Archive for the ‘bioengineering’ category: Page 9

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.


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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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Mar 4, 2019

First CRISPR therapy administered in landmark human trial

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical

The first confirmed CRISPR gene editing clinical trial to take place outside of China is officially underway, after pharmaceutical companies CRISPR Therapeutics and Vertex revealed a human patient has been administered the experimental treatment targeting a rare blood disease.

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Feb 28, 2019

Poll: Two Thirds of Americans Support Human Gene Editing to Cure Disease

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical, government, health

Questions about using technologies like CRISPR to gene edit human embryos gained immediacy last month, when Chinese scientists claimed to have edited the genes of two babies in order to protect them against HIV — a move that prompted an international outcry, but also questions about when the technology will be ready for human testing.

“People appear to realize there’s a major question of how we should oversee and monitor use of this technology if and when it becomes available,” Columbia University bioethicist Robert Klitzman told the AP of the new research. “What is safe enough? And who will determine that? The government? Or clinicians who say, ‘Look, we did it in Country X a few times and it seems to be effective.

READ MORE: Poll: Edit baby genes for health, not smarts [Associated Press].

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Feb 28, 2019

Gene Editing Is Trickier Than Expected—but Fixes Are in Sight

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical

A popular gene editing technique may produce lots of unintended changes to DNA, but the good news is we now have a better way of finding such errors.

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