Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News

APR15 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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Kathy Liszewski CRISPR truth is stranger than CRISPR fiction, where the revolutionary gene-editing technology is being exploited as a fairly conventional plot device. In an X Files season finale, aliens weaponize CRISPR to attack the human immune sys- tem. In Change Agent, a science fiction novel that has been optioned by Netflix, a criminal syndicate uses CRISPR to de- velop a range of illicit genetic services. And in C.R.I.S.P.R., a procedural thriller that Jennifer Lopez hopes to develop for NBC, a CDC scientist and an FBI agent flirt with romance while thwarting the schemes of a mad scientist. If CRISPR fiction seems predictable, it's not the fault of CRISPR, but fiction, which is necessarily limited (as one liter- ary critic suggested) on account of its origin—our shared desire for meaning. Caring nothing for human conventions, CRISPR retains the ability to surprise. Af- ter all, CRISPR (which stands for True CRISPR: A Genetic Genre with Novel Twists They consist of twitchy neurons that may spark this way and that as they send electrical signals through thickets of axons and dendrites. To keep up with optogenetic events, observers rely on visualization and mapping tools. These optogenetic event–following tools, together with optogenetic event–preparation tools known as opsins, are advancing optogenetic neuroscience. By equipping cells with opsins, or light-activated proteins, researchers can acquire optoge- netic control, the ability to activate cells by using pulses of light. By using fluorescent dyes and high-resolution microscopy, researchers can visualize optogenetically stimulated cells. And by using mapping tools, researchers can discover which neurons talk to each other and how information travels around the brain. see page 10 Caroline Seydel An optogenetic effect, like domino-toppling extravaganza, requires careful preparation. It also presents a chain-reaction sequence of events that may end all too soon. At least with dominoes, the individual tiles are easily seen, as are the patterns that are traced when the dominoes fall. Optogenetic patterns, however, are more obscure. Playing Catch-Up with Optogenetic Effects see page 14 Vicki Glaser Monoclonal antibodies and other biological drugs may be produced only if well-defined, tightly controlled, and cost- efficient bioprocesses are implemented. Such processes were highlighted at two recent conferences: Optimizing Cell Cul- ture Technology (part of the Ninth Annual Bioprocessing Summit) and Bioprocess International West. Both meetings showcased technologies and strategies aimed at maximizing the efficiency Tricks of the Trade for Cell Culture Optimization see page 18 In optogenetics, cells are engineered to express microbial opsins, which are light-sensitive ion channels and pumps. Upon light delivery, the opsins open, causing the cells that express them to become electrically activated or silenced. In this image, a neuron expressing the light-gated cation channel channelrhodopsin-2 is electrically activated by a focused pulse of blue light. NSF (National Science Foundation) The Seg-Flow® 4800, Flownamics' automated system for online sampling and feed control, can draw samples from one to eight vessels and deliver each vessel sample to as many as four analyzers and/or fraction collectors. In this image, the Seg-Flow instrument is connected to a 2-L bioreactor and the BioProfile FLEX2, Nova Biomedical's cell culture chemistry analyzer. I N T H I S I S S U E The Scoop Biodata Comes "Ome" to Roost 6 T U T O R I A L 3D Glioma Blood–Brain Barrier Model 12 Optogenetics Market 2015 $15.65 million 2021 $33.83 million Source: Mordor Intelligence (CAGR 16.66%) Why Cardiology Is the Next Frontier for Precision Medicine 22 T U T O R I A L Hollow Fibers Enhance Protein Expression 20 April 15, 2018

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