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Biotech has been hitting the usual targets—proteins in disease pathways, mutated genes, and so on. But these targets tend to be discrete and, it must be admitted, relatively stationary. What about moving targets? In agricultural biotechnology, a task akin to hitting a moving target is the engineering of crops that can cope with unpredictable shifts in climate. (Fortunately, agricultural biotech is making use gene editing, which has a higher rate of fire than traditional transgenic techniques.) Disturbingly fluid situations must also be confronted in viral detection, where novel variants loom, as well as in studies of protein-protein interactions (PPIs) and in analyses of genomic data sets. PPIs are best understood if proteins aren’t unduly burdened by labels or fastened to substrates. And data sets are most useful if they are free to accumulate all sorts of data—data stored in varied formats, or data reflecting varied biological phenomena. To find out how biotech is tracking the most elusive targets, read the August issue of GEN.

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