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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28 | APRIL 15, 2017 | | Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News repair, particularly the cells of the supportive stroma. "It's the supportive stroma that's pri- marily involved in the majority of the fibrotic or scarring outcomes that usually develop af- ter injury or disease," he explains. "Something that we didn't perhaps ap- preciate several years ago, is that the popula- tion of cells we collectively refer to as fibro- blasts or stromal cells [consists of cells that] are very different from one another," Dr. Rinkevich clarifies. Each of the cells within this heterogeneous group, he continues, has its own unique characteristics. He explains that knowledge of the cells in the stromal compartment tissue lags behind that of other areas, such as the blood: "I think this is the very beginning of this field, where it is becoming apparent that there is a remark- able heterogeneity of cell types within the stro- ma and that it would be very exciting to learn what each one of those cell types does and how it impacts disease or health." Aging and Regeneration Brigitte Galliot, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor of the department of genetics and evolution and vice-dean of the faculty of sci- ences at the University of Geneva, studies the freshwater Hydra polyp as a model organ- ism with which to research regeneration and tissue repair. The Hydra is one of a group of organisms that have strong regenerative capacity. They are also well known and widely studied for their apparent lack of aging. Dr. Galliot and her colleagues have been investigating links between aging and regen- erative capacity in these animals. "Recently, we found an animal that aged," she says, "and one of our questions was, when they age, do they lose regenerative capacity?" "What we notice in the animals that are aging is that they lose regeneration," she con- tinues. "There was a progressive, irreversible decrease of cell proliferation, and we think that this is directly due to deficient autophagy. "There are some examples in the hemato- poietic system that autophagy has an impor- tant impact on the self-renewal of stem cells; so it's a developing idea at the moment, not only in Hydra, but in other systems, too." She explained that autophagy has two main advantages for cells. First, nutrients and energy are produced. Second, all the mo- lecular aggregates—for example, the protein and lipid aggregates that are toxic for your cells—are eliminated. Looking forward, Dr. Galliot offers the following comment: "We want to see wheth- er Hydra would be a good model system for degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease, where cells that do not divide accu- mulate a lot of aggregates." Environmental Impact The environment has a key role to play in regulating both a cell's and an organism's ability to regenerate and to repair tissue in re- sponse to injury. Whether in the form of bio- chemical cues that lead to epigenetic changes, such as consumption of alcohol and liver fi- brosis, or in the form of physical changes in the environment that result in physiological responses being triggered, the environment exerts a powerful effect. While we are still in the relatively early stages of the tissue engineering revolution, it is important that these influences are taken into account to ensure the in vivo environment is accurately represented. The influences of the environment can also be seen in model organ- isms such as the Hydra polyp, the study of which suggests that there is a link between au- tophagy and the organism's aging and regen- erative abilities. It is important for the future of regenerative medicine to collect such infor- mation and put it to good use in developing future therapies that reflect the natural tissue environment as closely as possible. Tissue Repair Continued from page 26 Translational Medicine Modern Peptone Manufacturing... makes a difference! Consistency , Reliability , Performance A wide range of plant / animal / casein peptones Peptones for today's applications 2 separate, dedicated production sites audited by the most demanding customers in pharma, biotech, diagnostics and industrial fermentation. Automation, custom reactors & closed systems contribute to high lot-to-lot consistency . Standardized & optimized processes result in enhanced reliability and performance . Material flow follows pharmaceutical practices & insures full traceability at every step. Respects market evolution with Kosher , non-Allergen and non-GMO references . Quality & Dependability by Design Contact Solabia US: +1-212-847-2397 or Visit our new website at Samples available - Contact Solabia today Tempus, University of Chicago Medicine Partner on Personalized Breast Cancer Treatment Insights Tempus recently announced it is part- nering with breast cancer specialists and research teams at the University of Chicago Medicine and Biological Scienc- es (UCM) to detect novel patterns that can predict how patients will respond to treatment. The collaboration is designed to improve and personalize treatment for breast cancer patients. Under the agreement, Tempus has agreed to provide molecular sequencing and analysis for patients being treated for breast cancer at UCM, a research in- stitute and healthcare provider. Through advanced bioinformatics and machine learning, Tempus plans to analyze data from about 1,000 breast cancer patients and generate additional genomic data for a subset of those patients. That patient population is roughly equal to the more than 1,000 breast cancer patients whose data has been sequenced and annotated, with clinical information that includes treatment and outcomes data, as part of The Cancer Genome Atlas, the largest publicly avail- able dataset. Tempus will work with the University of Chicago-based Genomic Data Commons, a next-generation platform designed to enable data ac- cess, analysis, and sharing for cancer research. Over the past six months, Tempus has launched clinical collaborations with the University of Pennsylvania's Abramson Cancer Center (focused on immunotherapies), University Hospitals Seidman Cancer Center (ovarian and triple negative breast cancer), University of Michigan (pancreatic cancer), and Duke University School of Medicine (brain cancer). The company has also launched a collaboration with the Mayo Clinic, focused on patients participating in studies related to immunotherapy for lung cancer, melanoma, bladder cancer, breast cancer, and lymphoma, as well as endocrine therapy for advanced breast cancer. In the collaboration with UCM, Tem- pus will work directly with Olufunmi- layo (Funmi) Olopade, M.D., professor of medicine and human genetics and dean for global health at the University of Chicago. Dr. Olopade specializes in cancer-risk assessment and individual- ized treatment for the most aggressive forms of breast cancer. "We are excited to partner with Tempus on this initiative and eager to support its efforts to build the largest clinically annotated molecular data set in breast cancer. This could improve clinical care and lead to novel research opportunities," Dr. Olopade said in a statement. Tempus operates its own CLIA-certi- fied lab optimized for high-throughput clinical next-generation sequencing with a current capacity of more than 50,000 patients annually. All sequencing includes RNA-Seq capture and germline. Sequencing is completed within about two–three weeks of receiving patient samples. n

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