News

Common Male Ancestor Twice as Ancient as Previously Thought

26 June 2019

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.

13 June 2019

Gene Editing Creates Primate Model for Autism

A joint US-China study has engineered macaque monkeys to express a mutation linked to autism and other human neurodevelopmental disorders. The monkey showed certain behavioural traits similar to humans with the same condition.

12 June 2019

Russian Scientist Plans to CRISPR-Edit More Babies

Russian biologist Denis Rebrikov has announced his intentions to produce further gene-edited babies, ignoring the scientific consensus that this should not be done until an ethical framework is constructed to regulate the science involved. Rebrikov’s plans could occur before the end of the year if he receives approval in time.

10 June 2019

New “Jumping Gene” CRISPR Directly Inserts DNA

A new experimental version of CRISPR could help fix genes rather than disable them using transposons, or “jumping genes”. This could help move the current “find and delete” purpose of CRISPR to the more useful “find and replace” one.

7 June 2019

US Government Restricts Research on Foetal Tissue

The US government has ended medical research funding for scientists using foetal tissue, and cancelled a multi million-dollar contract for a laboratory at the University of California at San Francisco, which required the material to test new HIV therapies. According to a White House spokesperson, the decision was taken by President Trump himself.