Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News

DEC 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 | DECEMBER 2017 | | Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News 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). JazzIRT / Getty Images Veleri / Getty Images Eraxion / Getty Images The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center A reflexive system of the human eye also produces a conscious visual experience that may be related to excessive light sensitivity. In a recent study, published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers addressed mela- nopsin, a blue-light sensitive eye protein that establishes the day-night cycle and the constriction of the pupil to bright light. The investigators created a pulse of light that stimulates only the eye's melanopsin cells, showed it to people, recorded their pupil response and brain activity, and asked them what they saw. The researchers found that people had brain activity and a visual experience in response to a light that was invisible to parts of the eye normally used for seeing. The study could shed light (pun intended) on the excessive light sensitivity sometimes experienced by people with eye disease, migraine headaches, and concussions. "Subjects in our study found the melanopsin stimulus to be unpleasant, and people with photophobia may experience a stronger form of this response to melanopsin. We now have a tool to help us to better understand excessive light sensitivity," said Geoffrey K. Aguirre, M.D., Ph.D., of University of Pennsylvania, who served as senior author of the study. More Than Meets the Eye The NIH's cleverly acronymed initiative, Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN), recently launched a major effort to create an atlas that would serve as both a "parts list" and an assembly guide for mammalian brains. BRAIN is looking to fluorescently "paint" more than 100 brain regions in mice using rabies. Researchers are optimistic that the modified rabies virus and fluorescent protein tags will uncover cell types and anatomical features conserved among mammals, pro- viding much- needed insight into various neurologi- cal disor- ders and diseases. Researchers at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center say they have shown for the first time that special bandages using weak electric fields to disrupt bacterial biofilm infection can prevent infections, combat antibiotic re- sistance, and enable healing in infected burn wounds. The dressing becomes electrically active upon contact with bodily fluids. Results from the regenera- tive medicine study were published in the journal Annals of Surgery. Electric Bandages Advance Wound Care Sticky Ends ... A New Meaning for "Big Boned" Cells called osteoblasts not only make your bones, they also produce osteocalcin, which is a peptide hormone that must, like many peptide hor- mones, mature before it becomes active. When osteocalcin is mature, it increases your body's energy expenditure, insulin secretion, and glucose tolerance. Exactly how does osteocal- cin mature? Well, if we knew that, we might hasten the development of new treatments for metabolic disorders such as obesity and diabetes. According to University of Min- nesota scientists, osteocalcin becomes active when it is trimmed by furin, an enzyme that partially "decarboxylizes" the osteocalcin prohormone. This finding, which emerged from pharmacological and genetic experiments described in the Journal of Clinical Investigation, was accompanied by speculation that furin may activate other osteoblast-secreted hormones, including hormones that suppress appetite. Rabies Harnessed for a "Paint by Numbers" Brain Project

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