Newly Created Strontium Detected in Space for the First Time

Technology Networks | October 24, 2019

For the first time, a freshly made heavy element, strontium, has been detected in space, in the aftermath of a merger of two neutron stars. This finding was observed by ESO’s X-shooter spectrograph on the Very Large Telescope (VLT). The detection confirms that the heavier elements in the Universe can form in neutron star mergers, providing a missing piece of the puzzle of chemical element formation. In 2017, following the detection of gravitational waves passing the Earth, ESO pointed its telescopes in Chile, including the VLT, to the source: a neutron star merger named GW170817. Astronomers suspected that, if heavier elements did form in neutron star collisions, signatures of those elements could be detected in kilonovae, the explosive aftermaths of these mergers. This is what a team of European researchers has now done, using data from the X-shooter instrument on ESO’s VLT. Following the GW170817 merger, ESO’s fleet of telescopes began monitoring the emerging kilonova explosion over a wide range of wavelengths. X-shooter in particular took a series of spectra from the ultraviolet to the near infrared. Initial analysis of these spectra suggested the presence of heavy elements in the kilonova, but astronomers could not pinpoint individual elements until now.

Spotlight

MicroRNAs (miRNAs) represent a class of regulatory biomolecules with roles in diverse processes such as cell proliferation, differentiation, apoptosis, and oncogenesis [1]. In recent years, technological advances in research tools including qPCR, microarrays, and nextgeneration sequencing (NGS) have enabled sensitive detection of miRNAs. However, accurate quantifi cation of miRNAs using qPCR is largely dependent on proper normalization techniques, the absence of which can lead to misinterpretation of data and incorrect conclusions [1]. The goal of most miRNA experiments using qPCR is to identify differences in expression between two groups of samples, typically a normal (control) and a mutated (test) sample group. The purpose of normalization is to remove any differences between these two groups other than that which is a true representation of expression levels of the miRNAs in the mutated state.

Spotlight

MicroRNAs (miRNAs) represent a class of regulatory biomolecules with roles in diverse processes such as cell proliferation, differentiation, apoptosis, and oncogenesis [1]. In recent years, technological advances in research tools including qPCR, microarrays, and nextgeneration sequencing (NGS) have enabled sensitive detection of miRNAs. However, accurate quantifi cation of miRNAs using qPCR is largely dependent on proper normalization techniques, the absence of which can lead to misinterpretation of data and incorrect conclusions [1]. The goal of most miRNA experiments using qPCR is to identify differences in expression between two groups of samples, typically a normal (control) and a mutated (test) sample group. The purpose of normalization is to remove any differences between these two groups other than that which is a true representation of expression levels of the miRNAs in the mutated state.

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INDUSTRIAL IMPACT

Kane Biotech Announces New Collaboration Agreements for Prosthetic Joint Infection, expanding its DispersinB® applications

Kane Biotech Inc. | February 11, 2022

Kane Biotech Inc. announces that it has signed collaboration agreements with Dr. James Doub, MD, Assistant Professor of Medicine, University of Maryland School of Medicine’s Institute of Human Virology, and the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) to study the use of DispersinB® with Prosthetic Joint Infection (PJI) patients. The group is securing funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for pre-clinical work to be done by Josh Wenke, a Professor in the Department of Orthopedic Surgery and Rehabilitation at UTMB. PJI’s are one of the most serious complications of joint replacement surgery. Conservative estimates are that approximately 1–2% of all prostheses will become infected over the life of the implant [1]. The financial burden of treating these infections is staggering. It is estimated that they will cost the US healthcare system $1.62 billion in 2020 [1]. In addition, patients have significant morbidity and mortality as a direct result of our current medical and surgical management to treat these infections [2]. In one study, the five-year mortality for prosthetic joint infections is over 20% [2]. “These collaborations are of utmost importance given our shared strategies for managing complex musculoskeletal infections and finding cures for the debilitating morbidity associated with PJI. We are highly optimistic of advancing this field scientifically and clinically for the benefit of patients across the globe” Marc Edwards, CEO of Kane Biotech “The Institute of Human Virology has been testing the use of bacteriophage therapeutics in treating recalcitrant PJIs with some early signals of success,” explained Dr. Doub, who is also Director of Infectious Diseases Ambulatory Practice at the University of Maryland Medicine Center. “However, DispersinB®, has properties that bacteriophages do not have which include superior application as a preventative therapeutic, broader spectrum of activity, and a much easier regulatory (FDA) path.” Dr. Doub is a consultant for Kane Biotech. Dr. Nanda Yakandawala, Vice President of Research and Development at Kane, in collaboration with Dr. Doub and Josh Wenke, Ph. D, recently submitted a R-21 grant application to NIH to fund pre-clinical work to be performed by Dr. Wenke. About University of Texas Medical Department Established in 1891 as the University of Texas Medical Department, UTMB was the nation's first public medical school and hospital under unified leadership and has evolved into a modern academic health science center with multiple campus locations and almost 1,000 faculty members educating approximately 3,500 students. Since the beginning, UTMB has been at the forefront of medical research, with researchers studying the viruses common to a sub-tropical island climate. Today, our world-renowned investigators generate a portfolio exceeding $160 million, and work in state-of-the-art laboratories developing diagnostic tools, cures and vaccines to benefit the global community. About Kane Biotech Kane Biotech is a biotechnology company engaged in the research, development, and commercialization of technologies and products that prevent and remove microbial biofilms. The company has a portfolio of biotechnologies, intellectual property (81 patents and patents pending, trade secrets, and trademarks) and products developed by the company's own biofilm research expertise and acquired from leading research institutions. StrixNB™, DispersinB®, Aledex™, bluestem™, bluestem®, silkstem™, goldstem™, coactiv+™, coactiv+®, DermaKB™ and DermaKB Biofilm™ are trademarks of Kane Biotech Inc.

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AI

BioMarin and Deep Genomics to Collaborate on Advancing Programs Identified Using Artificial Intelligence

BioMarin | November 18, 2020

BioMarin Pharmaceutical Inc. and Deep Genomics declares that the organizations have gone into a preclinical collaboration that will use Deep Genomics' artificial intelligence drug discovery platform (The AI Workbench) to distinguish oligonucleotide drug applicants in four uncommon sickness signs with high neglected need. Deep Genomics will get an undisclosed forthright installment and is qualified to get improvement achievements as a piece of the coordinated effort. BioMarin will get an elite alternative to get Deep Genomics' privileges to each program for development and commercialization. The organizations didn't uncover financial terms. In the cooperation, Deep Genomics will utilize its AI Workbench to recognize and approve target components and lead competitors, and BioMarin will propel them into preclinical and clinical development. The AI Workbench empowers quick investigation of novel targetable components and restorative up-and-comers. It joins deep learning, automation, progressed biomedical information and huge measures of in vitro and in vivo information to precisely recognize targetable sub-atomic systems and guide the revelation and advancement of oligonucleotide treatments.

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DIAGNOSTICS

Cancer Cell Paper Identifies "Avidity Enhancement" As New Strategy for Improving CAR T Therapy for Acute Myeloid Leukemia

LUMICKS | May 26, 2022

LUMICKS, a leading life science tools company that develops instruments for dynamic single-molecule and cell avidity analysis, today announced the publication in Cancer Cell of preclinical research identifying "Avidity Enhancement" as a new strategy to improve therapeutic outcome of Chimeric Antigen Receptor (CAR) T cell immunotherapy in Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML). AML poses significant clinical challenges due to its resistance to therapies and its bleak prognosis. Approximately 20,000 people in the US and 300,000 worldwide die from AML every year, making it the most common form of acute leukemia in adults and a major public health issue. The Cancer Cell paper (May 9, 2022), entitled "Non-cleavable hinge enhances avidity and expansion of CAR-T cells for acute myeloid leukemia," was authored by a team of CAR T cell researchers led by Dr. Marcela V. Maus, Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and Director of the Cellular Immunotherapy program at Massachusetts General Hospital. The study details a novel strategy for better cancer treatment with CAR T cells for AML. "Avidity Enhancement", increasing cell-cell binding from both the tumor and CAR T cell side, led to a more effective eradication of tumors in mouse models of AML. In this paper, data generated using the LUMICKS z-Movi® Cell Avidity Analyzer provided superior correlation with CAR T cell activity in vivo compared to the standard in vitro assays in assessing the potency of CAR variants. Building upon previous research from the Maus Lab indicating 'avidity escape' as an evasion mechanism when CAR T cell therapies are deployed against solid tumors, "avidity enhancement" is a promising strategy for improving clinical success of CAR T therapies. We continue to be excited about the pivotal research emerging from The Maus Lab and other leading laboratories that demonstrates how researchers can leverage the technological and scientific power of measuring cell avidity with the z-Movi® Cell Avidity Analyzer, This work further solidifies the idea that cell avidity can be a unique biomarker to improve the selection of CAR T therapies for superior therapeutic outcomes in hematological malignancies as well as in solid tumors. We are delighted to collaborate with researchers worldwide in uncovering meaningful new insights, such as the new treatment approaches suggested for AML contained in this new paper in Cancer Cell." Andrea Candelli, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer of LUMICKS. The z-Movi Cell Avidity Analyzer measures cell avidity, or level of binding, between immune cells and their targets, enabling researchers to identify the most potent immunotherapeutic effector cells. This unique technology provides predictive, reproducible, and fast results at single-cell resolution. LUMICKS' cell avidity solutions use acoustics to measure forces and interactions between cells, with the goal of shortening the drug development cycle of immunotherapies and reducing failure rates in clinical trials. First introduced in 2020, the z-Movi is being rapidly adopted by academic and biopharma laboratories around the world. About LUMICKS LUMICKS is a leading life science tools company that develops equipment for Dynamic Single-Molecule and Cell Avidity analysis, two rapidly emerging areas in biology research and immuno-oncology. LUMICKS' tools allow researchers to build the crucial and yet unfinished bridge between structure and function at both a molecular and a cellular level. This is achieved by applying and measuring forces around biological interactions, enabling the detailed real-time analysis of underlying biological mechanisms. LUMICKS' C-Trap® Optical Tweezers – Fluorescence & Label-free Microscopy, allows scientists to analyze complex biological processes in real-time. Similarly, the z-Movi® Cell Avidity Analyzer enables the measurement and selection of immune cells based on their real-time interactions with target cells.

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