Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News

NOV1 2018

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 1, 2018 | 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 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 Jeffrey S. Buguliskis, Ph.D. S E N I O R N E W S E D I TO R Alex Philippidis S E N I O R S C I E N C E W R I T E R Julianna LeMieux, Ph.D. C H I E F CO PY E D I TO R Steven Hernacki E U R O P E A N CO R R E S P O N D E N T Sophia Ktori A R T D I R E C TO R James Lambo P R O D U C T I O N E D I TO R Robert M. Reis ONLINE PRODUC TION MANAGER Katherine Vuksanaj C H I E F I N F O R M AT I O N O F F I C E R, V P Joe Cruz COMMERCIAL DIREC TOR Bill Levine D I G I TA L P R O D U C T M A N AG E R Sean Helmes D I G I TA L T R A F F I C M A N AG E R Michelle Stolowicki A S S O C. D I R E C TO R O F M A R K E T I N G Jennifer Gatti 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, BiotTek Instruments; Roslyn (Brandon) Hendriks, D.V.M., Managing Partner at C-Suite Corporate, The University of Queensland; Robert Clarke, Ph.D., President & CEO, Pulmatrix; Pete Gagnon, Chief Scientific Officer, BIA Separations; Uwe Gottschalk, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer, Lonza; Harry E. Gruber, M.D., CEO, Tocagen; Jin Seok Hur, Ph.D., Technology Director, Novasep; James Inglese, Ph.D., Investigator at National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences; Guenter Jagschies, Senior Director, GE Healthcare Life Sciences; Peter Johnson, M.D., Principal, MedisurgePI; Anis H. Khimani, Ph.D., Head of Strategy and Marketing, Research Reagent Solutions, PerkinElmer; Mikael Kubista, Ph.D., CEO and Founder, TATAA Biocenter; 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., Founder and CEO, Sema4; 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., Medicinal Chemist, Euclises Pharmaceuticals; Bin Wang, Ph.D., Professor, Principal Investigator, Fudan University Medical College; Daniel Wang, Ph.D., Institute Professor of Chemical Engineering, MIT Advertising United States and North America Mid Atlantic Monica Lieberman 914 740 2173 Northeast Rebecca Shumbata 617 435 4786 Mid West/So. East Rick Bongiovanni 330 998 9800 Southwest Catherine McConville 415 416 8970 Northwest Kayla McCutcham 510 619 6988 U.K., Europe, Asia, Australia Gary King +44 7971 360 169 GEN Classified Fallon Murphy 914 740 2151 All Other Countries 914 740 2200 Email Nurture: Scott Perillo 914 740-2178 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 © 2018 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). NJIT Vaclav Hykes / EyeEm / Getty Images Researchers at New York University and the University of Chicago have created fruit flies carrying reconstructed ancient genes to reveal how ancient mutations drove major evolutionary changes in embryonic development—the impact of which we see today. The work, described in paper appearing in eLife, found that two mutations that arose 140 million years ago changed the function of a critical developmental gene, which now regulates development of the head and other structures in virtually all species of present-day flies. "By introducing individual mutations that hap- pened in the deep past into the ancient genes, we were able to show precisely how each one affected development many millions of years ago," explained Stephen Small, Ph.D., an NYU biologist and one of the paper's senior authors. "We found that just two chance mutations were the major causes of a profound change in the animal's developmental processes—a change that became indispensable in all of its present-day descendants," added Joseph Thornton, Ph.D., the paper's other senior author and professor of ecology and evolution and human genetics at the University of Chicago. Scientists have long sought to understand how genetic mutations changed embryonic development to yield the diverse animal forms we see today. But identifying the important mutations is difficult because they occurred in the deep past, in long-extinct animals, and they have usually been mixed up with scores of subsequent mutations. The laboratories of NYU's Dr. Small and the University of Chicago's Dr. Thornton approached this problem by computationally inferring ancient gene sequences based on their modern descendants, chemically recreating the genes, and then putting them into fly embryos, thereby creating transgenic embryos (that is, those inserted with a foreign gene) to follow their effects on development in the laboratory. Scientists at the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) report the discovery of the first bacterium known to be capable of simultaneously degrading a pair of toxic chemical contaminants that frequently coexist with each other: 1,4-dioxane (an industrial solvent that is a byproduct of many cosmetics and home cleaning products) and 1,1-dichloroethylene (1,1-DCE). Their study, published in Environ- mental Science & Technology Letters, also showcases the efficiency of the microbe, called Azoarcus sp. DD4 (DD4), in reducing 1,4- dioxane and 1,1-DCE levels in co- contaminated groundwater samples. "Nationwide, researchers have found that more than 80% of the groundwa- ter sites contaminated with 1,4- dioxane also contain 1,1-DCE," said Mengyan Li, Ph.D., assistant professor of chemistry and environmental science at NJIT. "These chemicals are toxic, and when they are both in the environment they are costly to remove because they have very different properties and typically require separate treatment solutions. Biodegradation by DD4 is the first biological method we have found for treating both compounds concurrently, and it is also environmen- tally friendly and cost-efficient." Bacterium Found That Degrades Pair of Groundwater Contaminants Scripps Research scientists and their colleagues have found a new way to use distinct molecular signatures from people with obe- sity to predict the risk of develop- ing diabetes and cardiovascular disease. The research, led by Ama- lio Telenti, M.D., Ph.D., professor of genomics at Scripps Research, shows that predictors of future diabetes and cardiovascular dis- ease for a person with obesity can be found among the metabolites in that person's body. The scientists explored the relationship between disease risk and a person's metabolome, that is, the full set of that person's metabolites, and they found that specific signatures predicted higher risk, according to results published in Cell Metabolism. "By looking at metabolome changes, we could identify individuals with a several fold increase in their risk of developing of diabetes and cardiovascular disease," says Dr. Telenti. The use of metabolomic profiling to identify patterns asso- ciated with increased disease risk potentially represents a powerful tool for better understanding and preventing these diseases. New Tool to Predict Obesity-Related Disease Risk Flies Created with Ancient Genes to Study Evolution Sticky Ends...

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