Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News

NOV15 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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4 | NOVEMBER 15, 2017 | | Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News TommL / Getty Images 140 Huguenot Street, New Rochelle, NY 10801- 5215 914 740 -2100 • PUBLISHER & CEO Mary Ann Liebert PRESIDENT, GEN Publishing Marianne Russell GEN GROUP PUBLISHER Sande Giaccone EVP, STRATEGIC DEVELOPMENT Kevin Davies, Ph.D. EDITOR IN CHIEF John Sterling M A N AG I N G E D I TO R Randi Hernandez P R O D U C T I O N E D I TO R Robert M. Reis S E N I O R E D I TO R Kevin Mayer T E C H N I C A L E D I TO R Patricia F. Dimond, Ph.D. T E C H N I C A L E D I TO R Jeffrey S. Buguliskis, Ph.D. S E N I O R N E W S E D I TO R Alex Philippidis C H I E F CO PY E D I TO R Steven Hernacki A R T D I R E C TO R James Lambo COMMERCIAL DIREC TOR Bill Levine ONLINE EDITORIAL SUPERVISOR Katherine Vuksanaj D I G I TA L P R O D U C T M A N AG E R Thomas Mathew W E B P R O D U C E R Melinda Kucsera S A L E S A D M I N I S T R ATO R Fallon Murphy GEN Editorial & Scientific Advisory Board Peter Banks, Ph.D., Scientific Director, BioTek Instruments; Roslyn Brandon, D.V.M., Ph.D., President and CEO, Immunexpress; Robert Clarke, Ph.D., President & CEO, Pulmatrix; Pete Gagnon, Project Director, Downstream Processing, Bioprocessing Technology Institute (Singapore); Uwe Gottschalk, Ph.D., CTO, Lonza Pharma & Biotech; Harry E. Gruber, M.D., CEO, Tocagen; Jin Seok Hur, Ph.D., Technology Director, Novasep; James Inglese, Ph.D., Principal Investigator, Division of Pre-Clinical Innovation, National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences NIH; Guenter Jagschies, Senior Director, GE Healthcare Life Sciences; Peter Johnson, M.D., Principal, MedSurgPI; Anis H. Khimani, Ph.D., Head of Strategy & Marketing, Research Reagent Solutions, PerkinElmer; Mikael Kubista, Ph.D., Biotechnology Institute, Academy of Sciences, Czech Republic; Peter Levison, Senior Marketing Director, Downstream Processing, Pall Life Sciences; Jan Lichtenberg, Ph.D., CEO and Co-Founder, InSphero; Miodrag Micic, Sc.D., Ph.D., Professor and Department Chairman, Cerritos College; Eric Schadt, Ph.D., Director, Icahn Institute for Genomics and Multiscale Biology; Zhiwei Song, Ph.D., Scientist, National University of Singapore; Sumio Sugano, M.D., Ph.D., Professor, Medical Genomics, University of Tokyo; John Talley, Ph.D., CSO, SARmont; Bin Wang, Ph.D., Professor, Principal Investigator, Fudan University Shanghai Medical College; Daniel I. C. Wang, Ph.D., Institute Professor of Chemical Engineering, MIT Advertising United States and North America EAST COAST Monica Lieberman 914 740 2173 SF BAY AREA Sharon Spitz 314 795 4151 MIDWEST/S.EAST Rick Bongiovanni 330 998 9800 WEST COAST Catherine McConville 415 416 8970 U.K. and Europe Ian Slade +44 7768 397068 GEN Classified, Asia and Australia Display Victoria Palusevic 914 740 2167 All Other Countries 914 740 2200 Insertions and Advertising Material Wanda Sanchez Customer Service & Subscriptions 888 211 4235 847 559 7587 Reprints Karen Ballen 914 740 2100 The views, opinions, findings, conclusions, and recommendations set forth in any article in Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News (GEN) are solely those of the authors of those articles and do not necessarily reflect the views, policy, or position of GEN, its Publisher, or its editorial staff and should not be attributed to any of them. All advertisements are subject to review by the Publisher. The acceptance of advertisements does not constitute an endorsement of the product or service advertised. Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News (ISSN-1935-472X) is published semimonthly except July, August, and December (twenty-one issues a year) by GEN Publishing, 140 Huguenot Street, 3rd Floor, New Rochelle, NY 10801-5215. Periodicals postage paid at New Rochelle, NY and at additional mailing offices. Postmaster: Send address changes to Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News, c/o Subscription Department, Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., 140 Huguenot Street, 3rd Floor, New Rochelle, New York 10801-5215. Fax: 914 740-2201. Mailed in Canada under CPC CPM #40026674. Printed in the U.S.A. For subscription information go to: Copyright © 2017 by GEN Publishing, New Rochelle, NY. Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. is recognized as a Certified Woman-Owned Business by the Women's Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC). Dosmin4000 / Getty Images It looks like a Star Wars trailer, and it seems to show TIE fighters swarming around a Death Star. But it really shows sperm closing in on an unfertilized egg, and it's biologically accurate down to the nanoscale. To create this dynamic simulation, a bioengineer and a professional animator joined forces at the Wyss Institute to create a design-based animation pipeline that integrates physics-based film animation software with molecular dynamics simulation software. No mere CGI package would do for this educational video, which aimed to do more than look realistic — it had to be consistent with scientific data. Ultimately, the simulation led to new scientific insights. For example, as reported in ACS Nano, the simulation predicted a potential mechanism for how ATP hydrolysis drives dynein motion along the microtubule as well as how dynein changes its conformation when it goes through the power stroke. Wyss Institute at Harvard University Special Effects Wizardry Leads to Nanoscale Insights A delay in processing written words could indicate that patients with mild cognitive disorder (MCI) are at higher risk of Alzheimer's disease. Researchers from the U.S. and Britain studied the brain activity of 25 patients to establish how quickly they processed words seen on a computer screen. The 25 included healthy, elderly MCI patients, and MCI patients who developed Alzheimer's within three years. Drawing on earlier research showing that people need 250 seconds for their brain to process a written word, the team found that brain response was aberrant in patients who develop Alzheimer's, but intact in those who remained stable. "We hope to now test the validity of this biomarker in large population of patients in the U.K. to see if it's a specific predictor of Alzheimer's disease, or a general marker for dementia involving the temporal lobe," said Katrien Segar, Ph.D., of the University of Birming- ham. Added Ali Mazaheri, Ph.D., of the University of Birmingham: "We focused on language functioning, since it is a crucial aspect of cognition and [is] par- ticularly impacted during the progressive stages of Alzheimer's." Dr. Mazaheri was corre- sponding author of the study, published in Neuroimage Clinical. Human brains are expensive, metabolically speaking. It takes lot of energy to run our sophis- ticated grey matter, and that comes at an evolutionary cost. Now, scientists from the Univer- sity of Cambridge have carried out a study (published in Scien- tific Reports) that showed that when we have to think fast and work hard at the same time, while both are impaired, our mental ability is less affected than our physical capacity. Researchers say that the findings suggest a "preferential allocation of glucose to the brain," which they argue is likely to be an evolved trait, e.g., prioritizing quick thinking over fast moving may have helped our species survive and thrive. The research group tested 62 male students drawn from the university's elite rowing crews. The participants had an average age of 21. Brain Power Beats Muscle Power Sticky Ends ... Artificial Joints & Muscles Russian materials scientists have developed a form of polyethylene (PE) that could be made into artificial muscles and joints. The difficulty with using PE human im- plants is that only very long-chain forms will resist rejection, and these forms are quite weak. What the team from the Center of Composite Materials at NUST MISIS has done is strengthen PE by incorporating carbon nanotubes. The resulting material has a solid outer layer with a porous interior, similar to human bone and cartilage. According to the scientists, the service life of such an implant could be as long as 15 years. However, the fasci- nating part is that this form of PE expands and contracts according to being heated—so this new mate- rial not only has the potential to cre- ate artificial joints, but also muscles. Word Processing Delay Could Signal Alzheimer's

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