Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News

JUN15 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 | JUNE 15, 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 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 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 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 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 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 I N T E R N Everett S. Weinstein 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, PhD., Professor, Principal Investigator, Fudan University Medical College; Daniel Wang, PhD., Institute Professor of Chemical Engineering, MIT Advertising United States and North America EAST COAST Monica Lieberman 914 740 2173 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 List Sales: 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). KATERYNA KON / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY / Getty Images Nixxphotography / Getty Images LilliePaquette/MIT Ingestible cameras are cutting-edge biomedical technology for the diagnosis of gastrointestinal disorders. Now, researchers from MIT have married the ingestible sensor with "bacteria on a chip" technology to create a next- generation biosensor. The findings were recently published online in Science. The device utilizes a probiotic strain of E. coli optogenetically engineered to respond to heme, the iron-containing compound in blood. These bacteria are placed in four wells covered by a small-molecule-permeable membrane. Beneath the wells are phototransistors which measure the amount of light generated by the bacteria; that information is then sent via a microprocessor to a smartphone via an Android app. The sensor uses ultralow power, about 13 microwatts, with a built-in battery. The study authors say that future models could be powered by a voltaic cell sustained by stomach acids, using existing technology. Thus far, experi- ments with the device in pigs have been successful, with the researchers able to determine the presence of blood in the stomach—a symptom of gastric ulcers. According to the researchers, this type of biosensor could be used as a single-use diagnostic aid or it could remain in vivo for several weeks or months. We know that the gut's bacterial composition may promote health or sickness, but we don't know how to control it. We could try to suppress the "bad" bacteria by resorting to antibiotics, but antibiotics often cause resistance. Also, they tend to kill harmful and beneficial bacteria alike. Alternative approaches, such as probiotics and fecal transplants, are being investigated; but they, too, may lack specificity. Yet another alter- native, nonmicrobicidal chemical probes, may offer superior targeting, suggest Clemson University researchers. In ACS Chemical Biology, these researchers describe how low concentrations of acarbose, a diabetes drug, inhibits the utilization of starch by Bacteroides thetaiotaomicron and B. fragilis. The researchers propose that metabolism-disrupting drugs could target gut bacteria with pinpoint accuracy, altering the composition of the gut microbiome as desired. Gut Bacteria: Slay the "Bad," Spare the "Good" In early May, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) announced that in a remote part of the country a new Ebola outbreak had occurred. A shockwave spread rapidly through the public health community, sending fears of another 2014 epidemic—that infected more than 28,000 people and left 11,000 dead before its end. In a swift and decisive move, the DRC Ministry of Health decided within three days of the outbreak to use an experimental vaccine to limit the spread of this highly contagious disease and help those who had already become infected. This is not the first time this vaccine has been used, as it previously performed well in a large clinical trial in Guinea in 2015. Since this disease spreads so rapidly, results should be in soon as to its overall effectiveness. As Ebola Rises, Vaccine Trial Looks to Thwart Virus Spread Biosensor: Emphasis on the "Bio" Sticky Ends...

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