Current Biotechnology News and Events

Current Biotechnology News and Events, Biotechnology News Articles.
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Investment risk & return from emerging public biotech companies comparable to non-biotech
Investing in biotech companies may not be any riskier than investing in other sectors, according to a new report from Bentley University's Center for Integration of Science and Industry. A large scale study of biotechnology companies that completed Initial Public Offerings (IPOs) from 1997-2016 demonstrates that these companies produced more than $100 billion in shareholder value and almost $100 billion in new value creation despite a failure rate greater than 50%. (2021-01-06)

Majority of biotech companies completing an IPO from 1997-2016 achieved product approvals
A large scale study from Bentley University of the biotechnology companies that completed Initial Public Offerings from 1997-2016 estimates that 78% of these companies are associated with products that reach phase 3 trials and 52% are associated with new product approvals. The article, titled 'Late-stage product development and approvals by biotechnology companies after IPO, 1997-2016,' shows that these emerging, public biotechnology companies continue to have a role in initiating new product development, but are no longer distinctively focused on novel, biological products. (2021-01-06)

Bacteriophage has important role in agriculture and aquaculture
Crop plants and animals can be infected by bacterial pathogens that reduce yield, cause food wastage, and carry human pathogens that spread disease on consumption. Bacteriophage can play an important role in microbial control (2021-01-04)

Nobel Prize reflects perseverance in scientific research
New Rochelle, NY, December 21, 2020--The 2020 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine went to three researchers for their discovery of hepatitis C virus (HCV). The undying perseverance that it took to find and cure this elusive virus (2020-12-21)

RNA basic building block produced biocatalytically for the first time
Researchers from TU Graz and acib succeed in the first enzyme-driven biocatalytic synthesis of nucleic acid building blocks. This facilitates the development of antiviral agents and RNA-based therapeutics. (2020-12-15)

Nutrigenomics: new frontiers
Plant omics and food engineering offer novel perspectives and value to sustainable agriculture and ecological sciences (2020-12-10)

Possible bittersweet effects of stevia uncovered by Ben-Gurion U. researchers
According to the new study, stevia may disrupt communications between different bacteria in the gut microbiome. While the team found that stevia inhibited these pathways, it did not kill off the bacteria. (2020-12-07)

Identification of the SARS-CoV-2 virus features causing COVID-19 using primate model
Features of the SARS-CoV-2 virus causing COVID-19, which could be useful for developing vaccines and treatment strategies, were identified using a nonhuman primate model developed at the Korea Research Institute of Bioscience and Biotechnology(KRIBB). (2020-11-15)

Risk of AAV mobilization in gene therapy
New data highlight safety concerns for the replication of recombinant adeno-associated viral (rAAV) vectors commonly used in gene therapy. These findings, which emphasize the need for mobilization resistant AAV vectors (2020-11-13)

Discovery of pH-dependent 'switch' in interaction between pair of protein molecules
All biological processes are in some way pH-dependent. Our human bodies, and those of other organisms, need to maintain specific- and constant- pH regulation in order to function. Changes in pH can have serious biological consequences or, as researchers at the Qingdao Institute of Bioenergy and Bioprocess Technology (QIBEBT), Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) found, serious benefits. (2020-10-23)

A new assembler for decoding genomes of microbial communities developed
The metaFlye assembler is designed to assemble DNA samples from microbial communities. With its help, it is possible to solve a wide range of fundamental and applied problems, among which is the control of the process of treating patients and even the creation of new drugs. (2020-10-08)

Treating cystic fibrosis with mRNA therapy or CRISPR
The potential for treating cystic fibrosis (CF) using mRNA therapies or CRISPR gene editing is possible regardless of the causative mutation. CF clinical trials showing that a genotype-agnostic gene therapy for CF is possible (2020-10-08)

Carbon storage from the lab
Researchers at the University of Freiburg established the world's largest collection of moss species for the peat industry and science (2020-10-05)

Fly larvae extract will replace antibiotics in fighting plant pathogens
Biotechnologists from MIPT have developed a method for extracting the active constituents from the fat of black soldier fly larvae. These compounds possess unique antimicrobial properties and can destroy bacteria that cause farm crop diseases and are resistant to antibiotics. (2020-10-05)

Aiming for accuracy
Artificial intelligence and machine learning could enhance scientific peer review as scientists rush to publish COVID-related research. (2020-09-15)

Decreased MIR2911 absorption in human with SIDT1 polymorphism fails to inhibit SARS-CoV-2
In a new study in Cell Discovery, Liang Li and Chen-Yu Zhang's group at Nanjing University and two other groups report that SIDT1 polymorphism remarkably decreases HD-MIR2911 absorption in human. Exosome isolated from volunteers that carry SIDT1 polymorphism has lower level of HD-MIR2911 and fails to inhibit of SARS-CoV-2 replication. (2020-09-11)

Daylight study reveals how animals adapt between seasons
Scientists have discovered how a biological switch helps animals make the seasonal changes crucial for survival, such as growing a warm winter coat and adjusting body temperatures. (2020-08-27)

Unlocking the cell enhances student learning of the genetic code
An open-source educational biotechnology called the 'Genetic Code Kit' allows students to interact with the molecular process inside cells in new ways. Researchers show that adapting state-of-the-art biotechnology for the classroom could transform how biology and biochemistry are taught to high school and undergraduate students. (2020-08-19)

Stomach SIDT1 mediates dietary microRNA absorption: ending of the 10-year debate
In a new study published in Cell Research, Chen-Yu Zhang's group at Nanjing University School of Life Sciences, China, reports that SIDT1 in the mammalian stomach mediates host uptake of dietary and orally administered microRNAs (miRNAs), thus exerting biological functions in the host. (2020-08-17)

Engineered capsids for efficient gene delivery to the eye
A rational design approach created novel variants of adeno-associated viral (AAV) capsids. These have improved transduction properties in the mouse retina and cornea. (2020-08-13)

Virtual reality improves game-based navigational efficiency
Individuals playing a virtual reality (VR)-based game showed a higher navigational efficiency and less disorientation than those playing a non-VR immersive desktop version. (2020-08-05)

Comparing 13 different CRISPR-Cas9 DNA scissors
IBS scientists have achieved the most extensive high-throughput analysis of CRISPR-Cas9 activities. The team developed deep-learning-based computational models that predict the activities of SpCas9 variants for different DNA sequences. Published in Nature Biotechnology, this study represents a useful guide for selecting the most appropriate SpCas9 variant. (2020-06-25)

COVID-19: Bacteriophage could decrease mortality
Bacteriophage can reduce bacterial growth in the lungs, limiting fluid build-up. This could decrease the mortality of patients affected by COVID-19 (2020-06-24)

Ancient enzymes can contribute to greener chemistry
A research team at Uppsala University has resurrected several billion-year-old enzymes and reprogrammed them to catalyse completely different chemical reactions than their modern versions can manage. The method can be used to develop sustainable solutions within biotechnology, such as for enzyme bioreactors or to chemically degrade environmental toxins. The study has been published in Chemical Science. (2020-06-10)

How bacteria fertilize soya
Soya and clover have their very own fertiliser factories in their roots, where bacteria manufacture ammonium, which is crucial for plant growth. Although this has long been common knowledge, scientists have only recently described the mechanism in detail. With biotechnology, this knowledge could now help make agriculture more sustainable. (2020-06-03)

Researchers control cattle microbiomes to reduce methane and greenhouse gases
''Now that we know we can influence the microbiome development, we can use this knowledge to modulate microbiome composition to lower the environmental impact of methane from cows by guiding them to our desired outcomes,'' Ben-Gurion University of the Negev Prof Mizrahi says. (2020-06-01)

A hormone -- plant style
Researchers from the Faculties of Chemistry and Biology at Bielefeld University have now found a method that might make the production of a biologically significant precursor of jasmonic acid more efficient and cheaper. Their innovation: they imitate how plants produce the hormone. The result is 12-OPDA, a central precursor of jasmonic acid. In the long term, it could also be a potential precur-sor for high-quality perfume. The researchers present their method today (29.05.2020) in the re-search journal Advanced Science. (2020-05-29)

Metal collector made of bacteria
Bacteria, fungi and plants sometimes produce metal-binding substances that can be harnessed, for example for the extraction of raw materials, for their separation, for cleaning soils or for medical purposes. Professor Dirk Tischler, Head of the Microbial Biotechnology research group at Ruhr-Universität Bochum (RUB), outlines how these natural substances or modified semi-artificial variants of them can be produced according to genetic information in an article in Natural Product Reports from May 19, 2020. (2020-05-26)

Breaking down stubborn cellulose in time lapse
Researchers at Graz Unversity of Technology in Austria have for the first time ever succeeded in visualizing at the single-molecule level the processes involved in a biological nanomachine, known as the cellulosome, as it degrades crystalline cellulose. The fundamental insights thus obtained could support sustainable concepts of cellulose utilization to make a breakthrough in industrial biotechnology. (2020-05-25)

Digital health in the COVID-19 pandemic
Artificial intelligence, machine learning, blockchain, and other key digital technology applications will play a vital role addressing the new healthcare challenges triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic. (2020-05-14)

Health inequities magnified during COVID-19 pandemic
The impact of COVID-19 on underserved and vulnerable populations, including persons of color, is addressed in a new roundtable discussion in Health Equity, a peer-reviewed open access journal (2020-05-12)

Towards antibodies against COVID-19
The lab of Xavier Saelens (VIB-UGent Center for Medical Biotechnology) announces the isolation and characterization of a unique antibody that can bind to the virus that causes COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2). The antibody was described in collaboration with research groups in the US. The team has established that the antibody binds to a conserved epitope on the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2. (2020-05-06)

Milestone for the early detection of sepsis
Researchers from Graz, Austria, are developing a ground-breaking method that uses biomarkers to detect sepsis 2 to 3 days before the first clinical symptoms appear. This can significantly increase the chances of survival in cases of blood poisoning by bacteria or fungi. (2020-04-21)

Social grooming factors influencing social media civility on COVID-19
A new study analyzing tweets about COVID-19 found that users with larger social networks tend to use fewer uncivil remarks when they have more positive responses from others. (2020-04-20)

How robust is e-government in American state election administration?
A new study examined how well American states are using Internet-based platforms to disseminate electoral information and communicate with voters (2020-04-14)

Telemedicine reduces mental health burden of COVID-19
Telemental health services are a practical and feasible way to support patients, family members, and healthcare providers who may experience psychological side-effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, including anxiety, fear, depression, and the impact of long-term isolation. (2020-03-24)

Implementing microbiome diagnostics in personalized medicine: Rise of pharmacomicrobiomics
A new Commentary identifies three actionable challenges for translating pharmacomicrobiomics to personalized medicine in 2020. (2020-03-02)

Bacterium makes complex loops
A scientific team from the Biosciences and Biotechnology Institute of Aix-Marseille in Saint-Paul lez Durance, in collaboration with researchers from the Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces in Potsdam and the University of Göttingen, determined the trajectory and swimming speed of the magnetotactic bacterium Magnetococcus marinus, known to move rapidly. (2020-02-27)

Stabilizing freeze-dried cellular machinery unlocks cell-free biotechnology
A low-cost approach improves cell-free biotechnology's utility for bio-manufacturing and portability for field applications. (2020-02-25)

Using social media to understand the vaccine debate in China
Vaccine acceptance is a crucial public health issue, which has been exacerbated by the use of social media to spread content expressing vaccine hesitancy. Studies have shown that social media can provide new information regarding the dynamics of vaccine communication online, potentially affecting real-world vaccine behaviors. A team of United States-based researchers observed an example of this in 2018 related to the Changchun Changsheng Biotechnology vaccine incident in China. (2020-02-25)

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