killer mice ivan de araujo

A mouse explores its predatory side / Ivan de Araujo

Happy Friday 13th! Hopefully you are not a sufferer of friggatriskaidekaphobia, a phobia of this rare and unusual day. Here at FLG we have marked the day with unusual weather (snow??), and the news that “mice can be programmed to kill using mind control lasers”. Yes, really. Anyone else feel that this could be the beginning of a bizarre survival horror movie? 

10 surefire ways to improve gender diversity in biopharma

One year on from the scantily clad model scandal at the JMP jamboree, gender imbalance is starting to get some more significant recognition. In an op/ed for STAT, Tokai Pharmaceuticals CEO Jodie Morrison and Robert Coughlin, CEO of MassBio lay out a ten-point manifesto, “surefire” ways to create a more sexually egalitarian environment in life sciences leadership. 

Now we just need to turn up the volume on the issues around racial diversity, both in biopharma leadership and in population health studies. Preferably without another controversy.

Five big mysteries about CRISPR’s origins

Where did CRISPR come from? How do organisms use it without destroying themselves? And what else can it do? Writing for Nature, Heidi Ledford explores just some of the things that we still don’t know about the gene editing poster child of 2016. 

One man’s quest to hack his own genes

Brian Hanley developed a gene therapy intended to help strengthen AIDS patients. When he encountered little interest for his ideas from investors, he decided to test his unregulated treatment on himself.  

Mice turn into killers when brain circuit is triggered by laser

A mere 13 days into 2017, and already with a contender for most unnecessarily dramatic headline of the year! “Inside every mouse lurks a natural born killer,” begins this article from New Scientist. Scientists at Yale have identified a region of the brain that appears to control predatory behaviour, and by using optogenetics to regulated activity in the area they could stimulate predatory behaviour in mice.

And one from us…

Has Illumina opened the door for the $100 genome?

There is big buzz around Illumina’s latest sequencing device, the NovaSeq, but does it really have the power to sequence an entire genome in one hour for just $100? In a word, no. Not yet. But the new technology has been described as a key “inflection point of innovation” by Illumina CEO Francis deSouza.