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Pac-Man meets biotechnology – Phys.Org

Posted: April 26, 2017 at 3:44 pm

April 26, 2017 The authors artwork, illustrating the article, was also featured on the cover of Lab on a Chip. Credit: Royal Society of Chemistry

Scientists in the U.S have a designed a computer game that could help with biomedical research.

Scientists increasingly use miniscule robots to solve a range of problems, from cancer treatment to water purification. And, as with a lot of technology, the race is on to make these devices ever smaller.

However there is a limit to how far you can go with a mechanical device moving parts such as motors can physically only get so small.

So scientists are looking to the natural world to help. Single cell organisms, such as bacteria and algae, could make the parts in the miniaturised robots move, without the need for an external power source.

Such organisms respond to changes in their environment such as light and food by moving, and if these movements can be harnessed, we can use them as motors.

In a new paper just published in Lab on a Chip, Ingmar Riedel-Kruse and fellow scientists from Stanford University in the U.S. have demonstrated the use of one such organism, in the form of a game.

It’s based on Euglena gracilis, single cell algae that move in response to changes in strong light. In the game, the organisms are directed around a maze or “captured” in a space on the screen by the users turning lights on and off. The ability to control the movement of the algae demonstrates their potential application in mini, single cell organism-driven motors.

In this set-up, the algae’s movements are programmable a promising first step towards creating a microcomputer built on biotechnology.

Explore further: Single cell organism firm joins top ranks of Japan bourse

More information: Amy T. Lam et al. Device and programming abstractions for spatiotemporal control of active micro-particle swarms, Lab Chip (2017). DOI: 10.1039/C7LC00131B

The high-tech titans of Japanese industry were joined Wednesday in the major league of the Tokyo Stock Exchange by a company exploiting the 500-million-year-old science of a single cell organism.

Diatoms are unicellular algae that are native in many waters. They are a major component of marine phytoplankton and the food base for a large variety of marine organisms. In addition, they produce about one fifth of the …

A new 3-D printed, easily assembled smartphone microscope developed at Stanford University turns microbiology into game time. The device allows kids to play games or make more serious observations with miniature light-seeking …

Scientists at the John Innes Centre have discovered that Euglena gracilis, the single cell algae which inhabits most garden ponds, has a whole host of new, unclassified genes which can make new forms of carbohydrates and …

Scientists at the Swedish Museum of Natural History have found fossils of 1.6 billion-year-old probable red algae. The spectacular finds, publishing on 14 March in the open access journal PLOS Biology, indicate that advanced …

In an algae-eat-algae world, it’s the single-celled photosynthetic organisms at the top (layer of the ocean) that absorb the most sunlight. Underneath, in the sublayers, are cryptophyte algae that must compete for photons …

Being first in a new ecosystem provides major advantages for pioneering species, but the benefits may depend on just how competitive later-arriving species are. That is among the conclusions in a new study testing the importance …

Giacomo Cavalli’s team at the Institute of Human Genetics (University of Montpellier / CNRS), in collaboration with the French National Institute for Agricultural Research (INRA), has demonstrated the existence of transgenerational …

( pair of researchers with Harvard and Yale Universities has conducted a study of optimal human throwing techniques and found which work best under which conditions. In their paper published in the journal Royal …

New genes are more likely to appear on the stage of evolution in full-fledged form rather than gradually take shape through successive stages of “proto genes” that become more and more refined over generations. This is the …

Before you pop that piece of battered fish in your mouth, be aware it might just hold the key to understanding the origins of a form of DNA memory critical to human development.

Ants and bees which by all appearances seem so different are creepy-crawly cousins, according to new research published in a recent issue of Current Biology.

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Skepticism About Biotechnology Isn’t Anti-Science – Slate Magazine

Posted: at 3:44 pm

AquAdvantage salmon.


Keep Frankenfish off my Dish! a protesters sign read. Another, adorned with six red hearts, suggested that real people love real salmon. A couple of years ago, protests against the approval and sale of genetically modified salmon targeted the Food and Drug Administration and supermarket chains across the country, attempting to halt the approval and sale of the AquAdvantage salmonan Atlantic salmon modified with DNA from the Chinook salmon and the ocean pout. The borrowed genetic material lets the fish grow year-round and reach market size in half the time as its natural counterpart, but its also spurred passionate public debate.

In November 2015, the FDA approved the AquAdvantage salmon as the first genetically engineered animal for human consumption. According to the hype, the AquAdvantage salmon could help with reducing global hunger, decreasing the carbon footprint of aquaculture (the cultivation of fish and other aquatic life), and shoring up dwindling wild fish stock. The regulatory process behind the approval of the AquAdvantage salmon took almost 20 years.

But the approval was quickly followed by a flurry of controversy and charges of insufficient consideration of key issues. A consortium of environmental groups lead by Earthjustice and the Center for Food Safety sued the FDA for approving the AquAdvantage salmon, in their words, without considering or fullydisclosing the environmental and other risks of this unprecedented decision. Two months after the approval, Congress also threw a wrench in the works by adding a rider to a spending bill that tasked the FDA with spending not less than $150,000 to develop labeling and implement a program of consumer disclosure for the fish before it could be made available for sale. As a result the fish is not yet anywhere near U.S. dinner plates, caught up in a seemingly endless process of contestation, with no clear end in sight.

To many in bioscience and biotechnology circles, this is a case of politics contaminating science. In an open letter to President Obama in 2014, a group of concerned international scientists and global technology company executives argue this point:

These scientists and others offer a picture of a Manichean world divided into those who are for scientific and technological progress and those who are against ita representation of the world that we have been seeing more and more of lately in reports of a war on science. But drawing this line is dangerous. The real problem here is the regulatory process itself, which forces dissent to take the narrow form of challenges to scientific data and methodology and ignores other questions about whats at stake.

The FDA approval process for the AquAdvantage salmon took longer and included more opportunities for public comment than most products the FDA reviews. This unique openness to public input was balanced by a careful parsing of what counts as scientifically and contextually relevant and what does not. The agency received 38,000 comments in response to its draft assessment alone, but it determined that just 90 were worth considering. The remaining comments were discounted as irrelevant because they did not directly address the details of the regulation process, or they raised issues beyond the mandate of the agency. These disregarded comments focused on a wide range of concerns, including patenting and ownership regimes of seed and crops; how deploying genetically modified corn and soy would affect the United States image around the world; continuing failures of existing market configurations to address inequality and food distribution; and the long history of multinational corporations central to the commercialization of biotechnologies, such as Monsanto, intentionally obscuring the negative impacts of their chemical products and byproducts while undermining human health.

Your Cheat-Sheet Guide to Synthetic Biology

What Exactly Is Synthetic Biology? Its Complicated.

Can You Patent an Organism? The Synthetic Biology Community Is Divided.

The U.S. Regulations for Biotechnology Are Woefully Out of Date

Synthetic Biology and Queer Theory Are Cutting Down the Tree of Life You Learned About in School

Being Skeptical About Biotechnology Doesnt Make You Anti-Science

So the FDA is not the forum for deliberation on the meaning of giving entry to this new form of life into our environment, grocery stores, and dining rooms. But what is? The FDA approval process is the only existing avenue for public consideration of technological innovation of this kind. Accordingly, the agencys narrow reading of what kinds of input are relevant represents a significant dismissal of a broad range of relevant concerns.

Some might read the vast public preoccupation with a broad set of social, political, and economic issues as the contamination of science with politics. But I would suggest that this is actually a case of the reverse problem: seemingly endless conflict around the AquAdvantage salmon reflects the limitation of using narrow scientific terms to address questions of broad social, political, and economic significance. As things stand, the only legitimate way to engage in debates about the entry of the AquAdvantage salmon and other genetically modified organisms into our environments, meals, intellectual property regimes, and beyond is to contest its approval at the level of regulatory science. When the system asks the public to limit objections to narrow technical concerns, it undermines regulatory legitimacy and stultifies democratic debateand perhaps most importantly, it contributes to the problematic discourse around science itself. When our modes of public deliberation strictly define what counts as a legitimate view on these issues, we end up portraying a good portion of the population as against science, when that in fact could not be further from the truth.

The vast majority of people in the world, not being scientists or angel investors, have no say over the technological trajectories that will shape our world and our lives. We are instructed to continue funding basic science and patiently wait and watch as the world is transformed around us. Scientists often dismiss resistance to the AquAdvantage salmon and other biotechnologies as borne of scientific ignorance. But its a lot easier to understand peoples reluctance if you realize that the debate is about much broader questions than science alone can answer.

To position science on one side of these debates is not only patently false but detrimental to public discourse.

As the first genetically engineered animal developed for human consumption, the AquAdvantage salmon can be understood as an early form or precursor to products of more advanced practices of synthetic biology. Even as the power and precision of these techniques increases and the particular technical challenges associated with the salmon are left behind, the core issues and deep public resistance around the AquAdvantage salmon will likely persist and haunt continued efforts to reshape environments, economies, and human life through the biological sciences. Synthetic biology is billed as having the potential to transform the world in a way that will disrupt prevailing economic and geopolitical paradigms and reshape the very fabric of life. The one thing both sides of the fishy debate seem to agree on is that the AquAdvantage salmon is a pioneer technology, and what happens to this fish could set the stage for the role that biotechnology will play in our food system in the century to come. As one commentator opined for the New York Times:

This framing suggests that biotechnological innovation is a necessary and unmitigated good. But for many, the prospect of a world radically altered by biotechnology conjures past experiences in which scientific progress didnt go as plannedlike the devastation and political instability ushered in by nuclear weapons. Similarly, to some, a dam looks like progress, development, and economic prosperity. But to others, it looks like the violent end of a way of life, heralded by the destruction of ecosystems and entire species.

The debates over the AquAdvantage salmon arent narrow and technicaltheyre multifaceted, laden with questions of political, economic, and social values. They are about what kind of world we want to live in and what types of transformations are beneficial, desirable, and helpfuland for whom. To position science on one side of these debates is not only patently false but detrimental to public discourse and productive political deliberation.

Nonetheless, resistance to biotechnologies is often framed as a problem of the uneducated masses meddling in areas where they dont belong. The open letter to Obama by the concerned scientists and technologists, for example, claims:

Characterizing legitimate concerns about what kinds of technologies enter and help shape our world as anti-science is more likely to alienate than inspire everyday Americans to identify with this vision of what science can do, and to believe in it.

The long journey of the AquAdvantage salmon may turn out to have been a waste of time, energy, and resources on all sides, but perhaps we can make it productive in one way. Understanding the limitations of the process can help us think critically about how decision-making about synthetic biology going forward might be more open to a broader set of concerns and voices much earlier in the innovation process. The way forward is not drawing battle lines between those who are for or against science and closing down regulatory processes to all but the narrowest risk-based considerations. Rather, we should be forming and expanding spaces for a wide range of participants in creatively considering how to solve societys biggest challenges. We need new ways of thinking and talking about technological promise and possibility in the world that we live in.

This article is part of the synthetic biology installment of Futurography, a series in which Future Tense introduces readers to the technologies that will define tomorrow. Each month, well choose a new technology and break it down. Future Tense is a collaboration among Arizona State University, New America, and Slate.

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SSCI Receives a 2017 Biotechnology Award for Global Research … – Yahoo Finance

Posted: at 3:44 pm

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind., April 26, 2017 /PRNewswire/ –SSCI, a division of Albany Molecular Research Inc. (AMRI), has been recognized by Global Health & Pharma (GHP) magazine as the winner of the 2017 Biotechnology Award for Best Global Research & Manufacturing Company in the United States.

“I am truly honored to accept this award on behalf of our dedicated team that is deeply committed to the mission of helping our clients achieve their product development goals and generate valuable intellectual property day in and day out,” said David A. Engers, Ph.D., general manager at SSCI. “We are grateful to GHP for recognizing our commitment to client service and data integrity in order to provide unmatched value to the industries we have served for more than a quarter century.”

GHP magazine recognizes that the biotechnology industry is increasingly viewed as being the frontline of medical science, and as this movement continues to gain momentum the publication is committed to following the most game-changing advances and revolutionary developments that will form the healthcare world for years to come.

Nathan Angell, GHP awards coordinator, expressed pride in every one of the award winners, “This award recognizes the hard work and dedication of the firms, such as SSCI, and the individuals behind them, that are driving innovation in this vital market. It has been my honor to recognize these dedicated professionals and I would like to wish them the very best of fortunes for the future.”

About SSCIAMRI SSCI, LLC (SSCI), a division of AMRI, provides industry leading contract solid-state and analytical testing services and exists to help companies in the pharmaceutical, food, agrochemical, and other chemical industries develop better products and get them to market more quickly. SSCI provides comprehensive cGMP research and analytical services in the characterization and chemistry of solid materials, with particular expertise in small and large molecules being investigated for pharmaceutical use.To learn more about SSCI’s solid-state and analytical chemistry services and capabilities,please contact 1-800-375-2179 |

About GHP MagazineGlobal Health and Pharma (GHP) magazine is a global, information-sharing platform and a multi-disciplinary members community. The publication was established to enhance communication networks and collaboration across all themes and disciplines within three main categories; Human, Animal and Environmental Health.

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Top 5 Vendors in the Biotechnology Reagents Market From 2017 to 2021: Technavio – Yahoo Finance

Posted: at 3:44 pm


Technavio has announced the top five leading vendors in their recent global biotechnology reagents market report. This research report also lists four other prominent vendors that are expected to impact the market during the forecast period.

This Smart News Release features multimedia. View the full release here:

The global biotechnology market is a continuously growing market and has witnessed a speedy growth in past few years. The increase in bio-related technologies, research labs, and centers and commercial requests are the main reasons behind the growth of the global biotechnology reagents market. Increasing investment in R&D of biotechnology, from private and government sector, is the key driver for the growth of the global biotechnology reagents market.

Competitive vendor landscape

According to the report, the global biotechnology reagents market consists of a sizeable number of key global players, along with regional and local players. These players have a vast geographical presence with huge production facilities located, globally. There are a considerable number of small regional vendors with significant shares in the market

The major players compete depending on the innovations, price, and quality of the product. Some players can capture the market due to lower costs compared to their competitors. Also, few suppliers financial, technological, and other resources are better as compared with their competitors who can adapt to the changes in the market demand, says Ajay Adhikari, a lead bio-chemicals and bio-materials research analyst from Technavio.

Looking for more information on this market? Request a free sample report

Technavios sample reports are free of charge and contain multiple sections of the report including the market size and forecast, drivers, challenges, trends, and more.

Top five biotechnology reagents market vendors

Agilent Technologies

Agilent Technologies is one of the leading companies in the biotechnology reagents market. The company produces control reagents, blocking reagents, buffers, diluents, and lysing, fixation, and permeabilization reagents.


BD is one of the major biotechnology reagents producing companies. The company offers reagents for research, clinical, and custom services. It provides reagents for various applications such as immunoassays, cell-based assays, and clinical research.


Merck is one of the largest biotechnological reagents manufacturing companies. The company provides a wide range of reagents and solvents for different functions such as DNA and RNA synthesis, in vitro diagnostics, and instrumental inorganic analysis.

Bio-Rad Laboratories

Bio-Rad is one of the key vendors for the biotechnology reagents market. The company provides biotechnology reagents for clinical diagnostics, PCR technology, protein assay, and immunodetection reagents.

Thermo Fisher Scientific

Thermo Fisher Scientific is one of the key vendors in the biotechnology reagents market. The company offer reagents for various applications such as an immunogenic adjuvant, protein gel buffers, nucleic acid gel buffers, flow cytometer buffers and reagents, immunoassay buffers and reagents, protein purification buffers, and diagnostic testing.

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Become a Technavio Insights member and access all three of these reports for a fraction of their original cost. As a Technavio Insights member, you will have immediate access to new reports as theyre published in addition to all 6,000+ existing reports covering segments like industrial gases, olefins, and metals and minerals. This subscription nets you thousands in savings, while staying connected to Technavios constant transforming research library, helping you make informed business decisions more efficiently.

About Technavio

Technavio is a leading global technology research and advisory company. The company develops over 2000 pieces of research every year, covering more than 500 technologies across 80 countries. Technavio has about 300 analysts globally who specialize in customized consulting and business research assignments across the latest leading edge technologies.

Technavio analysts employ primary as well as secondary research techniques to ascertain the size and vendor landscape in a range of markets. Analysts obtain information using a combination of bottom-up and top-down approaches, besides using in-house market modeling tools and proprietary databases. They corroborate this data with the data obtained from various market participants and stakeholders across the value chain, including vendors, service providers, distributors, re-sellers, and end-users.

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3D Systems and United Therapeutics to Develop 3D Printing Biotechnology for Solid-Organ Scaffolds –

Posted: at 3:44 pm

No matter how many times I read or write about it, I am still overwhelmed and amazed when I see what 3D printing technology is currently able to do for the medical field, and what it has the potential to do down the line. Today, 3D Systems, a company thats nearly synonymous with precision healthcare capabilities, and biotechnology company United Therapeutics Corporation announced a joint plan to develop solid-organ scaffolds for use in human transplants. The multi-year development and collaboration is a good fit, combining 3D Systemshealthcare and 3D printing expertise with the organ manufacturing and regenerative medicine proficiency of United Therapeutics, which is also a member of the consortium that makes up the Advanced Tissue Biofabrication Manufacturing USA Institute.

Vyomesh Joshi, CEO of 3D Systems, said, As a global leader in healthcare solutions, we are part of many developments and applications for 3D printing coming together including bioprinting.We believe bioprinting is a powerful opportunity and we are uniquely positioned with the broadest portfolio of technologies to partner with companies of the caliber of United Therapeutics to provide healthcare solutions of the future.

In addition to collaborating with United Therapeutics, which is focused on developing and commercializing products that address the medical needs of patients living with chronic and life-threatening conditions, 3D Systems will also work with its organ manufacturing and transplantation-focused subsidiary, Lung Biotechnology PBC, which is the first public benefit corporation subsidiary of a public biotechnology or pharmaceutical company.

Through several technologies that expand the supply or delay the need for transplantable organs, Lung Biotechnology PBC addresses head-on the critical shortage of transplantable lungs, and other organs, in the US. Withthe subsidiary also on board with the 3D Systems collaboration, an additional technology alternative can be added to United Therapeutics pursuit of an unlimited supply of organs for human transplantation.

Dr. Martine Rothblatt, PhD, Chairman and CEO of United Therapeutics, said, Our Lung Biotechnology public benefit corporation is taking personal regenerative medicine to its highest level yet with this practical, economic solution to a major health care problem.Indeed, we expect one personalized organ transplant will avoid years of health care spending on palliative medical therapies.

The focus of the joint bioprinting agreement is to develop 3D printing systems for solid-organ scaffolds, and with Lung Biotechnology PBCs participation, obviously the first thing the companies will tackle is lung scaffolds. Scaffolds are an important part of the bioprinting process, as they give printed cells, and organs, a structure to develop and grow on. So determining the correct way to create a scaffold is incredibly important to the success of these endeavors.

Combiningthe resources of United Therapeutics and 3D Systems transforms our capability to tackle this difficult challenge.This project will be based out of our new bioprinting lab in San Diego, CA, and will rely on expertise across many technical disciplines within 3D Systems as well as the domain knowledge of our technical partners at Lung Biotechnology PBC, said Chuck Hull, Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer for 3D Systems.

The 3D printing system that 3D Systems and United Therapeutics hope to create will be targeting collagen, along with other building block proteins, as the raw materials for the scaffolds themselves. In turn, Lung Biotechnology PBC will then celluralize the scaffolds using patient-specific biological material, which includes re-differentiated stem cells.

Our partnership with 3D Systems is a major step forward in creating an unlimited supply of tolerable transplanted organs.By cellularizing scaffolds created with 3D Systems printers with a patients own cells, there will no longer be a need for immunosuppression and a vastly greater number of patients can extend their enjoyment of life through organ transplantation, said Dr. Rothblatt.

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Use of biotechnology must to attain food security: Bosan – Pakistan Today

Posted: at 3:44 pm

Around 130 national and international academicians and scientists hailing from seven different countries including Turkey, Tunisia, Sudan, Iran, Sri Lanka, and Uzbekistan attended a workshop held here to promote the safe use of modern biotechnology to attain the goal of food security and defeating hunger and poverty.

Minister for Food Security and Research Sikandar Hayat Khan Bosan inaugurated the 3rd International Conference on Agriculture, Food Security and Biotechnology on Wednesday.

The 2-day event being held at the National Agriculture Research Center, Islamabad, is jointly organised by Commission on Science and Technology for Sustainable Development in the South (COMSATS), ISESCO and Pakistan Agricultural Research Council (PARC).

Addressing the audiences, the minister said that it was time that the countries of the region should encourage and support smart agricultural practices.

He said safe use of modern biotechnology was needed to enhance agricultural production and get rid of malnutrition and starvation. The minister pledged full support for agricultural production which was the backbone of economy with sustainable food security.

Dr Ghulam Muhammad Ali, Member Coordination and Monitoring, PARC, Islamabad, noted that advances in science and technology were the need of time for food security and safety. Noting the hunger still prevailing in various parts of the world, he opined that biotechnology was the basis of production of vast variety of transgenic and genetically modified crops which can solve the problem of hunger.

He said that the conference having similar agenda was good for the developing countries as it would open ways for research, collaboration and capacity building.

Speaking on the occasion, Dr Kauser Malik, Department of Biological Sciences, FC College Lahore, mentioned that it was our fear of unknown that kept the human beings away from adapting new technologies and advocated the use of genetically modified crops for addressing hunger.

In his message, Dr SM Junaid Zaidi, Executive Director COMSATS, said that despite major developments around the globe, many areas struggle with challenges of starvation and malnutrition. Even the developed countries cannot engage in bigger pursuits without ensuring food security. Mentioning the importance of biotechnology in agriculture, he noted that biotechnological influence on food production and agriculture is undeniable especially for countries like Pakistan with fertile lands and good weather conditions.

The message from Director General ISESCO, HE Dr. Abdulaziz Othman Altwaijri, noted that there was a dire need to provide an enriching and engaging environment to foster crop science research towards new and improved livelihood opportunities and sustainable food security. He considered collaborations in this regard necessary and appreciated the cooperation between ISESCO and COMSATS.

Shields were given to the esteemed participants who came from different countries for the conference.

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Plandai Biotechnology Gains Credibility with NutriBullet Deal – Yahoo Finance

Posted: at 3:44 pm

NEW YORK, NY–(Marketwired – April 26, 2017) – Planda Biotechnology (PLPL) expects Capital Brands, LLC, the developer, marketer, and distributor of both the wildly popular NutriBullet and NutriBullet SuperFoods, to launch its reformulated product, SuperFood Fat Burning Boost, next month. SuperFood Fat Burning Boost is being reformulated to include Planda’s Phytofare Catechin Complex. This is a landmark moment for a company like Planda Biotechnology that has just recently moved from solely a research and development company to focusing more on sales and marketing of its Phytofare product.

More than 40 million NutriBullet units have been sold worldwide, it’s an Amazon best seller in a number of categories and even Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge and the wife of Prince William, is a big fan of NutriBullet. Capital Brands produces SuperFood formula mixes that it says is to help “give the consumer the best possible health benefits using only the best and most quality ingredients available.” The company focuses on nutrient extraction in order to deliver the most nutrients possible from food and other ingredients to increase the health of people everywhere.

Capital Brands has chosen Planda Biotechnology’s Phytofare as one of those quality ingredients it will deliver, and now some time next month Phytofare is expected to be introduced to Capital Brands’ retailers (Target, Kohl’s, Best Buy, Bed Bath & Beyond, Walmart, JC Penny, etc.) and to shoppers who use their website ( as the active ingredient in SuperFood Fat Burning Boost. This is a deal that should immediately give Planda credibility. After all, Planda invested many years of hard work into the development of Phytofare, and having a worldwide brand that is well-known for using “only the best and most quality ingredients” in its products, speaks loudly to just how potent Phytofare is.

Capital Brands reformulating one of its SuperFood products to include Planda’s Phytofare, should also serve as confirmation for the many years of research and the human clinical trials that Planda conducted to prove that its product is highly bioavailable. Bioavailability is essentially the measure of how much of a drug or supplement is able to be absorbed into the bloodstream and how long it can remain there so that the body can realize its health benefits. In the case of Planda’s Phytofare Catechin Complex, Capital Brands obviously feels that the results will offer exactly what its customers want.

A human clinical trial showed Planda’s product offers 10 times more bioavailability than the commercially available extract it was compared to, and the results from the clinical trial, which was conducted in South Africa by North West University, have allowed Planda to advertise exactly what consumers are looking for — a more potent green tea extract.

Green tea’s health benefits come from the 8 catechins, a type of antioxidant, found in the leaves of the tea plant. In Planda’s clinical trial, all 8 of those catechins were present in the bloodstream versus only two found when participants consumed the commercial extract that was used in the clinical testing. Phytofare also provided 5 times greater absorption of those catechins, and the clinical trial found that the life span of the catechin’s molecules in the bloodstream was doubled in Phytofare.

When consumers shop for health products, they’re looking for those that have proven themselves in clinical trials, and, in turn, can boast of higher bioavailability. Capital Brands has created a worldwide brand with that thinking in mind, and it’s no mistake that the company has landed at Planda’s door.

The benefit to those using the Planda’s Phytofare Catechin Complex is that with higher bioavailability or absorption rate, the phytonutrients are in the bloodstream in greater quantities and for twice as long, and now as the company has become fully focused on sales and marketing, the credibility of this NutriBullet deal along with powerful clinical trial results, should help the company become extremely competitive in the market.

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Genes need to be screened for stem cell transplants – Science Daily

Posted: at 3:42 pm

Regenerative medicine using human pluripotent stem cells to grow transplantable tissue outside the body carries the promise to treat a range of intractable disorders, such as diabetes and Parkinson’s disease.

However, a research team from the Harvard Stem Cell Institute (HSCI), Harvard Medical School (HMS), and the Stanley Center for Psychiatric Research at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard has found that as stem cell lines grow in a lab dish, they often acquire mutations in the TP53 (p53) gene, an important tumor suppressor responsible for controlling cell growth and division.

Their research suggests that genetic sequencing technologies should be used to screen for mutated cells in stem cell cultures, so that cultures with mutated cells can be excluded from scientific experiments and clinical therapies. If such methods are not employed it could lead to an elevated cancer risk in those receiving transplants.

The paper, published online in the journal Nature on April, 26, comes at just the right time, the researchers said, as experimental treatments using human pluripotent stem cells are ramping up across the country.

“Our results underscore the need for the field of regenerative medicine to proceed with care,” said the study’s co-corresponding author Kevin Eggan, an HSCI Principal Faculty member and the director of stem cell biology for the Stanley Center. Eggan’s lab in Harvard University’s Department of Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology uses human stem cells to study the mechanisms of brain disorders, including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, intellectual disability, and schizophrenia.

The research, the team said, should not discourage the pursuit of experimental treatments but instead be heeded as a call to screen rigorously all cell lines for mutations at various stages of development as well as immediately before transplantation.

“Our findings indicate that an additional series of quality control checks should be implemented during the production of stem cells and their downstream use in developing therapies,” Eggan said. “Fortunately, these genetic checks can be readily performed with precise, sensitive, and increasingly inexpensive sequencing methods.”

With human stem cells, researchers can recreate human tissue in the lab. This enables them to study the mechanisms by which certain genes can predispose an individual to a particular disease. Eggan has been working with Steve McCarroll, associate professor of genetics at Harvard Medical School and director of genetics at the Stanley Center, to study how genes shape the biology of neurons, which can be derived from these stem cells.

McCarroll’s lab recently discovered a common, precancerous condition in which a blood stem cell in the body acquires a pro-growth mutation and then outcompetes a person’s normal stem cells, becoming the dominant generator of his or her blood cells. People in whom this condition has appeared are 12 times more likely to develop blood cancer later in life. The study’s lead authors, Florian Merkle and Sulagna Ghosh, collaborated with Eggan and McCarroll to test whether laboratory-grown stem cells might be vulnerable to an analogous process.

“Cells in the lab, like cells in the body, acquire mutations all the time,” said McCarroll, co-corresponding author. “Mutations in most genes have little impact on the larger tissue or cell line. But cells with a pro-growth mutation can outcompete other cells, become very numerous, and ‘take over’ a tissue. We found that this process of clonal selection — the basis of cancer formation in the body — is also routinely happening in laboratories.”

To find acquired mutations, the researchers performed genetic analyses on 140 stem cell lines — 26 of which were developed for therapeutic purposes using Good Manufacturing Practices, a quality control standard set by regulatory agencies in multiple countries. The remaining 114 were listed on the NIH registry of human pluripotent stem cells.

“While we expected to find some mutations in stem cell lines, we were surprised to find that about five percent of the stem cell lines we analyzed had acquired mutations in a tumor-suppressing gene called p53,” said Merkle.

Nicknamed the “guardian of the genome,” p53 controls cell growth and cell death. People who inherit p53 mutations develop a rare disorder called Li-Fraumeni Syndrome, which confers a near 100 percent risk of developing cancer in a wide range of tissue types.

The specific mutations that the researchers observed are “dominant negative” mutations, meaning, when present on even one copy of P53, they are able to compromise the function of the normal protein, whose components are made from both gene copies. The exact same dominant-negative mutations are among the most commonly observed mutations in human cancers.

“These precise mutations are very familiar to cancer scientists. They are among the worst P53 mutations to have,” said Sulagna Ghosh, a co-lead author of the study.

The researchers performed a sophisticated set of DNA analyses to rule out the possibility that these mutations had been inherited rather than acquired as the cells grew in the lab. In subsequent experiments, the Harvard scientists found that p53 mutant cells outperformed and outcompeted non-mutant cells in the lab dish. In other words, a culture with a million healthy cells and one p53 mutant cell, said Eggan, could quickly become a culture of only mutant cells.

“The spectrum of tissues at risk for transformation when harboring a p53 mutation include many of those that we would like to target for repair with regenerative medicine using human pluripotent stem cells,” said Eggan. Those organs include the pancreas, brain, blood, bone, skin, liver and lungs.

However, Eggan and McCarroll emphasized that now that this phenomenon has been found, inexpensive gene-sequencing tests will allow researchers to identify and remove from the production line cell cultures with concerning mutations that might prove dangerous after transplantation.

The researchers point out in their paper that screening approaches to identify these p53 mutations and others that confer cancer risk already exist and are used in cancer diagnostics. In fact, in an ongoing clinical trial that is transplanting cells derived from induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), gene sequencing is used to ensure the transplanted cell products are free of dangerous mutations.

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Capricor Therapeutics to Present at the Alliance for Regenerative Medicine’s Cell & Gene Therapy Investor Day – PR Newswire (press release)

Posted: at 3:42 pm

Capricor Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: CAPR) is a clinical-stage biotechnology company developing first-in-class biological therapies for cardiac and other medical conditions. Capricor’s lead candidate, CAP-1002, is a cell-based candidate currently in clinical development for the treatment of Duchenne muscular dystrophy, myocardial infarction (heart attack), and heart failure. Capricor is exploring the potential of CAP-2003, a cell-free, exosome-based candidate, to treat a variety of disorders. For more information, visit

Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements

Statements in this press release regarding the efficacy, safety, and intended utilization of Capricor’s product candidates; the initiation, conduct, size, timing and results of discovery efforts and clinical trials; the pace of enrollment of clinical trials; plans regarding regulatory filings, future research and clinical trials; plans regarding current and future collaborative activities and the ownership of commercial rights; scope, duration, validity and enforceability of intellectual property rights; future royalty streams, expectations with respect to the expected use of proceeds from the recently completed offerings and the anticipated effects of the offerings, and any other statements about Capricor’s management team’s future expectations, beliefs, goals, plans or prospects constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Any statements that are not statements of historical fact (including statements containing the words “believes,” “plans,” “could,” “anticipates,” “expects,” “estimates,” “should,” “target,” “will,” “would” and similar expressions) should also be considered to be forward-looking statements. There are a number of important factors that could cause actual results or events to differ materially from those indicated by such forward-looking statements. More information about these and other risks that may impact Capricor’s business is set forth in Capricor’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2016, as filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on March 16, 2017, and in its Registration Statement on Form S-3, as filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on September 28, 2015, together with prospectus supplements thereto. All forward-looking statements in this press release are based on information available to Capricor as of the date hereof, and Capricor assumes no obligation to update these forward-looking statements.

CAP-1002 is an Investigational New Drug and is not approved for any indications. Capricor’s exosomes technology, including CAP-2003, has not yet been approved for clinical investigation.

For more information, please contact:

Corporate Capricor Therapeutics, Inc. AJ Bergmann, Vice President of Finance +1-310-358-3200

Investor RelationsArgot Partners Kimberly Minarovich +1-212-600-1902

To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:–gene-therapy-investor-day-300445808.html

SOURCE Capricor Therapeutics, Inc.

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Neurological Regenerative Medicine Unlocking the Potential of … – SelectScience

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Dr. Murdoch is a stem cell biologist with an interest in development and regenerative medicine. After completing post-doctoral training at Yale University, she took the role of Assistant Professor at Eastern Connecticut State University, where her time is split between teaching and researching nervous system development.

As our understanding of stem cells has increased, the possibility of using stem cell therapies to treat disease is on the horizon. Barbara Murdoch, Ph.D., Assistant Professor at Eastern Connecticut State University, is studying stem cells found in the olfactory epithelium (OE) with the aim of finding therapies for neurodegeneration.

Exclusive neurogenic niche: The olfactory epithelium

The OE is one of the few tissues in the body which is known to regenerate neurons, preserving our sense of smell throughout our lives.

Have you ever had the experience where you smell something and the scent evokes a memory from years back in time? asked Dr. Murdoch. This is because not only can the stem cells in the OE divide and differentiate to replace the lost neurons, but they can also recreate the exact same connection in the brain as the neuron they are replacing.

Dr. Murdoch explained how by studying these stem cells, she hoped to elucidate the environment and signaling molecules which restrict them to certain cell fates. The aim of her research is to direct neural stem/progenitor cells to create neurons in vitro. We can transplant neuronal precursor cells which are on their way to make neurons into patients, for example to help them recover after a stroke, said Dr. Murdoch.

Development of the olfactory epithelium approaches

One approach to understanding what dictates cell fate is to investigate the regions enriched for progenitors and determine their local microenvironment. The communication signals forming the microenvironment can be used to drive the production of new neurons from neuronal precursors in vitro. To investigate olfactory development, Dr. Murdoch carries out confocal microscopy using antibodies against numerous cell markers such as nestin, 3-tubulin and GFAP.

I was at a meeting when, just by chance, I came across a representative from Covance (now BioLegend) who had an anti-nestin antibody and was kind enough to give me a sample. When I tried it, it was brilliant in the olfactory epithelium and the brain, said Dr. Murdoch.

Dr. Murdoch published her findings in the 2008 Journal of Neuroscience paper, demonstrating that there were stem cell-like cells in the embryonic OE which are very similar to neural cells in the brain known as radial glia cells. Radial glia are responsible for the production of most if not all neurons in the brain. Previously, it was thought that radial glia cells were restricted to the central nervous system, but Dr. Murdochs research shows that they are also present in the OE, which is part of the peripheral nervous system.

The reason I think this was missed by so many other researchers was that the antibody that was typically used as a marker of neural stem cells, the anti-nestin antibody, worked well in the brain but not very well in the OE, Dr. Murdoch explained. However, the new antibody from BioLegend was targeting a different epitope, allowing it to identify and bind well to nestin expressed in the OE.

Dr. Murdoch described finding effective primary antibodies as a somewhat hit or miss process. Often when Im searching for antibodies, I try to get a sample and test it with the organism and tissue type Im using. When you find antibodies that work, you stick with them. Thats the reason why I stick with the antibodies from BioLegend, as they are so specific time and time again, Dr. Murdoch added.

The image shows differentiation into neurons (green) and glia (red). Blue indicates cell nuclei. Provided by Dr. Murdoch.

Future research and application in regenerative medicine approaches

Now an Assistant Professor at Eastern Connecticut State University, Dr. Murdoch is furthering her research by using chick embryos as a model to study how the OE develops.

Were trying to find pockets of progenitor cells and learn what the environmental influences surrounding those cells are in vivo, Dr. Murdoch explained.

This research has implications for regenerative medicine, where the same signals found in vivo can be recreated in vitro to make new neurons from neural precursors, derived either from human embryonic or induced pluripotent stem cells. Future work will aim to construct 3D scaffolds combined with signaling molecules and matrices to affect cell fate, Dr. Murdoch said.

Research such as Dr. Murdochs is contributing to an improved understanding of the signaling cascades found in neurogenic niches. Understanding the factors which decide cell fate and coordinate the generation of complex tissue is an important step in developing stem cell therapies to treat neurodegenerative states, such as Parkinsons disease, traumatic brain injury and stroke.

Dr. Murdochs work is funded by the CSU-AAUP.

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