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The 6th Microbiome R&D and Business Collaboration Forum: A Summary

Leaders in the microbiome industry met in San Diego, USA on October 29th and 30th 2018, to dive into the advancements in research and product development that have occurred to date. This summary was authored by Anusha Gandi from Microbiome Insights and the original version can be found on their blog.

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Rabies diagnostics with RT-PCR assays, Liquid Diagnostics and What the Future Holds for Digital PCR

With its reduction in cost, and an increased number of real-time PCR users purchasing Digital PCR, the qPCR and Digital PCR market is predicted to grow to $4.94 billion by 2021. At the 4BIO event in San Francisco, three dedicated tracks proved a timely opportunity to learn first-hand about dPCR whilst keeping up-to-date with latest market developments and strategies. If you weren’t able to be there in person, these slides are now available from Hestia Mellert, Olivier Thas and Yu Li.

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How to make digital microfluidics suit biological need

Droplet-based microfluidics is a technology that allows for the manipulation of small liquid droplets with a volume ranging from microliters to picolitres. The technology that handles discrete droplets is called digital microfluidics. The small volume offers various advantages such as quick mixing, simple handling, high throughput with a large number of droplets. The small volume also poses a serious challenge to engineering droplet-based microfluidic platforms: evaporation.

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Use and misuse of CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing

Since its discovery in 2012, the use of the CRISPR/Cas9 system to edit genomes has raised the expectations for the cure of untreatable disorders. Very often, as biomedical geneticists we found ourselves talking about the potentials and drawbacks of CRIPSR/Cas9 both at scientific and layman level.

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Translating Microbiome Futures

In May of this year, Nature Biotechnology and Global Engage convened a panel of leaders in the microbiome field that included CEOs and CSOs of several microbiome companies, representatives from big pharmas working in the space, and top academics from the New York area and beyond to discuss the current state of the art in human microbiome research and its translation into therapies.

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Microfluidics: How origami is saving lives in Africa

This article was originally published by The Scottish Funding Council in May 2018 and is published here with permission.

A folded piece of paper could save lives in Uganda, says Glasgow University’s Prof Jonathan Cooper.

Apac is a district in central Uganda sitting just north of the equator. Its main village is surrounded by Lake Kyoga and the Arocha and Wirewiri swamps. It also has an unusually hot microclimate producing an environment that results in the region having the highest number of mosquito bites per person in the world – on average, each person is bitten five times per night, year-round. The local health workers refer to these as “innoculations” – for, despite years of mass drug administrations, insecticide spraying and distribution of nets, it remains one of the most malarial districts in the world.

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The Benefits of Computational Pathology

The histological assessment of human tissue has emerged as a key challenge for the detection and treatment of cancer. Many tissue sections have to be processed in order to find those that contain cancer, which can be a timely and costly process. Similarly, procedures such as immunohistochemical scoring can be problematic for cases such as ER, PR, and HER2.

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Digital-Droplet PCR Gets Another ‘D’

Triple-d PCR enhances digital PCR sensitivity and precision for liquid biopsies

Digital-droplet PCR (ddPCR) has been implemented in diverse fields such as cancer biomarkers, viral load detection, prenatal screening, organ donor rejection, or library assessment for next generation sequencing. Detection of emerging resistance or minimal residual disease via ddPCR in liquid biopsies is also growing rapidly.

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