DNA origami joins forces with molecular motors to build nanoscale machines

Scopeofbiotechnology | July 18, 2019

For decades, researchers have chased ways to study biological machines. Every mechanical movement from contracting a muscle to replicating DNA relies on molecular motors that take near undetectable steps. Trying to see them move is like trying to watch a soccer game taking place on the moon. Now, with DNA origami helicopters, researchers have captured the first recorded rotational steps of a molecular motor as it moved from one DNA base pair to another.
Every year, robots get more and more life like. Solar-powered bees fly on lithe wings, humanoids stick backflips, and teams of soccer bots strategize how to dribble, pass, and score. And, the more researchers discover about how living creatures move, the more machines can imitate them all the way down to their smallest molecules. “We have these amazing machines already in our bodies, and they work so well,” said Pallav Kosuri. “We just don’t know exactly how they work.” For decades, researchers have chased ways to study how biological machines power living things. Every mechanical movement — from contracting a muscle to replicating DNA — relies on molecular motors that take tiny, near-undetectable steps. Trying to see them move is like trying to watch a soccer game taking place on the moon.

Spotlight

We couldn't live without water. But if we drink too much, it can wreak havoc on our brain and body. Drinking more water than your kidneys can process can throw your blood sodium levels out of balance. That's called water intoxication. And in extreme cases, it can cause brain damage, comas, and even death.

Spotlight

We couldn't live without water. But if we drink too much, it can wreak havoc on our brain and body. Drinking more water than your kidneys can process can throw your blood sodium levels out of balance. That's called water intoxication. And in extreme cases, it can cause brain damage, comas, and even death.

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MEDICAL

WILLOW BIOSCIENCES EXPANDS ITS PORTFOLIO WITH A NEW PARTNERED PHARMACEUTICAL PROJECT

Willow Biosciences | June 01, 2022

Willow Biosciences Inc. ("Willow" or the "Company") (TSX: WLLW) (OTCQB: CANSF), a leading biotechnology company focused on revolutionizing industrial manufacturing of pure, consistent and sustainable ingredients is pleased to announce today that is has been engaged by a specialty pharmaceutical company (the "Counterparty") to optimize an enzyme vital to the development of a large volume Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient (API) used in nutraceutical and pharmaceutical products. The Counterparty is partnered with a large-cap, multi-national healthcare company. This is a significant step forward in the evolution of Willow's business ,This new partnership highlights the capabilities of our scientific team, and demonstrates to our stakeholders the wide array of opportunities accessible to Willow's comprehensive FutureGrownTM technology platform. As Willow continues to expand its capabilities and add new partnerships, Willow is on a path to becoming the premier name in biobased manufacturing." Trevor Peters, Willow's President and Chief Executive Officer. The project consists of research & development and commercialization phases, with revenue coming from both research fees and milestone payments. Following commercialization, Willow anticipates an on-going revenue stream from license payments. About Willow Biosciences Inc. Willow develops and produces high-purity ingredients for the personal care, food and beverage, and pharmaceutical markets. Willow's FutureGrownTM biotechnology platform allows large-scale production with sustainability at its core. Willow's R&D team has a proven track record of developing and commercializing bio-based manufacturing processes and products to benefit our B2B partners and their customers.

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CELL AND GENE THERAPY

CSL Plasma Reimagines Donor Experience With First Donations Completed on Innovative Plasma Collection Technology

CSL Plasma | August 08, 2022

CSL Plasma, the plasma collection business of global biotherapeutics leader CSL Behring, began a new era in plasma donations, collecting its first plasma donations using leading-edge plasma collection technology that is expected to significantly reduce average collection time – by approximately one-third – and improve the donor experience. The Rika Plasma Donation System, only available at CSL Plasma and developed by Terumo Blood and Cell Technologies, is designed to reduce collection time, and improve the donor and operator experience. When considering prior average CSL Plasma donation procedure times, this could represent about a 30% reduction in average donation time for donors. The new plasmapheresis system first launched today in the Aurora, Colorado, CSL Plasma location, as part of a phased rollout to CSL Plasma U.S. collection centers. Plasma collected at CSL Plasma facilities is used in the manufacturing of lifesaving plasma-derived therapies. "Today marks a threshold moment for plasma donors following years of dedication, innovation and collaboration – demonstrating how we are driven by our promise in delivering lifesaving and life-extending therapies to patients around the world. We look forward to the positive impact this new technology brings and are thankful for plasma donors who continue to do the amazing every day when they donate at CSL Plasma." CSL Chief Operating Officer Paul McKenzie CSL Plasma believes features of the new Rika system can enable the collection of more plasma, in shorter periods of time, supporting quality and safety, and, ultimately, better serving patients who rely on plasma-based therapies. One of the first plasma donors to experience the Rika system, Kelly Geiser is a resident of the Denver area. She has donated plasma since 2017, and is a Platinum level donor as part of CSL Plasma's donor loyalty program, iGive Rewards®. Geiser appreciated that she was able to complete the donation procedure with the new technology in under 35 minutes and in the fastest donation time she has experienced, while every plasma donor's experience will vary. Donating plasma is also personal for Geiser, who says that therapies made from plasma have helped her and her family, including a parent who recently underwent emergency surgery. "It feels good knowing I'm helping people and, who knows, I might've helped somebody I know," said Geiser. According to Terumo BCT, benefits of the Rika Plasma Donation System include Rika completes one plasma collection in 35 minutes or less on average. The proprietary design of the system's centrifuge maximizes the plasma yield per cycle. The Rika Plasma Donation System was designed to allow no more than 200 milliliters of blood cells outside the donor's body, resulting in a low extracorporeal volume, which may contribute to a more comfortable donor experience. With less than 200 milliliters of blood cells outside the donor's body at any given time, should the initial procedure not be completed, the donor can return and donate without being deferred. The device is designed with an advanced user interface to guide CSL Plasma front-line employees. Operators can quickly and confidently resolve alarms, thanks to guidance provided on the Rika system's touchscreen, which also alerts operators about situations that require attention and provides suggested actions to resolve the situation. The system allows for real-time data analytics to drive device maintenance and repairs. CSL Plasma is implementing the new devices at Colorado centers and then expanding to other U.S. locations, providing donors more opportunities to "do the amazing" and be rewarded for their generosity. "As a long-time leader in our industry, CSL Plasma looks forward to this new plasmapheresis technology to delight our plasma donors and attract new donors while supporting a better operating experience for our employees," said Walter Charles, CSL Plasma Senior Vice President and General Manager. "As we complete the implementation of new technology at U.S. centers, we continue to address the critical and ongoing need for human plasma to produce life-saving medicines for people with serious and rare diseases." About CSL Plasma CSL Plasma operates one of the world's largest and most sophisticated plasma collection networks, with more than 300 plasma collection centers in the U.S., Europe and China. Headquartered in Boca Raton, Florida, CSL Plasma is a subsidiary of CSL Behring, a global biotherapeutics company and a member of the CSL Group of companies. Plasma collected at CSL Plasma facilities is used by CSL Behring for the sole purpose of manufacturing lifesaving plasma-derived therapies for people in more than 100 countries. The parent company, CSL Limited headquartered in Melbourne, Australia, employs more than 25,000 people. About CSL Behring CSL Behring is a global biotherapeutics leader driven by our promise to save lives. Focused on serving patients' needs by using the latest technologies, we discover, develop and deliver innovative therapies for people living with conditions in the immunology, hematology, cardiovascular and metabolic, respiratory, and transplant therapeutic areas. We use three strategic scientific platforms of plasma fractionation, recombinant protein technology, and cell and gene therapy to support continued innovation and continually refine ways in which products can address unmet medical needs and help patients lead full lives.

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INDUSTRIAL IMPACT

Ribbon Biolabs Establishes IP Portfolio with First Granted U.S. Patent Covering Fast, Cost-Effective, Long DNA Synthesis Technology

Ribbon Biolabs | July 20, 2022

Ribbon Biolabs, the DNA synthesis company, announced that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has issued U.S. Patent US 2020283756 A1, covering Ribbon Biolabs’ novel method for synthesizing a double stranded polynucleotide, also known as DNA, using a diverse library of oligonucleotides. The patent is the first of its submitted patent applications to be granted to the company, forming the foundation of its IP portfolio covering its long DNA synthesis technology. “Our novel method of fast, accurate, cost-effective DNA synthesis constitutes the basis of Ribbon Biolabs’ proprietary capabilities, and the grant of this patent serves as a validation of our highly differentiated solution for synthetic biology. Previous methods for automated DNA synthesis have been limited in their applicability due tob restricted lengths possible to produce and extended development timelines. We look forward to the further expansion of our intellectual property portfolio and our growing collaborations focused on driving innovation in the biotechnology, biopharma and academic research arenas.” Harold P. de Vladar, CEO and founder of Ribbon Biolabs Ribbon Biolabs’ novel approach to synthesizing DNA as described in the patent comprises a pre-built library of oligonucleotides, or shorter genetic sequences, that has been streamlined for efficient access, with reduced time and cost constraints that are further enhanced by an assembly workflow producing long polynucleotides accurately and without mismatches. This method optimizes the throughput time required to synthesize target DNA which has enabled the company to produce lengths beyond 10,000 base pairs efficiently and with high speed, including the recent successful synthetization of a 20,000 bp molecule for an undisclosed pharma client. About Ribbon Biolabs Ribbon Biolabs is a synthetic biology company advancing a new technology for the automated synthesis of long DNA molecules to enable innovation in the life sciences. With its proprietary technology in place, Ribbon Biolabs aims to be an inflection point in the continuing growth of the Bio-Economy by becoming the leading partner for long DNA molecules.

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