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Biotechnology News

Q&A: Monitoring algal health is key to biofuel development Special

New methods are being applied to identify new and improved algae strains for the production of biofuels. An example is with fluorescence-based, high-throughput flow cytometry, which is being pioneered at the Los Alamos National Laboratory.

China tightens rules on genetic research after designer-baby scandal

Bejing - China has announced regulations to curb the smuggling of human organs and tighten oversight on the use of human genetic materials in research months after a Chinese scientist caused a global outcry by claiming that he gene-edited babies.

South Dakota's emerging biotech ecosystem

Pierre - South Dakota – a state with a population of less than a million people – is anchoring a large biotech ecosystem, focused on tackling global issues with innovations from disease-fighting cows, to light-activated drugs that help repair blood vessels.

Mammoth moves: frozen cells come to life, but only just

Apo - A team of scientists in Japan has successfully coaxed activity from 28,000-year-old cells from a frozen mammoth implanted into mouse cells, but the woolly mammal is unlikely to be walking among us soon.

With genetic tweak, mosquito population made extinct

Paris - Scientists said Monday they had succeeded for the first time in wiping out an entire population of malaria-carrying mosquitos in the lab using a gene editing tool to programme their extinction.

Startup announces breakthrough in drought-resistant crops

Israel’s PlantArcBio has isolated the genes that help desert organisms survive. Now, the University of Wisconsin-Madison will test the genes’ impact on soybean yields.

Gates launches not-for-profit biotech arm

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation have launched a not-for-profit biotechnology company. The Medical Research Institute’s goals are to eradicate malaria, accelerate the end of the tuberculosis epidemic, and end diarrheal deaths in children.

Biotech startup looking for $115 million from the IPO

A new biotech startup from Stanford University called Forty-Seven has announced an initial public offering. This follows on from the presentation of effective data in relation to the company’s monoclonal antibody.

Former biotech star charged with fraud over blood-testing claims

San Francisco - US securities regulators on Wednesday charged the chief executive of the blood-testing company Theranos, Elizabeth Holmes, and a former president at the onetime soaring Silicon Valley startup with an "elaborate, years-long fraud.

Essential Science: New skin from gene therapy

The first ever treatment of a child, suffering with terrible skin damage, has been undertaken using transplants developed from genetically modified stem cells. The treatment was a novel form of gene therapy.

New medical technology for kidney dialysis

The company Kibow Biotech has undertaken further validation of Its "Enteric Dialysis®" Technology, and Renadyl™ Product Formulation, designed for maintaining healthy kidney function.

FarmTech: Biotechnology for breeding healthier animals

Edinburgh - By analyzing the genetic code of sheep, researchers have come up with information that will aid breeding programs leading to healthier and more productivity animals. This centers on a review of genes relating to different tissues and organs.

Recycled foil becomes catalyst for biofuel

An intrepid researcher has successfully taken some used, dirty tin foil and used the material as the basis for a biofuel catalyst. The solution is environmentally-friendly, effective, and cheaper than current technology.

Op-Ed: The book that told the story of those HeLa cells Special

When we think of genetic engineering, biotech industry, it is easy to assume it is something relatively recent as within the last 20 to 30 years. But in a 2010 best-seller, author Rebecca Skloot revealed that such engineering had been done earlier.

Essential Science: Using bacteria to generate useful chemicals

Bacterial cells have been engineered to produce quantities of a chemical called serine. This chemical has a useful function – it is used to manufacture detergents and its acts as a building block for many industrially important chemicals.

Biotech is advancing the fragrance industry

Biotech has altered the way that perfumes are manufactured, making them more consistent and removing many animal products. New research promises to extend these innovations further.

Bill Gates investment looks to keep biofuel company going strong

Billionaire and energy aficionado Bill Gates has announced his latest investment is in a biotechnology company that turns biomass into fuel and bioplastics.

Controversial DNA research sparks ethical debate

Honolulu - Scientific techniques that can wipe out invasive species or alter mosquitoes' ability to carry disease are pushing ahead, raising concerns about the ethics of permanently changing the natural world, experts say.

Op-Ed: Living cells are now being programmed with computer code

Cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer's and other diseases are now in the firing line more than ever with the advent of CRISPR technology and now, computer code that reprograms living cells.

China 'clone factory' scientist eyes human replication

Bejing - The Chinese scientist behind the world's biggest cloning factory has technology advanced enough to replicate humans, he told AFP, and is only holding off for fear of the public reaction.

Novartis forms biotech spin-off called Mereo

Zurich - The pharmaceutical giant Novartis has established a biotech spin-off company called Mereo. The company will be based in the U.K. and it will work on three bespoke investigational drug products.

Liberia's 'Planet of the Apes' chimps facing starvation

Monrovia - A speedboat laden with fruit approaches and four chimpanzees come bounding over from the dense forest, screeching excitedly as volunteers throw them pineapple and mango chunks.

Using fungi to create jet fuel

Scientists have devised a method to create fuel for aircraft using a black fungus. The fungus is commonly found in decaying leaves and vegetation. The biofuel is predicted to be economically viable within five years.

Op-Ed: Nanotechnology likely to be the next big technological revolution

Is technological progress slowing down? Are we simply refining technological advances originally made in the 1980s or earlier? Fear not: there is a next wave that will revolutionize technology. And it's small. Real small. A look at nanotechnology.

Chemists 'unboil' eggs to prove how they can lower drug costs

Chemists from UC Irvine decided to unboil egg whites to demonstrate an innovation that could slash costs for cancer treatments, food production and other segments of the $160 billion global biotechnology industry.

Little Uruguay has big plans for smart agriculture

Montevideo - Uruguay, a country of 3.3 million inhabitants and four times as many cows, hopes to feed 50 million people thanks to drones, "smart" combines and other high-tech farming techniques.

Op-Ed: The patent gene debate: who owns your genes?

The Federal Court of Australia has rejected an appeal of a ruling that allows companies to patent isolated human genes. This reignites the debate: who owns your genes - you or the company that extracts them?

French scientists revive assault on pesticide, GM corn

Paris - Scientists who wrote a contested study linking pesticide-treated, genetically-modified corn with tumours and liver and kidney disease in lab rats returned to the attack on Tuesday, republish their work online.

Combating GMO 'fear-mongering' at America's Monsanto

Chesterfield - At a laboratory at its headquarters in the US heartland, a Monsanto scientist demonstrates how genetic material is inserted into plants, a common procedure still viewed as a dark art in parts of the world.In Chesterfield, Missouri, outside of St.

Nasdaq falls more than 2% as momentum stocks tumble

New York - The tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index tumbled more than two percent in midday trade Friday in a sell-off that battered most of the sector.Around 1730 GMT, the Nasdaq sank 96.85 points (2.29 percent) to 4,140.89, near the session low of 4,131.03.
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A bioreactor - a system that supports a biologically active environment.
A bioreactor - a system that supports a biologically active environment.
Eva Decker

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