Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News

JAN15 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 | JANUARY 15, 2018 | | Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News Volponi, et. al. 2017, Tropical Conservation Science 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 © 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). Sebastian Kaulitzki / Science Photo Library / Getty Images Inside the brain's reward region … inside this region's neurons … and inside these neurons' mitochondria, cocaine promotes division—mitochondrial fis- sion—resulting in more numerous, but smaller, mitochondria. These changes, which may be detected in mice exposed repeatedly to cocaine, as well as in postmortem tissues donated by cocaine addicts, appear to be driven by an increase of dynamin-related protein-1, a fission mediator. In a study conducted by scientists at the University of Maryland, this fission mediator was blocked in cocaine-exposed mice. The result? Blunted excitatory synaptic func- tion, cocaine seeking, and locomotor sensi- tization. Writing in Neuron, the scientists de- scribed their blocking agent, a fission inhibitor named Mdivi-1, and suggested that it could lead to therapeutics favoring cocaine abstinence. Cocaine's Mitochondrial Connection Revealed The oriental blue clearwing moth (Heterosphecia tawonoides) may have just become the unofficial hide-and-seek champion. Last seen in 1887, as part of a damaged museum specimen collection, this cleverly disguised, "lost" insect species has recently been seen flitting about the Malaysian rainforest. Publishing their recent find- ings in Tropical Conservation Science, researchers from the University of Gdansk in Poland counted at least 12 of the masquerading moths collecting salts and minerals among the bees that they are mimicking. Unfortunately, the future of the species remains uncertain as the moth's habitat is rapidly diminishing due to deforestation. Hopefully, the next time it disappears, it won't be forever. While most animals, and some plants, have benefited from the primary use of sperm cells, scientists are looking into using the reproductive cells to treat cancer and other disease. Scientists at the Leibniz Institute for Solid State and Materials Re- search in Dresden, Germany, built upon previous research that uses payload-outfitted microbes with a magnetic-field guid- ance system to target tumors. The problem with using microbes is that the body's immune cells often attack and destroy them, preventing the microbes from reaching their targets. But as reported in ACS Nano, the German team built a "sperm hybrid motor" covered with a magnetic harness for applications specifically in the female reproductive organs. Using a mag- netic field, the team moved thousands of the sperm-delivery motors in vitro toward a lab-grown cervical tumor. When the magnetic harnesses made contact with the tumor, they released the sperm inside each of them—equipped with a payload of doxorubicin—which quickly fused their membranes with that of the cancer cells and delivered the drug. According to the researchers, the system killed more than 80% of cancer cells with very little leaking en route. These sperm motors have the potential to treat cancer and other diseases in the female reproductive tract. Researchers at Imperial College London have developed a system designed to facilitate detection of rare molecules associated with ear- ly discovery of diseases—including some cancers and neurological disorders—by detecting single pro- tein biomarkers directly in human serum. The system entails grafting synthetic DNA molecules that bind with specific target biomarkers to the backbone of DNA. When added to human serum, these aptamers bind to biomarkers before being analyzed by passing through a nanopore detector. The research- ers tested three aptamers on one DNA backbone, and found that the nanopores can detect the specific biomarkers that the aptamers were designed to pick up. The system can be constructed with more than five different aptamers. "The detection of single molecules of biomarkers represents the ultimate in sensitivity for early diagnosis. We have now shown that [it] is possible to perform such measurements in real human samples, opening up the poten- tial for meaningful early diagnosis," said Imperial's Alex Ivanov, Ph.D., the study's co-leader. Dr. Ivanov and colleagues published their findings in Nature Communications. Detection System Advances Early Discovery of Disease Sticky Ends ... Lost for 130 Years, Bee-Mimicking Moth Now Found I Am Iron Sperm

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