Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News

DEC 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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Today, interdisciplinary researchers are using the wealth of medical data being generated by new tech- nology to take a more holistic approach to health- care—focusing on biological processes within the patient. Instead of understanding complex diseases by studying their individual components, systems medicine looks at how cells, genes, and tissues inter- act to cause disease. Since the term "systems medicine" was first coined in 1992, there's been an explosion of interest in the field, with the number of papers published increasing by an estimated 41% per year up to 2015. Speakers at the 2nd Conference of the European Association of Systems Medicine 2018, held recently in Utrecht, the Netherlands, presented new computational models for studying complex diseases and assessing patient risk, as well as novel interdisciplinary research. Coping with Complexity Understanding complex diseases on a molecular level is among the research topics covered by sys- tems medicine. Complex diseases, such as asthma, Parkinson's, multiple sclerosis, and cancer, are not caused by a single genetic mutation. Instead, mul- tiple genes, signaling pathways, and regulatory net- works are involved. "That's why it's called network or systems medi- cine," said Jan Baumbach, Ph.D., chair of experi- mental bioinformatics at the Technical University of Munich. "We're not looking at individual gene sets. We're using big data to look at these systems." One challenge is identifying the combinations of genes involved in a complex disease, Dr. Baumbach explained. Even in monogenetic diseases, such as Huntington's disease, which are caused by a single gene mutation, the disease-causing gene is often ex- pressed the same in patients with and without the disease. In more complex diseases, such as cancer, where multiple genes are mutated, the situation is even more difficult. "If you have 22,000 genes, then you can check every gene When the "ink"—plastics, polymers, metal alloys, or other substances—is infused with living cells, the pro- cess is referred to as 3D bioprinting. Both 3D printing and 3D bioprinting are increas- ingly being used to advance healthcare. According to a recent report, Global Bioprinting Market: Focus on Product, Application, Technology, Country Analysis, Patent Analysis, Market Share and Competitive Land- scape—Analysis and Forecast (2018–2025), the global 3D bioprinting market will reach at least $4.7 billion by 2025. A significant goal underlying the growth of 3D bio- printing technology is the potential to bridge the enormous gap between see page 20 see page 8 Vivienne Raper, Ph.D. Big data and computational modeling have the potential to fundamentally change the way patients are diagnosed and treated. Since the 20th century, diseases and other biological systems have been considered in isolation—which is described as a reductionistic approach. Using Big Data to Treat the Whole Patient Layer by Layer: 3D Bioprinting on the Rise Chris Palmer, Ph.D. The ability to design three-dimensional (3D) models and prototypes has enabled advancements in many industries. 3D printing, also called additive manufacturing, is the process of creating a 3D model by laying down successive layers of material that build upon each other. Researchers understand that precision medicine cannot be an eective therapeutic approach without the use of big data. Most clinicians, however, lack the training for personalized medicine possessed by computational biologists. LeoWolfert / Getty Images 3D BioPrinting Market $411.4 million 2016 $1.3 billion 2021 Source: (CAGR 26.5%) December 2018 The Scoop Top 10 Asia Biopharma Clusters 2018 5 MicroRNA Pro„lers Cite Reconcilable Di…erences 12 Full-Stack Genome Engineering Can Simplify CRISPR WorkŠows 6 Single-Use Puzzles Come with Many Pieces 16

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