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  • The Long Shadow Of The European Ruling On New Breeding Technologies

    Last week, the European Court of Justice ruled that gene-edited crops are equivalent to transgenic GMOs. 

  • Selecting A Formulation Type And Package Size For Your Biopesticides

    In the final instalment in our series of articles focusing on biopesticide product development, we will be discussing the importance of selecting a formulation type and package size, preferred packaging options, crop specific economics, tank mixability, and tank mixes.

  • Fermented Food As Probiotics: Health Perceptions And Research

    Fermented drinks can be, and often are, produced at home, although, as the numbers in this blog reveal, they also represent an important market in the food industry.

  • Engineering Complex Tissues: Let Nature Take Its Course

    Most tissues in our body are complex entities, containing multiple support structures like vascular networks. Ideally, this complexity should be reproduced when engineering a tissue substitute. This is important for functionality if the goal is to use the engineered tissue as a substitute for donor material, but also to ensure a physiological response in cases where the tissue will be used as a screening platform.

  • Novel Photosynthesis Technology – The Solution To The Global Food Security Crisis?

    The human population is increasing, which means that we need to improve crop productivity to maintain food security. 

How Human Tissue Samples are Shaping Cancer Therapy

Cancer Therapy

Thanks to advancements in human tissue sample procedures, we have been able to make major breakthroughs in cancer research. In the twenty-first century, epidemiological and clinical evidence have supported the claim that changes in metabolism can affect oncogenesis and tumour response to therapy.

It has been observed that metabolic conditions such as hyperglycemia, obesity, hyperlipidemia, and insulin resistance are directly associated with increased risk of cancer development as well as the acceleration of tumour progression. These findings indicate that statins and metformin may help decrease cancer-related deaths.

Read More

Increasing Shelf Life of Perishable Produce Using Patented Gene Technology

The eIF‑5A protein is highly conserved in all plants and animals and is the only protein in any organism that has the unique hypusine modification caused by the Deoxyhypusine Synthase (DHS) enzyme. The unmodified-to-hypusinated ratio of these two forms of eIF‑5A determines the fate of the cell. Recent studies suggest that eIF‑5A is mainly involved in RNA metabolism and movement through the cell, thereby regulating cell growth, proliferation, and programmed death. These stable genetic changes will significantly enhance crop traits, including:

Read More

Are smaller biobanks still relevant in the era of 500,000 plus cohorts?

Shona Kerr, MRC Human Genetics Unit, writes:

Large-scale national cohorts and biobanks, linked to detailed genomic, phenotypic and clinical data, are currently being created and developed through investment from a large number of governments worldwide. These data-rich resources are exemplified by the 500,000 research volunteers in the UK Biobank, a cohort established primarily to investigate the genetic and lifestyle determinants of middle and later life diseases. Now it is accessible by all health researchers worldwide and the UK Biobank is supporting an unprecedented range of novel insights into the biology of disease, from varicose veins to lifespan.

Read More

Analytics and Big Data in Pharma

Drug discovery and development is a complex process that requires integration of multiple data points, experiments and calculated risk/benefit assumptions. It is therefore only natural that virtualization and big data analytics are a natural fit for implementations, expected to demonstrate significant cost-effective gains for the betterment of society, providing access to effective and safe medications.

Read More

What does a healthy infant gut microbiome look like?

As diet and the microbiome are closely entwined, the first step in understanding a healthy infant gut microbiome is to understand a healthy infant diet. Fortunately, a healthy infant diet is at least superficially simple to define, exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months is the best nutrition for infants according to the World Health Organisation. A common alternative to human breast milk for infants is formula and the microbiomes of breastfed and formula fed infants are known to differ.

Read More

Failing Blockbuster Medicines, Eroding Operator Margins & Increased Pricing Pressures: What’s Next for Precision Medicine?

The Precision Medicine and Biomarkers Leaders Summit: Europe takes place this week and in anticipation, we spoke to Unmesh Lal of Frost and Sullivan about his views on what the future holds for precision medicine and how the pharmaceutical industry has changed in recent times.

Read More

Saving Money with the Foldscope in Digital Pathology

At the recent Digital Pathology and AI Congress, Rebecca Calder and Daniel Stevens presented their research in the poster entitled: Preliminary Studies in the Use of the Foldscope Paper Microscope for Diagnostic Analysis of Crystals in Urine: Issues in the Analysis of Liquid Samples and Potential Applications in Low Budget/Low Tech Regions of the World. You can view the poster here.

Dr. Zev Leifer, who oversaw the project, describes the rationale.

Read More

Targeting C. difficile Infection with Next-Generation Probiotics

Antibiotic use can disrupt your body’s protective microbial barrier and open the door to pathogens and illness. Our research focuses on developing next-generation probiotics that would selectively prevent infection by the bacterium Clostridium difficile, a gastrointestinal pathogen that produces toxins resulting in watery diarrhoea and in severe cases, pseudomembrane colitis, toxemia, sepsis and death.

Read More

How Human Tissue Samples are Shaping Cancer Therapy

Cancer Therapy

Thanks to advancements in human tissue sample procedures, we have been able to make major breakthroughs in cancer research. In the twenty-first century, epidemiological and clinical evidence have supported the claim that changes in metabolism can affect oncogenesis and tumour response to therapy.

It has been observed that metabolic conditions such as hyperglycemia, obesity, hyperlipidemia, and insulin resistance are directly associated with increased risk of cancer development as well as the acceleration of tumour progression. These findings indicate that statins and metformin may help decrease cancer-related deaths.

Read More

Are smaller biobanks still relevant in the era of 500,000 plus cohorts?

Shona Kerr, MRC Human Genetics Unit, writes:

Large-scale national cohorts and biobanks, linked to detailed genomic, phenotypic and clinical data, are currently being created and developed through investment from a large number of governments worldwide. These data-rich resources are exemplified by the 500,000 research volunteers in the UK Biobank, a cohort established primarily to investigate the genetic and lifestyle determinants of middle and later life diseases. Now it is accessible by all health researchers worldwide and the UK Biobank is supporting an unprecedented range of novel insights into the biology of disease, from varicose veins to lifespan.

Read More

Analytics and Big Data in Pharma

Drug discovery and development is a complex process that requires integration of multiple data points, experiments and calculated risk/benefit assumptions. It is therefore only natural that virtualization and big data analytics are a natural fit for implementations, expected to demonstrate significant cost-effective gains for the betterment of society, providing access to effective and safe medications.

Read More

What does a healthy infant gut microbiome look like?

As diet and the microbiome are closely entwined, the first step in understanding a healthy infant gut microbiome is to understand a healthy infant diet. Fortunately, a healthy infant diet is at least superficially simple to define, exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months is the best nutrition for infants according to the World Health Organisation. A common alternative to human breast milk for infants is formula and the microbiomes of breastfed and formula fed infants are known to differ.

Read More

Failing Blockbuster Medicines, Eroding Operator Margins & Increased Pricing Pressures: What’s Next for Precision Medicine?

The Precision Medicine and Biomarkers Leaders Summit: Europe takes place this week and in anticipation, we spoke to Unmesh Lal of Frost and Sullivan about his views on what the future holds for precision medicine and how the pharmaceutical industry has changed in recent times.

Read More

Saving Money with the Foldscope in Digital Pathology

At the recent Digital Pathology and AI Congress, Rebecca Calder and Daniel Stevens presented their research in the poster entitled: Preliminary Studies in the Use of the Foldscope Paper Microscope for Diagnostic Analysis of Crystals in Urine: Issues in the Analysis of Liquid Samples and Potential Applications in Low Budget/Low Tech Regions of the World. You can view the poster here.

Dr. Zev Leifer, who oversaw the project, describes the rationale.

Read More

Targeting C. difficile Infection with Next-Generation Probiotics

Antibiotic use can disrupt your body’s protective microbial barrier and open the door to pathogens and illness. Our research focuses on developing next-generation probiotics that would selectively prevent infection by the bacterium Clostridium difficile, a gastrointestinal pathogen that produces toxins resulting in watery diarrhoea and in severe cases, pseudomembrane colitis, toxemia, sepsis and death.

Read More

Without challenge, there is no change – the move to precision medicine

I don’t need to tell you that pharma has changed, that it is still changing at speed, or that change is the new normal. I don’t need to tell you because you − more than anyone else − already know. The passing of the blockbuster era has caused uncertainty. Without the superstar drugs of old, where does the industry go next? It’s a serious challenge, but without challenge, there is no change. The answer, of course, is the scalar shift from blockbuster generic to precision medicine specific.

Read More

Increasing Shelf Life of Perishable Produce Using Patented Gene Technology

The eIF‑5A protein is highly conserved in all plants and animals and is the only protein in any organism that has the unique hypusine modification caused by the Deoxyhypusine Synthase (DHS) enzyme. The unmodified-to-hypusinated ratio of these two forms of eIF‑5A determines the fate of the cell. Recent studies suggest that eIF‑5A is mainly involved in RNA metabolism and movement through the cell, thereby regulating cell growth, proliferation, and programmed death. These stable genetic changes will significantly enhance crop traits, including:

Read More

An Updated Round-Up of the Top Plant Genome Databases

There’s more plant genome databases than there ever has been before. We’ve collated the most recent databases for ontology information on a variety of crops, including: rice, maize, wheat, sorghum, barley, millet, rye, and oats.

Read More

EU Court of Justice Rules that Gene Edited Organisms will be Regulated as GMOs

On 25 July 2018, the Court of Justice of the European Union, the EU’s highest court, issued a decision clarifying whether the EU would regulate products of innovative breeding techniques, like gene editing, under the EU’s Directive 2001/18, the principal EU law governing the regulation of GMOs.

Read More

Regulating Biostimulant Products

Degrading soil quality and increased interest in sustainable farming have caused the biostimulant market to go from strength-to-strength and it is expected to reach $4.14 billion by 2025. [1] Despite this, companies have expressed concerns that the regulation of biostimulants will hinder industry growth and the longevity of small companies and start-ups.

We spoke to Nick Moon, Global Regulatory Manager, Plant Impact, to discuss the regulation of biostimulants and its impact on industry.

Read More

Transcriptomic Profiling of Pearl Millet for Salinity Stress Response

In an article which discussed the exploration of the ‘orphan crop’ pearl millet, Amibka Dudhate concluded that photosynthesis, plant hormone signal transduction, and mitogen-activated protein kinase signalling pathways are significantly activated on the advent of drought stress in pearl millet. Her colleague, Harshraj Shinde, expands on these findings.

Read More

Unraveling the Regulatory Quagmire of Agrobiologicals

At the Partnerships in Biocontrol, Biostimulants, & Microbiome: Europe, Peter Jens, Director of Strategic Alliances at Koppert Biological Systems and CEO of AND Biopharma, discussed regulation from product to systems thinking.

He focused specifically on the way in which consumers and citizens have become more vocal on the quality of products, arguing that the current regulatory discussion is fated and different thinking is required.

Here, he explains what he means by ‘different’ kinds of thinking and how this could help unravel the regulatory quagmire of agrochemicals and agrobiologicals.

Read More

The Long Shadow of the European Ruling on New Breeding Technologies

Last week, the European Court of Justice ruled that gene-edited crops are equivalent to transgenic GMOs. The court ruling came as a surprise because it negates a preliminary opinion that was issued by the court’s Advocate General Michael Bobek in January 2018. This reactionary ECJ ruling might become the final nail in the coffin of the European Agbiotech sector and many scientists, including myself, are concerned that it will discourage the use of genome editing in agriculture.

Read More

Novel Photosynthesis Technology – the Solution to the Global Food Security Crisis?

Ensuring global food security

The human population is increasing, which means that we need to improve crop productivity to maintain food security. Over the last century, plant breeding and modern agriculture have made large gains in productivity. However, this growth is not keeping pace with demand. If plant photosynthesis could be improved, this would provide breeders with a new tool to increase crop yields. This has been a major research focus over the last 20 years and significant progress has been made in understanding this process. However, crops with improved photosynthesis have yet to be successfully commercialised.

Read More

Examining Blockchain Systems & Designing Smart Contracts

The blockchain has the potential to enable the collaboration between patients, researchers, and care providers to provide individualised care for patients, but how can this technology be harnessed in a practical way?

This was one of the key questions that was asked at the Blockchain in Healthcare Congress and we had the pleasure of welcoming an array of expert speakers from pharma, academia, and industry to provide the answer.

Read More

Presentation Slide Release: Cyber Security & Medical Devices

The Global Cyber Security in Healthcare & Pharma Summit 2018 brought together high-level representatives from around the globe to create a cyber security map for the future. If you weren’t able to make the conference, enjoy these slides from Caroline Rivett, Garvan Lynch and Katrine Vedel on securing medical devices and enabling better healthcare through cyber security.

Read More

The role of extrinsic motivation in sports and physical activity

Motivation is one of the most significant psychological concepts in many areas of life – from work and education to achieving personal goals. In sports and physical activity, motivation plays an especially important part due to the fact that, to millions of people worldwide, staying fit and active is not an obligation or a professional prerequisite, but rather a personal goal. Blockchain technology, together with elements of gamification, may actually help people achieve this goal.

Read More

Conciliating Blockchain and GDPR

Aurélie Bayle is a Data Protection Officer at be-ys: a role she considers to be at the heart of the new legal framework for any company.

Before GDPR came into effect on 25th May 2018, she was working towards global compliance, which involved completing all the steps given by the Article 29 Data Protection Working Party, an advisory board made up of a representative from the data authority of each EU Member State, the European Data Protection Supervisor, and the European Commission. Her duties have included auditing the structures and processes, preparing the data protection impact assessments, checking the compliance of processing activities, analysing the risks of the processing in the medical area, preparing new processes and policies about data protection, and asking data processors about their own compliance.

Read More

When Blockchain Meets the Right to be Forgotten: Technology Versus Law

Over the past few years, the popularity of the blockchain and cryptocurrencies has increased and has reached important notoriety, not only in scientific and IT journals, but also in the media. Although there are many kinds of cryptocurrencies in circulation nowadays, the most popular is Bitcoin.

Read More

Supporting Blockchain Startups: An Open Letter from Katherine Merton

Dear colleagues,

The blockchain technology market is expected to grow to 2.3 billion US dollars by 2021, from 339.5 million US dollars in 2017. [1] With an annual growth rate of 61.5%, it is one of the fastest growing technologies in the healthcare industry.

Read More

The Big List of Microfluidics Companies & Investors

The microfluidic-based devices market has been growing since 2014 due to the increasing point of care testing demand and the miniaturisation of microfluidic chips. 

Read More

What will we do with all this data?

The amount of data we are creating every day has increased exponentially to match the rise in use of smart and connected devices. The internet of things has connected every aspect of our lives to the digital realm: most of these devices operate by tracking your habits, movements, preferences, voice, and more, then logging those habits online. Specifically, the collection of health data has become abundant, because most people now have or wear some sort of device to track daily patterns, steps, cycles, and more. Even our phones often default to track these things for us, whether we choose to enable the function or not.

Read More

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