Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News

APR15 2017

Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News (GEN) is the world's most widely read biotech publication. It provides the R&D community with critical information on the tools, technologies, and trends that drive the biotech industry.

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DeeAnn Visk, Ph.D. Almost 100 years ago, German biochemist Otto Hein- rich Warburg noticed that cancer cells tend to have a high rate of glycolysis compared to normal tissues. This phenomenon, which occurs in cancer cells along with increased glucose uptake and fermentation of glucose to lactate, is known as the Warburg effect. Present-day explanations for the Warburg effect remain unsettled. Interestingly, a 2016 article in Trends in Biochemical Sciences concluded that advances in cancer therapies that target metabolic pathways would aid in under- standing the Warburg effect. This article will discuss progress in finding some of these metabolic drug targets. Finding Targets in Cancer's Metabolic Quirks Both insufficient wound healing and excessive fi- brosis or scarring occur when the normal tissue-repair mechanisms present in an organism are malfunction- ing. Recent advances suggest that environmental fac- tors can influence tissue repair and regeneration by triggering epigenetic changes that influence the way cells that are responsible for wound healing behave. The environment also impacts on tissue repair via mechanical factors, often overlooked in regenerative medicine. These factors are of key importance when considering the design of new therapeutics and also in building functional tissue equivalents such as organ- oids. In a similar fashion, understanding the role of the different cell types that are involved with tissue repair (for example, in the connective stroma) can give valu- able insights to researchers. While regeneration still occurs in some tissues, hu- mans lost a large amount of regenerative ability during evolution. In contrast, some simple organisms are still able to regenerate whole organs. Age has a strong in- fluence on tissue repair and cellular regeneration, and model organisms with high regenerative ability are be- ing used to discover how tissue regeneration changes during the aging process. These and other strategies to turn abnormal tissue repair into faultless regeneration will be discussed at Tissue Repair and Regeneration, a Gordon Research Conference to be held June 4–9 in New London, NH. Impact of Epigenetics It is important to consider epigenetics in the con- text of tissue repair and regeneration, as it is involved in all aspects of this process. "Environmental factors that see page 26 Helen Albert Abnormal tissue repair has a serious impact on the health and quality of life of those affected. It also incurs healthcare costs reaching tens of billions of dollars per year in the U.S., with similar costs in Europe. A Better Environment for Tissue Repair April 15, 2017 see page 14 Angelo DePalma, Ph.D. Cell-line development has been an ongoing priority in the life sciences. With cell- and tissue-based assays rap- idly replacing animal studies, researchers are increas- ingly reliant on cells that can demonstrate greater bio- logical relevance. Similarly, therapeutic biotechnology is constantly seeking to improve production cells' perfor- mance with respect to productivity and product quality. Given that both research and industrial concerns are demanding better cells, it should come as no sur- prise that that cell-line development has healthy Cell-Line Development Poised for Growth see page 18 Leading the Way in Life Science Technologies Epigenetics is a critical factor in the context of tissue repair and regeneration as it is involved in all aspects of this process. Wavebreakmedia/Getty Images The Austrian Centre of Industrial Biotechnology and GE Healthcare are introducing a cell-line engineering research collaboration to bring increased productivity to biomanufacturers. The goal of the three- year partnership is to explore and identify new tools and methods to modify and optimize CHO cell-line performance. Spray-On Stem Cells Can Step Up Healing 6 Predict Drug Toxicity without Guesswork 8 Thermo Fisher Scientific Adopts a Modular Automation Path 22

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