nature.com
UK scientists gain licence to edit genes in human embryos
Team at Francis Crick Institute permitted to use CRISPR–Cas9 technology in embryos for early-development research.

Scientists in London have been granted permission to edit the genomes of human embryos for research, UK fertility regulators announced. The 1 February approval by the UK Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) represents the world’s first endorsement of such research by a national regulatory authority.

“It’s an important first. The HFEA has been a very thoughtful, deliberative body that has provided rational oversight of sensitive research areas, and this establishes a strong precedent for allowing this type of research to go forward,” says George Daley, a stem-cell biologist at Children’s Hospital Boston in Massachusetts.

The HFEA has approved an application by developmental biologist Kathy Niakan, at the Francis Crick Institute in London, to use the genome-editing technique CRISPR–Cas9 in healthy human embryos. Niakan’s team is interested in early development, and it plans to alter genes that are active in the first few days after fertilization. The researchers will stop the experiments after seven days, after which the embryos will be destroyed.

The genetic modifications could help researchers to develop treatments for infertility, but will not themselves form the basis of a therapy.

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Farma: A Home Bioreactor for Pharmaceutical Drugs

Will Patrick - MIT Media Lab graduate, former Google[x] researcher & Autodesk Artist in Resident Project - has created a bioreactor that could enable the production of pharmaceutical drugs at home. Farma is designed for a near future, where it grows, measures, filters and drys synthetically designed microbes.

Farma brews Arthrospira platensis, also known as Spirulina, that has been modified to produce pharmaceutical drugs. The reactor brews, measures, filters, and dries the Spirulina into a powder. The consumer then fills gel capsules using the accompanying pill maker and consumes the drugs. It should be able to grow other organisms, including algae, yeast and E coli.

Farma’s goal is to provoke discussions about the dos and don'ts of new emerging technologies: “I want people to understand what could be possible and help them imagine a possible future.”

[read more at FastCo] [William Patrick] [picture by Will Patrick]

The AIRO wristband tracks not just sleep, exercise and stress, but also what you eat

…the AIRO uses a special embedded spectrometer to track not just your heart rate, but also your sleep patterns, workout intensity and calories consumed. It’s even able to break down the nutritional intake of your food.

Abhilash Jayakumar, co-founder and CEO of Airo Heath, tells us it’s able to do this because specific nutrients have different light properties. “As your body breaks the food down, the sensor can detect the amount of light that passes through the blood based on green, red and infrared patterns.” So, for example, if you just ate a candybar, you’ll see a spike in sugar intake reflected on an accompanying AIRO app. The wristband is able to parse the nutritional value of food into protein, fat and carbohydrates. Jayakumar tells us that the app is right now not quite sophisticated enough to tell the difference between simple starches and complex ones, but the team still has more experiments to do, so don’t rule that out just yet.

Personal spectrometer.

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Cotton Candy Machines May Hold Key for Making Artificial Organs

Bellan and colleagues report that they have succeeded in using this unorthodox technique to produce a three-dimensional artificial capillary system that can keep living cells viable and functional for more than a week, which is a dramatic improvement over current methods.

The research is in Advanced Healthcare Materials. (full access paywall)

#Biotech BillerudKorsnäs: YEAR-END REPORT January–December 2015: SOLNA, Sweden–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Regulatory News... https://t.co/GA0Oyzj6jb

#Biotech BillerudKorsnäs: YEAR-END REPORT January–December 2015: SOLNA, Sweden–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Regulatory News… https://t.co/GA0Oyzj6jb

#Biotech BillerudKorsnäs: YEAR-END REPORT January–December 2015: SOLNA, Sweden–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Regulatory News… https://t.co/GA0Oyzj6jb

— Biotech 365 (@Biotech365) February 10, 2016

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vimeo

Blue-Eyed Me by Alexey Marfin

Fantastic seven-minute nearfuture scifi about technology lifecycles, their impact on socio-technological systems respectively customer interactions and hidden pacesetting infrastructures & industries.

External image

This is the world of the 99-cent lifeform. Like a social media profile or an online shopping list tailored to our hobbies, we collect genetically modified pets, engineered to look like their owners.

Alexey is part of the Unknown Fields Division run by Liam Young and Kate Davies. A “a nomadic design research studio that ventures out on expeditions to the ends of the earth to bear witness to alternative worlds, alien landscapes, industrial ecologies and precarious wilderness.”

[read more at the creators project] [Unknown Fields] [Alexey Marfin] [film still by Alexey Marfin]

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How research on bacterial immune systems led to CRISPR

CRISPR is a DNA editing tool that is currently revolutionizing the scientific world. CRISPR gives scientists and laboratories the ability to cut out malfunctioning DNA and replace it with functioning DNA. To do this, scientists must first program a specific RNA molecule and attach it to the protein Cas-9. When introduced to cells, this RNA/Cas-9 hybrid will seek out the malfunctioning DNA and cut it out, like a pair of molecular scissors. Scientists can then either insert the correct DNA, or the body can repair the cut itself.

CRISPR started as a basic research project in Dr. Jennifer Doudna’s lab at UC Berkeley. She was studying how bacterial immune systems fight off invading viral DNA. Through this research Dr. Doudna and her team, collaborating with Dr. Emmanuelle Charpentier, turned that knowledge into what we now know as CRISPR, the world’s most powerful DNA editing tool.

2010 NSF grant to Dr. Dounda: http://www.nsf.gov/awardsearch/showAward?AWD_ID=0950971&HistoricalAwards=false

For more information about CRISPR and the Innovative Genomics Initiative, visit: https://innovativegenomics.org/

By: National Science Foundation.

List of Biotech Companies : https://t.co/7aTGYWuUj3 #biotech #marketing #biopharma #pharma #biotechnology #mktg #database #biology #science

List of Biotech Companies : https://t.co/7aTGYWuUj3 #biotech #marketing #biopharma #pharma #biotechnology #mktg #database #biology #science

List of Biotech Companies : https://t.co/7aTGYWuUj3 #biotech #marketing #biopharma #pharma #biotechnology #mktg #database #biology #science

— Biotech 365 (@Biotech365) February 10, 2016

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3 Implications of Memory-Boosting Devices

Ben Thomas wrote for Discover Magazine about the socio-technological implications of memory-boosting devices:

In fall, DARPA announced a major success in its Restoring Active Memory (RAM) program. Researchers implanted targeted electrical arrays in the brains of a few dozen volunteers — specifically in brain areas involved in memory.

The researchers found a way to read out neural “key codes” associated with specific memories, and then fed those codes back into the volunteers’ brains as they tried to recall lists of items or directions to places. While the results are still preliminary, DARPA claims that the RAM technique has already achieved “promising results” in improving memory retrieval.

Intriguing as this implant is, it’s only the latest in an ongoing series of neurological techniques and gizmos designed to boost and sharpen memory. The effects and implications of these systems raise questions that are worth consideration.

Worth a read. By this way: You should check out The Machine by James Smythe. A fantastic & powerful near scifi story about Beth and Vic, who returned from war tormented by his nightmares.“His once happy marriage to Beth all but disintegrated. A machine promised salvation, purging him of all memory. Now the machines are gone, declared too controversial, the side-effects too harmful. But within Beth’s flat is an ever-whirring black box. She knows that memories can be put back and that she can rebuild her husband piece by piece. ” Definitely worth a read. One of my favorites in 2015.

[read more]

sciencemag.org
U.K. researcher receives permission to edit genes in human embryos
Proposed experiments will study the earliest stages of embryo development

The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA), which grants licenses for work with human embryos, sperm, and eggs in the United Kingdom, approved Niakan’s application at a meeting of HFEA’s license committee on 14 January. The minutes of that meeting state that, “[o]n balance, the proposed use of CRISPR/Cas9 was considered by the Committee to offer better potential for success, and was a justified technical approach to obtaining research data about gene function from the embryos used.”  

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Are Ingestible Cameras The Future Of Medicine?

Short Summary: The future of personalized pharmaceuticals is here. What if you had a pill that would remind you to take it?

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By: DNews.

#Biotech #jobs #lifescience ERP System Administrator: // ME-Freeport, CyberCoders Matching Great People with G... https://t.co/nv9XRDIR7N

#Biotech #jobs #lifescience ERP System Administrator: // ME-Freeport, CyberCoders Matching Great People with G… https://t.co/nv9XRDIR7N

#Biotech #jobs #lifescience ERP System Administrator: // ME-Freeport, CyberCoders Matching Great People with G… https://t.co/nv9XRDIR7N

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