The Science Behind the Headlines

CRISPR Babies

CRISPR Babies

Earlier this week, a research team at the Southern University of Science and Technology in Shenzhen, China, announced the birth of twin girls whose genomes had been edited using CRISPR/Cas9. The work was done at an in vitrofertilization clinic prior to implantation of days-old embryos. The targeted gene, CCR5, produces a protein that the HIV virus uses to enter cells. Disrupting this gene means that the virus will not be able to infect the girls’ cells.

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MICROBIOME ADVENTURES, PART 2

MICROBIOME ADVENTURES, PART 2

The most recent Biotech Primer WEEKLY looked at a particularly productive new area of medicine courtesy of our own tiny personal zoo: the microbiome. We considered how resetting a person’s microbiome with a fecal matter transplant (FMT) aka bacteriotherapy can heal such troubling conditions as antibiotic-resistant C. difficile infections and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Thankfully for the millions suffering from these health conditions, acceptance of FMTs is growing. Now the research community is turning its attention to the specific components behind the microbiome’s healing potential. Several biotech companies are already developing more precisely-defined therapeutics. This work will foster better quality control and more comfortable formulations. Who wouldn’t prefer swallowing a capsule to undergoing an enema or colonoscopy?

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The Science of Biotech

Attack Of The Tregs!!

Attack Of The Tregs!!

Attack Of The Tregs!! No matter what it sounds like, this subset of helper T-cells aren’t invaders from another planet. Nope, Tregs, or regulatory T-cells, come from New Jersey (don’t say it!) and elsewhere.  They suppress the immune system. These newcomers to the...

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Amazing Antibodies Part 2: Enlightened & Nano

Amazing Antibodies Part 2: Enlightened & Nano

What Can't These Little Dudes Do? When last we met, we discussed the fundamentals of monoclonal (mAb) therapies and looked at two recent advances: antibody-drug conjugates and bispecific antibodies. This week continues our adventure in antibody innovation by...

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Therapeutic Areas

 

Autophagy: The Incredible, Edible Cell?

Autophagy: The Incredible, Edible Cell?

Autophagy: The Incredible, Edible Cell? True, weird fact: our cells are cannibals. Right now, these itty-bitty sacs of vital fluids inside your body are eating themselves. This phenomenon is called autophagy, or “self-eating.” Autophagy Is Awesome This seemingly odd...

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Medical Devices & Diagnostics

CRISPR’s GENOME DETECTIVES

CRISPR’s GENOME DETECTIVES

CRISPR’s GENOME DETECTIVES Last week, we reviewed how CRISPR works and its potential to revolutionize genetic therapies. Here we look at how scientists have started using this technology to develop new diagnostics. Media attention has been focusing almost exclusively...

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