Detection Liquid Biopsy Study

PanGIA Biotech, Inc. | January 05, 2024

PanGIA Biotech, a US based biotechnology company with a mission to develop true liquid biopsy technology that is scalable for global impact, today announced that it is finalizing its three-year, prospective, multicenter, clinical study on prostate cancer liquid biopsy. This announcement comes as the company prepares to launch additional clinical studies in multi-cancer early detection using the PanGIA® Liquid Biopsy Platform. “The PanGIA urine based true liquid biopsy technology has been developed for global impact by diagnosing, monitoring, and managing cancers earlier to save lives using urine as the sample type to create vastly improved availability and scalability in cancer diagnostics,” according to PanGIA Biotech’s CEO, Holly Magliochetti. In 2020, the company received IRB approval and launched a novel AI integrated urine based liquid biopsy study. The company immediately began recruiting urologists in US-based academic as well as large and small group community practices to enroll men who were scheduled for prostate biopsy. Results of the study are pending publication. “Based on the high sensitivity and high specificity of the PanGIA prostate study, PanGIA Biotech is now preparing to significantly expand the platform by launching follow-on studies in ten additional cancer types,” said Tricia Schumann, Chief Investment Officer of PanGIA Biotech. Additional cancer types in the PanGIA follow-on study will include breast, ovarian, lung, renal, bladder, colorectal, stomach, pancreas, liver, and brain. The company will begin recruiting experienced medical professionals across the United States as clinical study sites as well as listing the study on ClinicalTrials.gov. PanGIA Biotech intends to launch the expanded study in mid-2024. Interested researchers may contact the company for additional information. About PanGIA Biotech, Inc. PanGIA Biotech develops novel, AI integrated, true liquid biopsy technology that is scalable for global impact. The PanGIA® platform allows rapid development of non-invasive testing for detecting, monitoring response to therapy, and managing a variety of diseases and disorders, including cancers as early as Stage 1. The company combines expertise in molecular biology with advanced computational biology and machine learning to detect disease-associated patterns using proprietary technology.

Read More