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Archive for the ‘bioengineering’ category: Page 4

Mar 21, 2019

With Launch Of New CRISPR Company, Competition Extends To Diagnostics

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical, space

The gene editing technology CRISPR, which has spawned several startups aiming to use the tool to develop new therapies, is now the inspiration for a new company in a less-crowded space: diagnostic testing.

Sherlock Biosciences is launching in Cambridge, Massachusetts, with $35 million in funding. That includes $17.5 million in the form of a non-dilutive grant from the Open Philanthropy Project, an organization primarily funded by Dustin Moskovitz, the billionaire cofounder of Facebook and Asana, and his spouse, Cari Tuna. The Open Philanthropy Project is also making a separate investment in Sherlock, along with other undisclosed investors. CEO Rahul Dhanda says he’s still raising more funding for the company’s Series A.

One of Sherlock Biosciences’ key technologies comes from the Broad Institute lab of Feng Zhang, who did some of the early work elucidating the DNA-modifying potential of CRISPR and its associated enzymes after their discovery in bacteria.

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Mar 21, 2019

Beyond Metformin For Aging — Jahahreeh Finley — IdeaXme — Ira Pastor

Posted by in categories: aging, bioengineering, biotech/medical, cryonics, futurism, genetics, health, life extension, neuroscience, science

Mar 16, 2019

Would someone who is 80 benefit from SENS therapies or is it too old to rejuvenate them?

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical, life extension

I wonder, if you can turn a 65 year old into a 40 year old, could you not turn around and give that 40 year old another treatment so they rejuvenate to an even younger state?


It is an interesting question because I might be getting near there myself! Anyway, let’s assume we develop sufficiently robust rejuvenation therapies within 20 years that they can effectively reset the clock by say 25 years with the result that a person who is chronologically 65 could be restored to a point where biologically they are 40 it begs the question could an 80 year old be effectively restored to the physiology of a 55 year old? My feeling is that the first generation treatments will in all probability be quite aggressive and invasive involving stem cell therapies, gene therapies and possibly surgical interventions to replace organs created through tissue engineering. So my concern is that whilst a 65 year old or even a fit 70 year old might easily withstand the rigours of these interventions I can’t see this applying to the average person in their 80s, whilst we are not yet at the stage where we have developed all the comprehensive therapies needed we should nevertheless keep in mind we are close and some are already approaching implementation see Suicide of aging cells prolongs life span in mice and also the video below from a few weeks back and it’s clear we are moving fast and might only be 10 to 15 years out if we keep up the current pace.

My concern is that with the senescent cell clearance a large percentage of cells in an 80 year old will be senescent so complete removal were it possible could kill them.

My thought is we might need to consider whether a less comprehensive and aggressive SENS therapy which perhaps for the sake of argument we could call MiniSENS might be useful to pull octogenarians back from the edge, perhaps by say by 10 years at which point they might be strong enough after a period of time to recover that they could handle a more intensive treatment which would yield further long term health benefits. It is just a thought but it might be something we need to think about because it would extend the age range of the people who could benefit from SENS strategies.

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Mar 12, 2019

Gene-edited food quietly arrives in restaurant cooking oil

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical, food, genetics

NEW YORK (AP) — Somewhere in the Midwest, a restaurant is frying foods with oil made from gene-edited soybeans. That’s according to the company making the oil, which says it’s the first commercial use of a gene-edited food in the U.S.

Calyxt said it can’t reveal its first customer for competitive reasons, but CEO Jim Blome said the oil is “in use and being eaten.”

The Minnesota-based company is hoping the announcement will encourage the food industry’s interest in the oil, which it says has no trans fats and a longer shelf life than other soybean oils. Whether demand builds remains to be seen, but the oil’s transition into the food supply signals gene editing’s potential to alter foods without the controversy of conventional GMOs, or genetically modified organisms.

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Mar 11, 2019

Snipr raises $50M to use CRISPR to modulate the microbiome

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical

Snipr Biome has raised (PDF) $50 million (€43 million, DKK320 million) to take CRISPR-based microbiome drugs into clinical trials. The Danish biotech is using CRISPR/Cas to selectively target and kill bacteria with specific DNA sequences.

Christian Grøndahl, the CEO of Snipr, began working with his co-founders on the use of gene editing to modify or kill bacteria shortly after he left Kymab in 2015. The work led to a series of patents on altering microbiota, for reasons including immune modulation, and a €2.6 million investment from Lundbeckfonden Emerge to support research into potential applications for the technology.

Now, Lundbeckfonden has joined with Dutch VC shop LSP to lead a $50 million series A round. The jump in funding follows a period in which Snipr has begun to validate its technology and refine its R&D strategy.

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Mar 11, 2019

CRISPR doc ‘Human Nature’ embraces the hope and peril of gene editing

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical, education

“Human Nature” is the best CRISPR documentary yet.

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Mar 8, 2019

On International Women’s Day, Google Celebrates NASA Pioneer Mae Jemison

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical, space

Never be limited by other people’s limited imaginations… If you adopt their attitudes, then the possibility won’t exist because you’ll have already shut it out… You can hear other people’s wisdom, but you’ve got to re-evaluate the world for yourself.

As a physician, Peace Corps volunteer, entrepreneur, teacher, dancer, and astronaut, Jemison has certainly lived her life in protest of people’s limited imaginations. Born in 1956, Jemison’s interest in STEM rooted early, and she enrolled at Stanford University when she was only 16. She majored in degrees in both chemical engineering and Afro-American studies, and she went on to receive an M.D. just four years later.

Jemison worked as a medical practitioner and served for two-and-a-half years in the Peace Corps as a medical officer. When she returned to the United States in 1985, she did something incredibly difficult: She pivoted her career entirely to pursue her childhood dream of becoming an astronaut. Jemison applied to the NASA astronaut training program, was selected from a field of 2,000 individuals, and in 1992, became the first African-American woman to go to space.

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Mar 8, 2019

Capturing bacteria that eat and breathe electricity

Posted by in category: bioengineering

Unlike thousands of tourists who trek to admire the park’s iconic geysers and hot springs every year, the WSU graduate student was traveling with a team of scientists to hunt for life within them.

After a strenuous seven mile walk through scenic, isolated paths in the Heart Lake Geyser Basin area, the team found four pristine pools of hot water. They carefully left a few electrodes inserted into the edge of the water, hoping to coax little-known creatures out of hiding — bacteria that can eat and breathe electricity.

After 32 days, the team returned to the hot springs to collect the submerged electrodes. Working under the supervision of Haluk Beyenal, Paul Hohenschuh Distinguished Professor in the Gene and Linda Voiland School of Chemical Engineering and Bioengineering, Mohamed and postdoctoral researcher Phuc Ha analyzed the electrodes.

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Mar 6, 2019

What to do with the lignin?

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biological, genetics, space, sustainability

Learning to deal with lignin is important for recycling and space settlements. Unused biomass on space settlements and long-term voyages is something that just can’t be tolerated. The same problem exists in dealing with plant waste on earth. A new process helps convert it into a precursor for polyester, which can be used for all kinds of other materials.


Plant cells are composed of three main substances: cellulose, hemicellulose, and lignin. According to Yining Zeng, Michael E. Himmel, and Shi-You Ding in Biotechnology for Biofuels, the composition amounts to “40 to 50% of cellulose, 15 to 25% hemicelluloses, 20 to 25% lignin, and 5 to 10% other components.[1]” For the most part, the only truly useful part is the cellulose and the hemicellulose. The lignin is usually just thrown away. The most common use is fuel for heating units. That’s right. They just burn it.

lignin_procesing_into_polyester_precursor

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Mar 6, 2019

Jennifer Doudna Is Pioneering the Science — and Ethics — of Gene Editing

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical, ethics, science

The Berkeley biochemist helped discover a world-changing biotechnology.

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