Massive database traces mammal organ development, cell by single cell

Phys.org | February 20, 2019

The very early days of growth, long before we are born, are a time of incredible development. In a relatively short period of time, we and other mammals create our bodies' dozens of different organs from a few thin layers of cells. In mice, that period is only four days long. In humans, it's complete before the end of the first trimester of pregnancy. Now, a new study by researchers at the Allen Discovery Center at UW Medicine has traced that important period of organ formation, cell by cell, in the developing mouse. Published today in the journal Nature, the study is by far the largest dataset of its kind to date.
The study captured the genes that switch on and off across 2 million different cells as they go from undistinguished cellular precursors to becoming the animals' stomach, muscles, brain, skin and everything else in between. Understanding how we grow from one cell into thousands of different types of cells, all connected and functioning together to make our adult bodies, is essential to understanding not only human biology, but much of life itself, said Jay Shendure, M.D., Ph.D., a senior author on the study and leader of the Allen Discovery Center.

Spotlight

If you want some insights into where the content marketing industry may be headed, it might just help to take a look at where it’s been. As we pointed out when CMI shared its History of Content Marketing infographic in 2012, brands have been telling their stories to audiences for hundreds of years. Not to mention that storytelling itself is one of the oldest forms of communication. Benjamin Franklin first publishes the yearly Poor Richard’s Almanack. The goal is to promote his printing business.

Spotlight

If you want some insights into where the content marketing industry may be headed, it might just help to take a look at where it’s been. As we pointed out when CMI shared its History of Content Marketing infographic in 2012, brands have been telling their stories to audiences for hundreds of years. Not to mention that storytelling itself is one of the oldest forms of communication. Benjamin Franklin first publishes the yearly Poor Richard’s Almanack. The goal is to promote his printing business.

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RESEARCH

TurtleTree and Solar Biotech enter strategic partnership

TurtleTree | August 16, 2021

Solar Biotech, led by industrial biotech expert Alex Berlin, has become a significant piece of the puzzle for sustainable food tech companies taking products to market. TurtleTree knew from the beginning that one of the biggest challenges for food tech companies was developing the technologies required to scale up bio-manufacturing processes. TurtleTree is a biotech company based in Singapore and the US. The company is focused on providing access to the best nutrients in milk using sustainable technologies. With so many food tech companies coming onto the scene, dedicated talent and resources needed to reach commercial scale are scarce. Microbes like yeast and fungi are nature's perfect tools for bio-manufacturing. Precision fermentation uses microbial hosts as cell factories to produce specific beneficial ingredients in a controlled environment without having to go through animal agriculture. What happens in the lab is just half the battle. Efficient precision fermentation and product recovery at an industrial scale demand agility, flexibility, decades of experience, unique multidisciplinary process and equipment engineering, and a well-connected network of bioprocessing and microbial biotech partners, all professionally taken care of by Solar Biotech. Many startups and VC's believe major breakthroughs in the lab will result in the real-world commercialization of bioproducts. The reality is that many projects run into years of roadblocks and scale-up challenges making commercial viability difficult. There is a major difference between traditional fermentation methods, where the microbial biomass itself is the end product, and precision fermentation, where a highly technical skillset is required to obtain the specific desired bioproduct synthesized by the microbial host. A key factor in reaching price parity with traditional food production methods is the availability of technologically advanced large-scale food-grade bioprocessing facilities, which combine precision fermentation and downstream processing lines that are customized for each player. Based on a Good Food Institute (GFI) report, available biomanufacturing facilities suitable for food precision fermentation is only 3% of the total manufacturing capacity. With the increasing demand for large-scale precision fermentation, we are already seeing the supply falling short. Alex Berlin, Solar Biotech Founder, CEO & CTO, having built his extensive experience from his time at Novozymes and other industrial biotech companies, has a track record of developing and scaling up bioproducts that were quite challenging for many others. The TurtleTree team identified this value early on, built a strong collaboration model, and made an investment in Solar Biotech. "TurtleTree's decision to back Alex Berlin and Solar Biotech's team from the early days has started to pay dividends. Our teams can focus on lab-scale R&D and go-to-market as we look to play a major role in the sustainable food supply chain, while Solar Biotech delivers the bioprocessing technologies required for production at scale," says Max Rye, co-founder and chief strategist of TurtleTree. "My team and I are passionate about not only producing the food of the future but also about making a difference in the way these bioproducts are made. Industrial Biomanufacturing at scale has not evolved significantly for decades. We are committed to making a difference, in particular, with a focus on the deployment of unique cutting edge and sustainable bioprocessing technologies. We believe solar energy and a circular economy strategy will play a major role in how we produce novel bio-processed ingredients," says Alex Berlin. About TurtleTree TurtleTree is unlocking access to the natural ingredients found in milk using a host of cell-based technologies. Together with its valued partners, TurtleTree is able to achieve resource efficiency and provide millions with access to the beneficial nutrients found in milk. We aim to transform performance nutrition, food systems, and cellular agriculture with our cell-based technology platform. About Solar Biotech Founded in 2019 by Alex Berlin, Solar Biotech brings bioproducts from benchtop to industrial bioprocessing commercial scale. Its proprietary technology uses a combination of unique technologies, skills, and experience to swiftly adapt to the needs of each bioproduct. Solar Biotech customises modular plant architectures, called BioNodes, for specific bioproducts. Solar Biotech's 100% solar-powered platform and facility help precision fermentation companies scale up their operations sustainably and at a fraction of the cost.

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MEDICAL

Nanoform Launches Technology that can form Biological Nanoparticles as Small as 50 nm and New Near-Term Business Target for 2021

Nanoform | November 27, 2020

Nanoform Finland Plc ("Nanoform"), an innovative nanoparticle medication empowering organization, today reported a proprietary technology that can frame biological nanoparticles as small as 50 nm and declared another close term business focus for 2021 to convey its first biologics Proof of Concept project for this new technology with a pharmaceutical or biotech partner. As drug molecules become more complex so do the alternatives to convey them. This complex nanoparticle formation technology gives want to improving the potential outcomes and probabilities of growing better medications for patients and it extends Nanoform's reach into the growing biological market. The technology is in its beginning phases of advancement and a patent application has recently been filed with the US Patent Office for the technology. As of today, Nanoform has two non-GMP lines on the biologics side notwithstanding the eight CESS® little atom nanoparticle innovation non-GMP lines.

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RESEARCH

Vipergen Collaborates with Anavo Therapeutics to Support Phosphatase-Targeted Discovery Programs

Vipergen ApS, Anavo Therapeutics | May 18, 2021

Vipergen, a leading supplier of small-molecule drug discovery services focused on DNA-encoded library (DEL) technologies, has signed a drug discovery service agreement with Anavo Therapeutics. Vipergen will use its patented high-fidelity DNA-encoded library (DEL) technology platforms to provide novel small-molecule drug leads against selected Anavo discovery targets, according to the terms of the agreement. The agreement's financial terms were not disclosed. "Vipergen's novel solutions to DNA-encoded libraries are useful components for ramping up our patented drug development activities against a chosen portfolio of innovative goals," said Anavo CEO Birgit Zech, Ph.D. "We are excited to collaborate with Vipergen to kick-start Anavo's proprietary drug development activities as we strive to create a comprehensive and secure platform for phosphatase drug discovery against all valuable targets in the space." "We are delighted to have been chosen by Anavo, a new company focusing on understanding the full therapeutic potential of human phosphatase biology in the development of new cancer therapies," said Nils Hansen, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer of Vipergen. "Phosphatases are a rich target space that has been thought to be impenetrable for decades. We are excited to use our DNA-encoded library technology to quickly produce high-quality hits and leads as part of Anavo's comprehensive approach to finding and improving small-molecule phosphatase activity modulators." About Vipergen ApS Vipergen is the world's largest supplier of small-molecule drug discovery services focused on DNA-encoded library (DEL) technology, as well as the first and only organization capable of screening DELs within a living cell. Vipergen's patented portfolio of cutting-edge DEL technologies is made accessible by funded discovery collaborations with leading pharmaceutical and biotechnology firms, including top pharmaceutical companies in the United States, Europe, and Japan.

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