The Science Behind the Headlines
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.read more
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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?read more
The Science of Biotech
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...read more
Old Way Of Fighting Bacteria Renewed One of the greatest public health challenges of the 21st century is antibiotic resistance, which occurs when a few bacteria in a given population develop a genetic mutation that enables them to survive — even in the presence of...read more
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...read more
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Medical Devices & Diagnostics
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...read more