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Let There Be Light: GreenLight Strives for Global RNA Equity to Solve Health and Agricultural Problems

By developing RNA products and collaborating with academic and industry leaders, GreenLight Biosciences is on the hunt to advance vaccine development, pandemic preparation, crop management, plant protection, and support the health of bees and other pollinators.

Thermo Fisher to Acquire PPD for $17.4B, as CROs Consolidate Further

In acquiring PPD, Thermo Fisher rounds out a continuum of outsourced services the company added when it bought two contract development and manufacturing organizations in recent years—Patheon for $7.2 billion in 2017, then snapped up Brammer Bio two years later for $1.7 billion.

Curbing Malaria’s Spread by Genetic Engineering

Gene drives are being tested as a new approach for combatting the rise of mosquito resistance to pesticides and malaria parasite resistance to antimalarial drugs. In a new study, researchers from the Imperial College London reported their approach brings gene drives one step closer as a potential strategy for eliminating malaria. 

n-Lorem Makes Ultrarare Disease Treatment Personal

The first (and only) nonprofit organization, n-Lorem, was launched just over one year ago with the mission to offer personalized ASO treatments to patients with ultra-rare diseases—for free, for life. In just one year, the foundation is moving forward with treatments for 20 patients. The founder and CEO of n-Lorem, Stan Crooke, spoke with GEN about the last year, and more importantly, his goals for the future.

Potential Blood Biomarker for TBI, and Mechanistic Link with Alzheimer’s Disease Identified

Harrington Discovery Institute scientists discovered a potential new approach to preventing brain nerve cells deterioration after traumatic brain injury (TBI). The team demonstrated that TBI induces acetylation of the tau protein at sites that are also acetylated in Alzheimer’s disease (AD), and revealed a potential mechanistic link between TBI and AD. Their studies in addition indicated that blood levels of acetylated tau could represent a potential biomarker for TBI.

New Hyaluronic Acid Therapy Presents Chemical and Mechanical Cues Healing Injured Joint Cartilage

A new hyaluronic acid hydrogen therapy, tested in large animals, shows protective function in injured articular cartilage at synovial joints. This biocompatible sealant material interlocks with the tissue, providing mechanical fortification and chemical cues that cause injected stem cells to stick at the affected site and attract matrix to further seal the injured site.

Neural Stem Cells Decline During Aging

A new study explores the biological aging of neural stem cells (NSCs), which are vulnerable to damage over time. The researchers identified long-term NSCs that decline during aging and elucidated a role for the gene Abl1 in the process. These findings have implications for the normal cognitive decline as well as for neurological conditions, and are a step forward toward identifying prescription drugs that could rejuvenate brains as they age.

Diet Rich in Animal Products, Processed Foods, Alcohol and Sugar Linked with Inflammatory Gut Microbiome

The results of a study by researchers at the University of Groningen and University Medical Centre Groningen suggest that high dietary intake of animal products, processed foods, alcohol and sugar, support a gut microbiome that encourages inflammation, while a diet rich in plant-based foods was found to promote gut microbial communities that have the opposite effect.

Getting the Most Out of Your Intensified Bioprocess

Intensification in bioprocessing generally means increasing productivity. This can be done by changing one element of a bioprocessing workflow or developing an entirely new process.

Whence the Facility Expansions?

The surge in facility expansions involves not vaccines or large-market mAbs but cell and gene therapies and small-volume mAbs.

CDMOs Embrace Innovative Tech to Create “Digital Threads”

Digital technology is helping contractors handle customers’ manufacturing projects more efficiently and effectively.

Resilience Acquires Ology Bioservices

Deal provides Resilience with 300 skilled employees and over 200,000 sq. ft of manufacturing, office, process development, quality assurance, and quality control space.

Penn State Officially Names its New Sartorius Cell Culture Facility

The facility was designed to provide a technological reference center for internal and external users and a setting where students have direct experience with the techniques and processes commonly used in current, sophisticated biotech research.

FDA, CDC Urge Pause in J&J COVID-19 Vaccination, Citing “Rare” Blood Clots

The CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) will meet Wednesday to review the cases and assess their potential significance. The FDA also plans to investigate those cases, and will review the CDC’s analysis, the agencies said.

Icosavax: Giving VLPs the VIP Treatment

Icosavax's virus-like particle (VLP) technology, developed at UW’s Institute for Protein Design (IPD), is designed to address a challenge that has impeded wider use of VLP vaccines: How to construct and manufacture VLPs capable of displaying complex viral antigens that have been difficult to successfully produce at scale, including for RSV and hMPV.

Hip and Knee Replacements Gain New Pillars of Support

Scientists have developed a new technology that uses an array of microscale pillars that could help develop micro-structured cell culture substrates that can direct cell fate determination through mechanical cues and provide for therapeutic applications in both research and clinical sectors.

New CUT&Tag Approach Profiles Chromatin Modifications in Single Cells

Researchers have combined CUT&Tag technology with droplet-based single-cell library preparation to produce high-quality single-cell data on chromatin modifications. The technique, which was applied to the mouse brain, makes it possible to examine how different versions of histones bind to the genome in tens of thousands of individual cells at the same time. This approach offers an unbiased view of the epigenetic information in complex tissues with unparalleled resolution.

Potential New Strategy for Blocking Cancer Cell Growth in Medulloblastoma Revealed

Medulloblastoma is the most common high-grade brain tumor in children. New preclinical research in human tissue samples, human cell lines, and mice by scientists at the Queen Mary University of London demonstrates a new strategy to starving tumor cells of energy to prevent further growth. The new findings could potentially lead to changes in how some patients are treated if confirmed in human clinical trials.

Inscripta Eyes Broader Genome Editing Reach with $150M Series E

Onyx is designed to enable scientists to create libraries of millions of precisely-engineered single cells in one experiment through a fully automated workflow that enables massively parallel, trackable editing of single cells at an unprecedented scale. Onyx sells for a list price of $347,000.

AACR Meeting News: Synlogic Presents Encouraging Data on Immunotherapy Drug

On the first day of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) annual meeting, the synthetic biology company Synlogic presented data from a Phase I trial of their immunotherapy drug, SYNB1891. The drug, which consists of engineered bacteria that are injected intratumorally, is being developed for the treatment of solid tumors and lymphoma. The data suggest that the drug is safe, well-tolerated, and activates the STING pathway in patients.

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