News

2 July 2019

Fleeting Genetic Changes Could Have Lasting Impact

Fleeting genetic changes observed in stem cells as they differentiate could shed light on the origin of certain genetic diseases. Scientists studying stem cell differentiation usually only compare the differences in gene expression between the fully undifferentiated and differentiated cells. However, new research has revealed that the fleeting genetic changes during cell development could have […]

28 June 2019

Largest DNA-Mapping Study of a Single US Population Begins

Intermountain Healthcare and deCODE Genetics, a subsidiary of Amgen based in Iceland, have announced a major joint collaboration and study of 500,000 genomes centred around discovering new connections between genetics and human diseases. The study represents the largest US DNA-mapping attempt from a single population.

27 June 2019

Inscripta’s CREATE Technology Set to Expand CRISPR’s Potential

Inscripta has presented its scalable platform for benchtop digital CRISPR engineering, described as world first, at the 2019 Synthetic Biology: Engineering, Evolution & Design (SEED) conference. The technology, “CRISPR-enabled trackable genome engineering” or CREATE, is meant to remove certain limitations of CRISPR to allow for more wide-reaching research in the future.

26 June 2019

New CRISPR-Edited Tobacco is Almost Nicotine-Free

Scientists at the Technical University of Dortmund have grown a type of tobacco containing 99.7% less nicotine. CRISPR was used to disable certain plant enzymes aiding in nicotine production, potentially creating a tobacco to help users quit smoking.

26 June 2019

Common Male Ancestor Twice as Ancient as Previously Thought

The last common male ancestor of all humans is far older than previously thought, scientists have found. When the family of Albert Perry, an African-American living in South Carolina, submitted his DNA to commercial genealogy company Family Tree DNA, it was discovered that his Y chromosome was so distinct that his male lineage likely separated from all others around 338,000 years ago.

26 June 2019

Abbvie Acquires Allergan for $63 Billion

Biopharma giant Abbvie has announced the acquisition of Allergan for $63 billion in cash and stock. Abbvie said the deal would be “transformational” for both companies, allowing Abbvie to diversify its business while focusing on scientific research and the company’s pipeline.

24 June 2019

Chinese Rules on Global Use of Genetic Material Come into Effect

From 1 July, international scientists looking to use Chinese genetic material and data must have at least on Chinese collaborator working with them, according to new regulations. This follows a trend as individuals and organisations realise the value of their genetic data.

21 June 2019

2D Universes Could Sustain Life, Scientist Finds

Research by James Scargill of the University of California suggests that 2D universes could sustain life. His work states that a universe with two spatial dimensions and one temporal one could also work, overcoming critical problems with the issue of gravity and the necessity for a set degree of complexity.

20 June 2019

Illumina’s $1.2 Billion PacBio Takeover Threatened by CMA Concerns

The CMA has announced that Illumina’s $1.2 billion acquisition of Pac Bio is potentially anti-competitive, delaying the expected conclusion of the deal until fourth quarter 2019. The CMA said the deal could remove Illumina’s biggest competitor, leaving limited alternatives available for customers.

13 June 2019

BIO 2019 – An Interview with Irene Rombel, Senior Director and Head of Strategic Analysis at Janssen

With the recent conclusion of the Biotechnology Innovation Organization’s BIO 2019 event, we thought we’d talk to some of the fascinating individuals who were present to showcase their innovative ideas or technologies. Irene Rombel, Senior Director, Head of Strategic Analysis – External Innovation, Discovery, Product Development & Supply, at Janssen Research & Development, spoke at BIO 2019 about gene therapy and the next generation of biotherapeutics. We spoke to her about her thoughts on the gene therapy field, and the future for companies in that space.

13 June 2019

George Church’s Startup Testing Pig Organs in Primates

eGenesis has announced that it is now testing pig organs on primates to see if they safe for human use. If successful, this practice could solve the current shortage of human organs for transplantation. The company has declared that the pig organs are the most highly engineered ever created by surgeons.