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Next-generation gene therapy points to base editing
August 26, 2021 -- Base editing has emerged as a new player in the gene therapy arena, with rapid advances in technology and evidence of proof of concept in rare genetic disease and beyond. Read More
ARES deep-learning system improves 3D RNA structure prediction
August 26, 2021 -- A new deep-learning system called Atomic Rotationally Equivariant Scorer (ARES) significantly improves the prediction of RNA structures over previous artificial intelligence models. The advance, described by Stanford University researchers in a paper in Science on August 26, may help scientists uncover the biological functions of RNA and pave the way to the discovery of novel RNA-targeted drugs. Read More
'Minibrains' grown from stem cells replicate brain's electrical activity
August 25, 2021 -- Researchers have grown 3D human brain tissue from stem cells that replicates the patterns of electrical activity found in the brains of patients with Rett syndrome. These "minibrain organoids" can be used to investigate the underlying causes of neurological disease and screen and test potential drug candidates, according to research published on August 23 in Nature Neuroscience. Read More
Cell and gene therapy firms see over $13.6B so far in 2021
August 24, 2021 -- Rapid financing activity in the cell and gene therapy industry has exceeded $13 billion in 2021. Over half of this funding is from venture capital and private investments, with over 100 funding deals of this type. Read More
Rice to establish Genetic Design and Engineering Center
August 24, 2021 -- Researchers at Rice University have received a five-year, $4 million grant from the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas to establish a new Genetic Design and Engineering Center. Read More
CRISPR-based method can speed the identification of disease-causing genes
August 23, 2021 -- A new CRISPR gene editing screening method can be used to link phenotype and genotype in animal models. The method was efficiently deployed in zebrafish and significantly reduced the time needed to evaluate the function of hundreds of genes, according to a paper published in Science on August 19. Read More
COVID multiomics dataset, portal go online for public use
August 23, 2021 -- A new multidimensional dataset for COVID-19 multiomics research has been released to the public, along with a free online research portal for analyzing the data. The COVIDome Explorer and dataset, described recently in Cell Reports, give researchers a way to share data and collaborate in real-time for the clinical management of COVID-19. Read More
McMaster, Sartorius partner on improving biomanufacturing
August 23, 2021 -- Sartorius Stedim Biotech and McMaster University, which is located in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, plan to collaborate on an effort to improve advanced manufacturing processes for antibody and virus-based treatments for diseases like COVID-19 and cancer. Read More
Researchers create 3D tumor models with cells from patients
August 20, 2021 -- Using tissue samples from cancer patients, Israeli researchers have successfully printed an active, viable glioblastoma 3D tumor model. In addition to potential applications in personalized medicine, the achievement promises to speed drug development and increase the chances that developed drugs will succeed in clinical trials. The results were published August 18 in Science Advances. Read More
New England Biolabs launches NEBNext immune sequencing kits
August 20, 2021 -- New England Biolabs has launched NEBNext immune sequencing kits, which are available for human or mouse samples to allow for B-cell and/or T-cell repertoire analysis of infections, the company announced. Read More
Heat-controlled CAR T cells show improved cancer-killing ability
August 19, 2021 -- By adding a genetic on-off switch to engineered CAR T cells, researchers have developed a remote-controlled system that enables precision invasion of the tumor microenvironment for improved cancer-killing capabilities. The details of the research were published in Nature Biomedical Engineering on August 12. Read More
New award program recognizes marketable scientific advances
August 19, 2021 -- A new award to recognize researchers who ask fundamental questions at the intersection of life sciences and entrepreneurship has been launched by the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the Copenhagen-based BioInnovation Institute Foundation. Read More
Long-read sequencing of circRNA finds autism-linked microexons
August 18, 2021 -- Scientists have developed a new laboratory protocol and bioinformatic pipeline using a long-read sequencing platform from Oxford Nanopore Technologies for exploring the composition of circular RNA (circRNA). The technique, published on August 10 in Nature Communications, showed that a group of microexons that had been previously linked to autism are preferentially found in circRNA. Read More
Researchers call for improved reporting of environmental conditions in cell culture
August 17, 2021 -- There is an urgent need to improve the reporting of environmental conditions for mammalian cell culture experiments for biomedical research, according to a comment published in Nature Biomedical Engineering on August 13. Read More
Harvard launches Pluto Biosciences collaboration platform
August 17, 2021 -- The Harvard Wyss Institute has launched Pluto Biosciences, a new startup offering a cloud-based collaboration platform for researchers that incorporates technology developed within the institute's Predictive Bioanalytics Initiative. Read More
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