Out of a whole host of engaging and enjoyable moments at Front Line Genomics’ recent Data Driven Drug Development (D4) conference, held in Boston on 20-21 March, one of the most memorable was definitely the triumph of nQ Medical in our innovation showcase, beating out three other contenders for the claim to be “most innovative” of the technologies on display.
Harvard College researchers have announced that more than 13,000 genetic alterations have been made to a single cell using CRISPR technology. This work is designed to edit genomes at a much larger scale than currently possible.
Pharma giant Biogen and its Japanese partner Eisai have made the decision to halt two phase 3 trials of aducanumab, a drug created to slow Alzheimer’s by targeting brain-destroying beta-amyloid fragments. An independent monitoring committee decided that the drug was unlikely to benefit patients compared with a placebo.
Microsoft has created the first ever “DNA drive”, a program which can encode digital information into DNA and vice versa. The prototype managed to store and hold only the word “hello”, taking 21 hours to complete the process due to the slow chemical reactions which writing DNA involves.
For the first time, CRISPR-Cas9 has been combined with electronic graphene transistors to create a new handheld device which can detect specific mutations in the genome within minutes. The device can be used to quickly diagnose genetic disorders and diseases or determine the accuracy of gene-editing techniques.
Scientists from the University of California have announced a possible alternative option to electronic eye implants for those who have lost their sight: gene therapy. Virus-delivered genes for green opsin gave blind mice sight enough to determine patterns on an iPad, they found, with the therapy possibly ready for clinical trials in three years’ time.
Oxford Nanopore has made its Flongle starter packs available to purchase, following an early-access testing programme. The Flongle machine allows for smaller, on-demand DNA sequence testing at low cost.
Researchers at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory have created a list of genetic “usual suspects” from a computational analysis of 635 datasets across around 27,000 genetic samples.
A second individual has experienced sustained remission from HIV after their treatment ended, scientists from the University of Central London and Imperial College have found.
Biogen has announced it will acquire Nightstar Therapeutics for around $800m, providing the pharma giant with a pipeline of gene therapy candidates for ophthalmology.
The eLife online journal has published its first “computationally reproducible” article, where figures are integrated with the software, data and computational environment required to produce them.
Twins born in Australia have become the second-ever-identified pair of “semi-identical” twins, and the first to be detected before they were born. Such cases come about when twins receive 100% identical genes from their mother, but not from their father.