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Emily Leproust, Ph.D., to Receive 2020 Rosalind Franklin Award – Business Wire

SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Twist Bioscience (Nasdaq: TWST), a company enabling customers to succeed through its offering of high-quality synthetic DNA using its silicon platform, today announced that its CEO and co-founder, Emily M. Leproust, Ph.D., will receive the 2020 Rosalind Franklin Award for Leadership at the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) IMPACT conference. The award will be presented on Tuesday, September 22, 2020 during a virtual fireside chat with Julianna Lemieux of Genetic Engineering News and the Rosalind Franklin Society.

It is a great honor to receive the BIO Rosalind Franklin Award, particularly in 2020, the year she would have turned 100, said Dr. Leproust. At Twist, we stand on the shoulders of giants like DNA pioneer Rosalind Franklin, advancing DNA-based products to write the future of chemical, medical, food and even data storage. We continue to push the boundaries of what is possible, disrupting markets to improve health and sustainability through precisely written DNA.

Emily Leproust is a driven, authentic and thoughtful leader, disrupting the synthetic biology marketplace; she actively works with industry and government leaders to drive innovation and further the bioeconomy, commented Stephanie Batchelor, vice president of BIOs industrial and environmental section. Twists focus on the power of synthetic DNA to revolutionize multiple markets directly reflects the spirit of the Rosalind Franklin Society and Award.

About the BIO Rosalind Franklin Award

Just as Rosalind Franklin paved the way for women in the biotechnology field, the BIO Rosalind Franklin Award is presented to a pioneering woman in the industrial biotechnology and agriculture sectors who has made significant contributions to the advancement of the biobased economy and biotech innovation. The Rosalind Franklin Award will stand as a lasting memory to the legacy left by Rosalind Franklin, who was instrumental in the discovery and our greater understanding of the molecular structure of DNA, by honoring those women who too have made significant contributions in industrial biotechnology and agriculture. With this award BIO honors Rosalind Franklins legacy, but also those women who have shown exemplary leadership and led the way through previously uncharted territory. The Award is sponsored by the Rosalind Franklin Society, whose goal is to support and showcase the careers of eminent women in science.

Rosalind Franklin conceived and captured Photograph 51 of the "B" form of DNA in 1952, while at King's College in London. This photograph, acquired through 100 hours of X-ray exposure from a machine Dr. Franklin herself refined, revealed the structure of DNA. The discovery of the structure of DNA was the single most important advance of modern biology. James Watson and Francis Crick, working at Cambridge University, used Photograph 51 as the basis for their famous model of DNA, which earned them a Nobel Prize in 1962. Though sometimes overlooked, Rosalind Franklins critical work and discovery in the field has allowed the biotechnology industry to become what it is today.

About Twist Bioscience Corporation

Twist Bioscience is a leading and rapidly growing synthetic biology company that has developed a disruptive DNA synthesis platform to industrialize the engineering of biology. The core of the platform is a proprietary technology that pioneers a new method of manufacturing synthetic DNA by writing DNA on a silicon chip. Twist is leveraging its unique technology to manufacture a broad range of synthetic DNA-based products, including synthetic genes, tools for next-generation sequencing (NGS) preparation, and antibody libraries for drug discovery and development. Twist is also pursuing longer-term opportunities in digital data storage in DNA and biologics drug discovery. Twist makes products for use across many industries including healthcare, industrial chemicals, agriculture and academic research.

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Legal Notice Regarding Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements. All statements other than statements of historical facts contained herein are forward-looking statements reflecting the current beliefs and expectations of management made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties, and other important factors that may cause Twist Biosciences actual results, performance, or achievements to be materially different from any future results, performance, or achievements expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements. Such risks and uncertainties include, among others, the risks and uncertainties of the ability to attract new customers and retain and grow sales from existing customers; risks and uncertainties of rapidly changing technologies and extensive competition in synthetic biology could make the products Twist Bioscience is developing obsolete or non-competitive; uncertainties of the retention of a significant customer; risks of third party claims alleging infringement of patents and proprietary rights or seeking to invalidate Twist Biosciences patents or proprietary rights; and the risk that Twist Biosciences proprietary rights may be insufficient to protect its technologies. For a further description of the risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ from those expressed in these forward-looking statements, as well as risks relating to Twist Biosciences business in general, see Twist Biosciences risk factors set forth in Twist Biosciences Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q dated August 12, 2020. Any forward-looking statements contained in this press release speak only as of the date hereof, and Twist Bioscience specifically disclaims any obligation to update any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

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Emily Leproust, Ph.D., to Receive 2020 Rosalind Franklin Award - Business Wire

Genome Editing/Genome Engineering Market Research Report by Technology, by Application – Global Forecast to 2025 – Cumulative Impact of COVID-19 -…

New York, Sept. 18, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Reportlinker.com announces the release of the report "Genome Editing/Genome Engineering Market Research Report by Technology, by Application - Global Forecast to 2025 - Cumulative Impact of COVID-19" - https://www.reportlinker.com/p05953106/?utm_source=GNW

The Global Genome Editing/Genome Engineering Market is expected to grow from USD 4,901.67 Million in 2019 to USD 14,012.67 Million by the end of 2025 at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 19.13%.

Market Segmentation & Coverage:This research report categorizes the Genome Editing/Genome Engineering to forecast the revenues and analyze the trends in each of the following sub-markets:

Based on Technology, the Genome Editing/Genome Engineering Market studied across Antisense, Crispr, Talen, and Zfn.

Based on Application, the Genome Editing/Genome Engineering Market studied across Cell Line Engineering, Diagnostic Applications, Drug Discovery & Development, and Genetic Engineering. The Genetic Engineering further studied across Animal Genetic Engineering and Plant Genetic Engineering.

Based on Geography, the Genome Editing/Genome Engineering Market studied across Americas, Asia-Pacific, and Europe, Middle East & Africa. The Americas region surveyed across Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Mexico, and United States. The Asia-Pacific region surveyed across Australia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Philippines, South Korea, and Thailand. The Europe, Middle East & Africa region surveyed across France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Spain, United Arab Emirates, and United Kingdom.

Company Usability Profiles:The report deeply explores the recent significant developments by the leading vendors and innovation profiles in the Global Genome Editing/Genome Engineering Market including Creative Biogene, Crispr Therapeutics, Editas Medicine, Epigenie, Eurofins Scientific SE, Genscript Biotech, Horizon Discovery Group PLC, Integrated DNA Technologies, Inc., Intellia Therapeutics, Inc., Lonza Group AG, Merck & Co., Inc., New England Biolabs, OriGene Technologies, Inc., Oxford Genetics Ltd., Precision Biosciences, Sangamo Therapeutics, Synthego Corporation, Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc., Transposagen Biopharmaceuticals, Inc., and Vigene Bioscience Inc..

FPNV Positioning Matrix:The FPNV Positioning Matrix evaluates and categorizes the vendors in the Genome Editing/Genome Engineering Market on the basis of Business Strategy (Business Growth, Industry Coverage, Financial Viability, and Channel Support) and Product Satisfaction (Value for Money, Ease of Use, Product Features, and Customer Support) that aids businesses in better decision making and understanding the competitive landscape.

Competitive Strategic Window:The Competitive Strategic Window analyses the competitive landscape in terms of markets, applications, and geographies. The Competitive Strategic Window helps the vendor define an alignment or fit between their capabilities and opportunities for future growth prospects. During a forecast period, it defines the optimal or favorable fit for the vendors to adopt successive merger and acquisition strategies, geography expansion, research & development, and new product introduction strategies to execute further business expansion and growth.

Cumulative Impact of COVID-19:COVID-19 is an incomparable global public health emergency that has affected almost every industry, so for and, the long-term effects projected to impact the industry growth during the forecast period. Our ongoing research amplifies our research framework to ensure the inclusion of underlaying COVID-19 issues and potential paths forward. The report is delivering insights on COVID-19 considering the changes in consumer behavior and demand, purchasing patterns, re-routing of the supply chain, dynamics of current market forces, and the significant interventions of governments. The updated study provides insights, analysis, estimations, and forecast, considering the COVID-19 impact on the market.

The report provides insights on the following pointers:1. Market Penetration: Provides comprehensive information on the market offered by the key players2. Market Development: Provides in-depth information about lucrative emerging markets and analyzes the markets3. Market Diversification: Provides detailed information about new product launches, untapped geographies, recent developments, and investments4. Competitive Assessment & Intelligence: Provides an exhaustive assessment of market shares, strategies, products, and manufacturing capabilities of the leading players5. Product Development & Innovation: Provides intelligent insights on future technologies, R&D activities, and new product developments

The report answers questions such as:1. What is the market size and forecast of the Global Genome Editing/Genome Engineering Market?2. What are the inhibiting factors and impact of COVID-19 shaping the Global Genome Editing/Genome Engineering Market during the forecast period?3. Which are the products/segments/applications/areas to invest in over the forecast period in the Global Genome Editing/Genome Engineering Market?4. What is the competitive strategic window for opportunities in the Global Genome Editing/Genome Engineering Market?5. What are the technology trends and regulatory frameworks in the Global Genome Editing/Genome Engineering Market?6. What are the modes and strategic moves considered suitable for entering the Global Genome Editing/Genome Engineering Market?Read the full report: https://www.reportlinker.com/p05953106/?utm_source=GNW

About ReportlinkerReportLinker is an award-winning market research solution. Reportlinker finds and organizes the latest industry data so you get all the market research you need - instantly, in one place.

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New molecular therapeutics center established at MIT’s McGovern Institute – MIT News

More than 1 million Americans are diagnosed with a chronic brain disorder each year, yet effective treatments for most complex brain disorders are inadequate or even nonexistent.

A major new research effort at the McGovern Institute for Brain Research at MIT aims to change how we treat brain disorders by developing innovative molecular tools that precisely target dysfunctional genetic, molecular, and circuit pathways.

The K. Lisa Yang and Hock E. Tan Center for Molecular Therapeutics in Neuroscience was established at MIT through a $28 million gift from philanthropist Lisa Yang and MIT alumnus Hock Tan 75. Yang is a former investment banker who has devoted much of her time to advocacy for individuals with disabilities and autism spectrum disorders. Tan is president and CEO of Broadcom, a global technology infrastructure company.This latest gift brings Yang and Tans total philanthropy to MIT to more than $72 million.

In the best MIT spirit, Lisa and Hock have always focused their generosity on insights that lead to real impact," says MIT President L. Rafael Reif. Scientifically, we stand at a moment when the tools and insights to make progress against major brain disorders are finally within reach. By accelerating the development of promising treatments, the new center opens the door to a hopeful new future for all those who suffer from these disorders and those who love them. I am deeply grateful to Lisa and Hock for making MIT the home of this pivotal research.

Engineering with precision

Research at the K. Lisa Yang and Hock E. Tan Center for Molecular Therapeutics in Neuroscience will initially focus on three major lines of investigation: genetic engineering using CRISPR tools, delivery of genetic and molecular cargo across the blood-brain barrier, and the translation of basic research into the clinical setting. The center will serve as a hub for researchers with backgrounds ranging from biological engineering and genetics to computer science and medicine.

Developing the next generation of molecular therapeutics demands collaboration among researchers with diverse backgrounds, says Robert Desimone, McGovern Institute director and the Doris and Don Berkey Professor of Neuroscience at MIT. I am confident that the multidisciplinary expertise convened by this center will revolutionize how we improve our health and fight disease in the coming decade. Although our initial focus will be on the brain and its relationship to the body, many of the new therapies could have other health applications.

There are an estimated 19,000 to 22,000 genes in the human genome and a third of those genes are active in the brain the highest proportion of genes expressed in any part of the body. Variations in genetic code have been linked to many complex brain disorders, including depression and Parkinsons disease. Emerging genetic technologies, such as the CRISPR gene editing platform pioneered by McGovern Investigator Feng Zhang, hold great potential in both targeting and fixing these errant genes. But the safe and effective delivery of this genetic cargo to the brain remains a challenge.

Researchers within the new Yang-Tan Center will improve and fine-tune CRISPR gene therapies and develop innovative ways of delivering gene therapy cargo into the brain and other organs. In addition, the center will leverage newly developed single-cell analysis technologies that are revealing cellular targets for modulating brain functions with unprecedented precision, opening the door for noninvasive neuromodulation as well as the development of medicines. The center will also focus on developing novel engineering approaches to delivering small molecules and proteins from the bloodstream into the brain. Desimone will direct the center and some of the initial research initiatives will be led by associate professor of materials science and engineering Polina Anikeeva; Ed Boyden, the Y. Eva Tan Professor in Neurotechnology at MIT; Guoping Feng, the James W. (1963) and Patricia T. Poitras Professor of Brain and Cognitive Sciences at MIT; and Feng Zhang, James and Patricia Poitras Professor of Neuroscience at MIT.

Building a research hub

My goal in creating this center is to cement the Cambridge and Boston region as the global epicenter of next-generation therapeutics research. The novel ideas I have seen undertaken at MITs McGovern Institute and Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard leave no doubt in my mind that major therapeutic breakthroughs for mental illness, neurodegenerative disease, autism, and epilepsy are just around the corner, says Yang.

Center funding will also be earmarked to create the Y. Eva Tan Fellows program, named for Tan and Yangs daughter Eva, which will support fellowships for young neuroscientists and engineers eager to design revolutionary treatments for human diseases.

We want to build a strong pipeline for tomorrows scientists and neuroengineers, explains Hock Tan. We depend on the next generation of bright young minds to help improve the lives of people suffering from chronic illnesses, and I can think of no better place to provide the very best education and training than MIT.

The molecular therapeutics center is the second research center established by Yang and Tan at MIT. In 2017, they launched the Hock E. Tan and K. Lisa Yang Center for Autism Research, and, two years later, they created a sister center at Harvard Medical School, with the unique strengths of each institution converging toward a shared goal: understanding the basic biology of autism and how genetic and environmental influences converge to give rise to the condition, then translating those insights into novel treatment approaches.

All tools developed at the molecular therapeutics center will be shared globally with academic and clinical researchers with the goal of bringing one or more novel molecular tools to human clinical trials by 2025.

We are hopeful that our centers, located in the heart of the Cambridge-Boston biotech ecosystem, will spur further innovation and fuel critical new insights to our understanding of health and disease, says Yang.

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New molecular therapeutics center established at MIT's McGovern Institute - MIT News

Recreational pot wins nod in Downtown Crossing and across the city – Universal Hub

The Boston Cannabis Board yesterday approved a proposal by the city's first medicinal-marijuana dispensary, on Milk Street, to add recreational pot to its offerings and approved a number of proposed pot shops from East Boston to Roslindale.

The votes by the board do not mean the shops can now open - they still need to win approval from the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission, which can prove a lengthy process.

However, Patriot Care, which won city approval for its medical dispensary at 21 Milk St. after promising it would not seek to add "adult use" products, will get an expedited review for its shop because it already has approval to sell medical marijuana.

In its vote yesterday, the city board set several conditions on its approval, including that the new shop sell recreational pot only on an appointment basis for its first six months and that it would have to return to that model if, starting in the seventh month, lines start forming outside. Also, the shop can't sell "pre-rolled cannabis products," has to set a minimum order of $35, and has to include educational information about marijuana in each products.

Also yesterday, the board approved:

The board rejected a proposal by Dragon Vapors, LLC for a pot shop at 354-358 Chestnut Hill Ave. in Brighton and deferred until October a vote on a proposal by New Dia LLC for a pot shop that would share space in the building housing the Cask and Flagon across from Fenway Park.

The board approved a proposal by Beacon Compassion, Inc. for a medical dispensary at 1524 VFW Parkway in West Roxbury - it would go in the basement of the building that already houses a liquor store and a sex-toys shop.

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Recreational pot wins nod in Downtown Crossing and across the city - Universal Hub

Poseida Therapeutics Added to Membership of US Small-Cap Russell 2000 Index – Monterey County Weekly

SAN DIEGO, Sept. 18, 2020 /PRNewswire/ --Poseida Therapeutics, Inc., (Nasdaq: PSTX), a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company dedicated to utilizing its proprietary gene engineering platform technologies to create next generation cell and gene therapeutics with the capacity to cure, today announced its addition as a member of the US small-cap Russell 2000Index, effective September 18, 2020, as part of the index's quarterly initial public offering (IPO) additions.

"We are pleased to be added to the US small-cap Russell 2000 Index, which will help increase investor exposure to our Company's mission of providing cell and gene therapies for patients with high unmet medical need," said Eric Ostertag, M.D., Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer ofPoseida. "We look forward to the opportunity to expand awareness around our pipeline of differentiated product candidates for the treatment of a variety of oncology indications and orphan genetic diseases."

Russell indexes are widely used by investment managers and institutional investors for index funds and as benchmarks for active investment strategies. Approximately $9 trillion in assets are benchmarked against Russell's US indexes. Russell indexes are part of FTSE Russell, a leading global index provider.

For more information on the Russell 2000 Index and the Russell indexes IPO additions, please visit the "Russell U.S. Index IPO Additions" section on the FTSE Russell website.

About Poseida Therapeutics, Inc.Poseida Therapeutics is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company dedicated to utilizing our proprietary gene engineering platform technologies to create next generation cell and gene therapeutics with the capacity to cure. We have discovered and are developing a broad portfolio of product candidates in a variety of indications based on our core proprietary platforms, including our non-viral piggyBacDNA Modification System, Cas-CLOVER site-specific gene editing system and nanoparticle- and AAV-based gene delivery technologies. Our core platform technologies have utility, either alone or in combination, across many cell and gene therapeutic modalities and enable us to engineer our wholly-owned portfolio of product candidates that are designed to overcome the primary limitations of current generation cell and gene therapeutics.

About FTSE RussellFTSE Russell is a leading global index provider creating and managing a wide range of indexes, data and analytic solutions to meet client needs across asset classes, style and strategies. Covering 98% of the investable market, FTSE Russell indexes offer a true picture of global markets, combined with the specialist knowledge gained from developing local benchmarks around the world.

FTSE Russell index expertise and products are used extensively by institutional and retail investors globally. Approximately $16 trillion is currently benchmarked to FTSE Russell indexes. For over 30 years, leading asset owners, asset managers, ETF providers and investment banks have chosen FTSE Russell indexes to benchmark their investment performance and create investment funds, ETFs, structured products and index-based derivatives. FTSE Russell indexes also provide clients with tools for asset allocation, investment strategy analysis and risk management.

A core set of universal principles guides FTSE Russell index design and management: a transparent rules-based methodology is informed by independent committees of leading market participants. FTSE Russell is focused on index innovation and customer partnership applying the highest industry standards and embracing the IOSCO Principles. FTSE Russell is wholly owned by London Stock Exchange Group.

For more information, visit http://www.ftserussell.com

Forward-Looking StatementsStatements contained in this press release regarding matters that are not historical facts are "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such forward-looking statements include statements regarding the impact of Poseida's addition to the US small-cap Russell 2000Index, the potential benefits ofPoseida'stechnology platforms and product candidates andPoseida'splans and strategy with respect to developing its technologies and product candidates. Because such statements are subject to risks and uncertainties, actual results may differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are based uponPoseida'scurrent expectations and involve assumptions that may never materialize or may prove to be incorrect. Actual results could differ materially from those anticipated in such forward-looking statements as a result of various risks and uncertainties, which include, without limitation, risks and uncertainties associated with development and regulatory approval of novel product candidates in the biopharmaceutical industry and the other risks described inPoseida'sfilings with theSecurities and Exchange Commission. All forward-looking statements contained in this press release speak only as of the date on which they were made.Poseidaundertakes no obligation to update such statements to reflect events that occur or circumstances that exist after the date on which they were made, except as required by law.

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Poseida Therapeutics Added to Membership of US Small-Cap Russell 2000 Index - Monterey County Weekly

Illuminating the opaque pathways of depression | MSUToday – MSUToday

Depression is a dark horse.

The disease often goes unnoticed, but affects work performance, social interaction and the ability to take pleasure in everyday life. According to theNational Center for Biotechnology Information, antidepressants only help around 50 percent of those who struggle with depression and anxiety and, even when they are effective, scientists have yet to understand how they work in the brain.

MSU associate professor of physiology A.J. Robison and his lab used new CRISPR-based technology to uncover pathways of depression-like behavior in the mouse brain. Credit: College of Natural Science

But groundbreaking research in the lab of Michigan State University scientistA.J. Robison, associate professor in theDepartment of Physiologyand MSUsNeuroscience Program, is directing some new rays of light onto the molecular, cellular and circuit-level mechanisms underlying depression-like diseases.

Theresultswere recently published inNature Communications.

In this paper, we perform the first ever CRISPR-based gene editing [a genetic engineering technique in molecular biology by which the genomes of living organisms may be modified] in a single circuit between two areas of the mouse brain, explained Robison about the culmination of five years of research funded by the National Institutes of Mental Health. We can reach into the mouse brain and manipulate specific genes in a circuit involved in depression and anxiety-like behaviors a critical advance on the road to genetic medicine for psychiatric diseases.

Scientists estimate there are roughly 80-100 billion neurons connecting regions of the brain. To accomplish the feat of locating and manipulating a single gene in a single circuit required new and sophisticated technology. With the expertise of co-author Rachael Neve, director of theGene Transfer Core at Massachusetts General Hospital, they developed it.

The key advance is that we designed a dual-vector system to manipulate a specific gene in the connections between two brain areas, and that has never been done before, Robison said.

Cross section of a mouse brain. The projections of the cells between the vHPC and NAc, shown here in neon green, are manipulated by the new CRISPR viral vector-based technology developed by Rachael Neve and the Robison Lab. Credit: Andrew Eagle

The neurons that Robison and his team zeroed in on originate in the ventral hippocampus (vHPC), a deep-seated structure that projects to regions in the brain important in stress susceptibility, mood and social avoidance. Neurons rooted in the vHPC reach out with branch-like structures called axons to connect with the nucleus accumbens, or NAc. The completed circuit is regulated by the star of the pioneering paper, the transcription factor known as DFosB.

Using the viral vector technology specifically designed and packaged by Neve, the team split the CRISPR system in half. Half of the system, inert on its own, was an enzyme that can mutate DNA in the vHPC. The other half, a guide RNA, was sent to all cells that project to the NAc and tells the enzyme where to bind and the specific gene to mutate. Only those cells specific to the circuit from the vHPC to the NAc got both halves, triggering the enzyme to bind with and turn off a single gene: FosB.

When the FosB gene was turned off in the neurons, we were able to get a circuit-specific behavioral effect relevant to a disease like depression, said Robison about the landmark discovery. When we put it back, or rescued it within the circuit, the effect was erased.

Claire Manning was a key contributor to the groundbreaking study and is now a postdoctoral researcher at Stanford University. Credit: Ken Moon

One of the most exciting findings from our investigations was the circuit-specific role of the FosB protein in conferring resilience to stress, Eagle said. We also discovered that FosB altered the excitability of hippocampal circuit neurons and may be affecting long-term downstream changes that lead to changes in the activity of this circuit. But removing DFosB permanently altered the expression of a suite of genes, in effect removing the conductor from the orchestra. To that end, the paper goes on to report in-depth experiments on DFosB largely done by the members of theRobison Labincluding co-first authorsClaire Manning, a 2019 neuroscience graduate, now a postdoc at Stanford University; andAndrew Eagle, a former postdoctoral researcher, now an assistant professor in the MSU Department of Physiology.

Andrew Eagle, shown here imaging a mouse brain, played a major role in conducting experiments to further probe the function of DFosB. Credit: Research@MSU.

Based on the findings in the paper, the Robison Lab will continue to develop highly collaborative and cutting-edge techniques, accelerated by MSUs newly completed Interdisciplinary Science and Technology Building. This work is important because it elucidates a potential mechanism, namely FosB, for how stress may contribute to depression, Eagle continued. Future clinical work may find ways to directly manipulate FosB, or more likely one of its gene targets, to provide resilience to stress and decrease the incidence of depression in vulnerable people.

The end of this paper, which shows us measuring the changes of expression in hundreds of genes when we remove DFosB, is only the beginning of years of work for our lab, Robison said. Which genes are important and what are they doing in the brain? This is the challenge of a lifetime for me and my lab.

This article is repurposed content originally featured on the College of Natural Sciences website.

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Illuminating the opaque pathways of depression | MSUToday - MSUToday

Muscular Dystrophy Condition in Mice Reversed by RNA-Targeting Cas9 – Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News

Myotonic dystrophy type I (DM1) is the most common type of adult-onset muscular dystrophy. DM1 is caused by mutations in the DMPK gene. A normal DMPK gene has 3 to 37 repetitions of the CTG sequence, while in DM1, there are hundreds to thousands of repetitions of this sequence. When a DMPK gene with too many CTG repeats is transcribed, the resulting RNA is too long. This abnormally long RNA is toxic to cells, and those affected experience progressive muscle wasting and weakness.

CRISPR-Cas9 is a technique increasingly used in efforts to correct the genetic defects that cause a variety of diseases. Now a research team from the University of California, San Diego (UCSD), School of Medicine, reports they redirected the technique to modify RNA in a method they call RNA-targeting Cas9 (RCas9), to eliminate the toxic RNA and almost fully reverse symptoms in a mouse model of myotonic dystrophy.

Their findings, The sustained expression of Cas9 targeting toxic RNAs reverses disease phenotypes in mouse models of myotonic dystrophy type 1, was published in Nature Biomedical Engineering and led by Gene Yeo, PhD, professor of cellular and molecular medicine at UCSD School of Medicine.

Myotonic dystrophy is part of a group of inherited disorders called muscular dystrophies. There are two major types of myotonic dystrophy: type 1 and type 2. The muscle weakness associated with type 1 particularly affects muscles farthest from the center of the body, such as those of the lower legs, hands, neck, and face. Muscle weakness in type 2 primarily involves muscles close to the center of the body, such as those of the neck, shoulders, elbows, and hips. The two types of myotonic dystrophy are caused by mutations in different genes.

Many other severe neuromuscular diseases, such as Huntingtons and ALS, are also caused by similar RNA buildup, explained Yeo. There are no cures for these diseases. Yeo led the study with collaborators at Locanabio and the University of Florida.

CRISPR-Cas9 works by directing Cas9 to cut a specific target gene, allowing researchers to inactivate or replace the gene. However, the Cas9 in the RCas9 method is guided to an RNA molecule instead of DNA. In a previous study, Yeo and his team established RCas9 as a means to track RNA in living cells in a programmable manner without genetically encoded tags. In a 2017 study, in lab models and patient-derived cells, the researchers used RCas9 to eliminate 95% of the abnormal RNA linked to myotonic dystrophy type 1 and type 2, one type of ALS and Huntingtons disease.

In the current study, the method goes further, by reversing myotonic dystrophy type 1 in a mouse model of the disease. Toxic RNAs expressed from such repetitive sequences can be eliminated using CRISPR-mediated RNA targeting, yet evidence of its in vivo efficacy and durability is lacking, noted the researchers. Here, using adult and neonatal mouse models of DM1, we show that intramuscular or systemic injections of adeno-associated virus (AAV) vectors encoding nuclease-dead Cas9 and a single-guide RNA targeting CUG repeats results in the expression of the RNA-targeting Cas9 for up to three months, redistribution of the RNA-splicing protein muscleblind-like splicing regulator 1, elimination of foci of toxic RNA, reversal of splicing biomarkers and amelioration of myotonia.

The researchers packaged RCas9 in a non-infectious virus. They then gave the mice a single dose of the therapy or a placebo. RCas9 reduced the abnormal RNA repeats by more than 50%, varying a bit depending on the tissue, and the treated myotonic dystrophy mice became indistinguishable from healthy mice.

To prevent the potential of the RCas9 proteins, developing an immune reaction in the mice, the researchers tried suppressing the mices immune systems briefly during treatment. As a result, they were surprised to see that they successfully prevented immune reaction and clearance. The researchers did not see signs of muscle damage, but found an increase in the activity of genes involved in new muscle formation.

Yeo believes the findings will open a new avenue of understanding and lead the way for treating other genetic diseases. This opens up the floodgates to start testing RNA-targeting CRISPR-Cas9 as a potential approach to treat other human genetic diseasesthere are at least 20 caused by buildup of repetitive RNAs, Yeo added.

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Muscular Dystrophy Condition in Mice Reversed by RNA-Targeting Cas9 - Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News

Gene Editing Market Trends, Companies, Driver, Segmentation, Forecast to 2024 – The Research Process

Latest updates on Gene Editing market, a comprehensive study enumerating the latest price trends and pivotal drivers rendering a positive impact on the industry landscape. Further, the report is inclusive of the competitive terrain of this vertical in addition to the market share analysis and the contribution of the prominent contenders toward the overall industry.

Rising prevalence of cancer and other genetic disorders coupled with increasing demand for personalized medicine should stimulate gene editing industry expansion. As per WHO 2018 report, cancer is the second leading cause of death globally and is responsible for an estimated 9.6 million deaths. Increasing use of the gene editing tools for treatment of these chronic disorders will favor business growth. Moreover, increased government funding programs will significantly impact industry growth over the forecast timeframe.

Many biopharmaceutical companies are focused on developing innovative drugs for various genetic disorders because of high disease burden across the world and their considerable market potential. Other parameters contributing to the industry growth are increasing demand for synthetic genes, extensive investments in R&D, technological advancements in the field of molecular biology. However, ethical issues regarding misuse of genome editing is a major concern and may hamper the industry growth.

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Gene Editing Market will exceed USD 7.5 billion by 2024; as per a new research report.

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Zinc Finger Nucleases (ZFNs) segment will witness 14.5% CAGR from 2018 to 2024. The segment growth is attributed to increasing adoption of these advanced gene editing tools in research institutes and biotech industries. ZFNs technology offers various advantages including, the mutations made by this technology are permeant and heritable. Zinc finger nucleases are useful to manipulate the genomes of many plants and animals and also has important role in gene editing processes.

Research institutes segment accounted for 30.2% revenue share in 2017 owing to increasing focus on developing innovative therapeutics models in CRISPR and ZFN. Moreover, growing incidences of rare genetic diseases has resulted in high demand for research activities for developing new therapies will propel segmental growth over the coming years.

Animal genetic engineering segment was valued at USD 785.4 million in 2017 and is projected to grow significantly over the forecast timeframe. Growing applications of products obtained from domestic animals has boosted the demand for gene editing technique. In addition, wide applicability of these techniques in animal genetic engineering is also a contributing factor for business growth. For instance, Pigs are susceptible to an infection called Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome (PRRS). Gene editing techniques have managed to produce pigs that are resistance to this disease.

U.S. gene editing market will witness 14.5% CAGR by 2024 owing to increasing funding for research and development in genetic editing technologies. As per National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences 2018 report, National Institute of Health (NIH) got $86 million funding for improving genome editing techniques. Moreover, rising prevalence of Alzheimer, cancer and infectious diseases in country. As per Alzheimer?s association 2018 report, an estimated 5.7 million Americans of all ages are living with Alzheimer's. Increasing patient preference towards advanced gene editing tools such as CRISPR/Cas9 for the treatment of Alzheimer's should drive gene editing business expansion.

China gene editing market was valued at USD 154.6 million in 2017 and is estimated to experience considerable growth due to rising R&D expenditure and growing number of industry players. Moreover, various initiatives taken by the Chinese government for promoting life science research in biotechnology sector will stimulate gene editing market growth in forthcoming years.

Major Highlights from Table of contents are listed below for quick lookup into Gene Editing Market report

Chapter 1. Methodology and Scope

Chapter 2. Executive Summary

Chapter 3. Gene Editing Industry Insights

Chapter 4. Company Profiles

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Gene Editing Market Trends, Companies, Driver, Segmentation, Forecast to 2024 - The Research Process

Nanoscale Reflective Coating Reverse-Engineered From Fly Eyes – Technology Networks

The eyes of many insects, including the fruit fly, are covered by a thin and transparent coating made up of tiny protuberances with anti-reflective, anti-adhesive properties. An article published in the journalNaturereveals the secrets of how this nano-coating is made. The authors, from the University of Geneva (UNIGE) and University of Lausanne (UNIL) - together with ETH Zurich (ETHZ) - show that the coating only consists of two ingredients: a protein called retinin and corneal wax. These two components automatically generate the regular network of protuberances by playing the roles of activator and inhibitor, respectively, in a morphogenesis process modelled in the 1950s by Alan Turing. The multi-disciplinary team even succeeded in artificially reproducing the phenomenon by mixing retinin and wax on different kinds of surface. This process, which is very inexpensive and is based on biodegradable materials, was used to obtain nano-coatings with a morphology similar to that of insects, with anti-adhesive and anti-reflective functionalities that could have numerous applications in areas as diverse as contact lenses, medical implants and textiles.

"The nano-coating that covers the surface of the eyes of some insects was discovered in the late 1960s in moths," begins Vladimir Katanaev, a professor in the Department of Cell Physiology and Metabolism in UNIGE's Faculty of Medicine and the study's lead investigator. "It's made up of a dense network of small protrusions about 200 nanometres in diameter and several dozens of nanometres in height. It has the effect of reducing light reflection."

The cornea of an insect without a coating typically reflects about 4% of the incident light, whereas the proportion drops to zero in insects that do have the covering. Although an improvement of 4% may seem small, it is enough of an advantage - especially in dark conditions - to have been selected during evolution. Thanks to its anti-adhesive properties, the coating also provides physical protection against the tiniest dust particles in the air.

Professor Katanaev moved into this research field ten years ago. In 2011, he and his team were the first to discover the nano-coating on the eyes of fruit flies (Drosophila melanogaster). This insect is much more suited to scientific research than moths, in particular because its genome has been completely sequenced.

The Geneva-based researcher has now gathered more evidence to support this hypothesis. Thanks to biochemical analyses and the use of genetic engineering, Professor Katanaev and his colleagues have succeeded in identifying the two components involved in the reaction-diffusion model developed by Turing. This hinges on a protein called retinin and wax produced by several specialised enzymes, two of which have been identified. Retinin plays the role of activator: with its initially unstructured shape, it adopts a globular structure upon contact with the wax and begins to generate the pattern. The wax, on the other hand, plays the role of inhibitor. The powerplay between the two leads to the emergence of the nano-coating.

Initial tests have shown that the coating is resistant to 20 hours of washing in water (it is easily damaged by detergent or scratching, although technological improvements could make it more robust). The anti-reflective properties have already aroused a certain degree of interest among manufacturers of contact lenses, while the anti-adhesive properties could appeal to the producers of medical implants. Indeed, this type of coating could make it possible to control where human cells hook on. Industry already has the techniques needed to obtain this outcome. But they use harsh methods, such as lasers or acids. The Geneva team's solution has the advantage of being inexpensive, benign and totally biodegradable.Reference:

This article has been republished from the following materials. Note: material may have been edited for length and content. For further information, please contact the cited source.

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Nanoscale Reflective Coating Reverse-Engineered From Fly Eyes - Technology Networks

Whats Wrong With the Meritocracy – The New York Times

What, he wonders, if the highly educated harden into a hereditary aristocracy? And what if this occurs under a flag of fairness, during a time when B.A.s and higher degrees are ever more closely tied to income and prestige? Lets set aside the case of rich parents who bribe corrupt officials or donate huge sums to get their child into a good college. Lets focus instead, Sandel writes, on the inequity that creeps in without breaking any rules. At Princeton and Yale, for example, more students come from families in the top 1 percent of income than from the bottom 60 percent. Two-thirds of students in all the Ivy League schools come from families in the top 20 percent. This is very largely because of the head start woven into upper-income life itself: engaging dinner conversation, better schools, private tutors, foreign travel.

Sandel is not about guilt-tripping anxious parents of front-row kids; theyre suffering too, he says. But the credentialed have come to imagine themselves as smarter, wiser, more tolerant and therefore more deserving of recognition and respect than the noncredentialed. One reason for this, he suggests, lies in our American rhetoric of rising. Both rich and poor parents tell their kids, if you try hard enough, you can achieve your goals. For the upper strata, things may work out, but for the downwardly mobile blue collar and poor, theres a Catch-22. If they fail to reach their goals which a torpid economy almost guarantees they blame themselves. If only I could have gotten that degree, they say. Even the poorly educated, Sandel notes, look down on the poorly educated.

Donald Trump has reached out to this group with open arms I love the poorly educated. He has harvested their demoralization, their grief and their shame, most certainly if they are white. But, Sandel notes, two-thirds of all American adults lack four-year degrees. And in the wake of automation, in real wages, the white man without a B.A. earns less now than he did in 1979. The dignity of his labor has steeply declined. And since 1965, high-school-educated men in the very prime of life 25 to 54 have been slipping out of the labor force, from 98 percent in 1965 to 85 percent in 2015. Of all Americans whose highest degree is a high school diploma, in 2017 only 68 percent worked. And with rising deaths of despair, many are giving up on life itself. So you who are highly educated, Sandel concludes, should understand that youre contributing to a resentment fueling the toxic politics you deplore. Respect the vast diversity of talents and contributions others make to this nation. Empathize with the undeserved shame of the less educated. Eat a little humble pie.

But we are left with an important issue Sandel does not address: the targeting by the right wing of colleges themselves. This isnt new: Running parallel to the rise of the meritocracy in America has been a suspicion of the egghead who cant skin a rabbit, build a house or change a tire. As the historian Richard Hofstadter observed in Anti-Intellectualism in American Life, and Tocqueville before him, many Americans have valued not simply the cultivated intelligence of heroes in a culture of merit but also the creative genius of the common man in a culture of survival.

Today this has taken a shockingly partisan turn. For the first time in recent history, the less education you have, the more you lean right and distrust higher education itself. In a 2019 Pew survey, 59 percent of Republicans (and Republican-leaning independents) agree that colleges have a negative effect on the way things are going in the country these days, whereas only 18 percent of Democrats (and those leaning left) agree.

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Whats Wrong With the Meritocracy - The New York Times

CRISPR Market to Witness Exponential Growth by 2020-2027 | Leading Players Thermo Fisher Scientific, Editas Medicine, Caribou Biosciences, CRISPR…

Fort Collins, Colorado The report on the CRISPR Market provides an in-depth assessment of the CRISPR market including technological advancements, market drivers, challenges, current and emerging trends, opportunities, threats, risks, strategic developments, product advancements, and other key features. The report covers market size estimation, share, growth rate, global position, and regional analysis of the market. The report also covers forecast estimations for investments in the CRISPR industry from 2020 to 2027.

The report is furnished with the latest market dynamics and economic scenario in regards to the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic has brought about drastic changes in the economy of the world and has affected several key segments and growth opportunities. The report provides an in-depth impact analysis of the pandemic on the market to better understand the latest changes in the market and gain a futuristic outlook on a post-COVID-19 scenario.

Global CRISPR Market Size Study by Application(Genome Editing, Genetic Engineering, Gene Library, CRISPR Plasmid, Human Stem cells, Genetically Modified Organism, Cell Line Engineering), by End-User (Biotechnology Companies, Pharmaceutical Companies, Academic Institutes, Research & Development Institutes) and Regional Forecast 2017-2025.

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The report provides an in-depth analysis of the key developments and innovations of the market, such as research and development advancements, product launches, mergers & acquisitions, joint ventures, partnerships, government deals, and collaborations. The report provides a comprehensive overview of the regional growth of each market player.

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The report covers extensive analysis of the key market players in the market, along with their business overview, expansion plans, and strategies. The key players studied in the report include:

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The report is designed with an aim to assist the reader in taking beneficial data and making fruitful decisions to accelerate their businesses. The report provides an examination of the economic scenario, along with benefits, limitations, supply, production, demands, and development rate of the market.

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For a better understanding of the global CRISPR market dynamics, a regional analysis of the market across key geographical areas is offered in the report. The market is spread acrossNorth America, Europe, Latin America, Asia-Pacific, and Middle East & Africa.Each region is analyzed on the basis of the market scenario in the major countries of the regions to provide a deeper understanding of the market.

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CRISPR Market to Witness Exponential Growth by 2020-2027 | Leading Players Thermo Fisher Scientific, Editas Medicine, Caribou Biosciences, CRISPR...

Covid-19: What you need to know today – Hindustan Times

How seriously does one take Dr Li-Meng Yan? And how seriously does one take the paper Unusual Features of the Sars-CoV2 Genome Suggesting Sophisticated Laboratory Modification Rather Than Natural Evolution and Delineation of its Probable Synthetic Route, published by her and co-authors, under the aegis of the Rule of Law Society and the Rule of Law Foundation, New York, on September 14? As the title suggests, the paper claims the coronavirus was man-made, in a laboratory.

The paper was uploaded on open-source research repository Zenodo, run by CERN, and was reported by Hindustan Times on Wednesday (bit.ly/33uFyy4). It wasnt as widely reported as Dr Yans comments in Loose Women, a segment of a TV show hosted by a UK TV channel, on which she pretty much said the same thing, albeit without any of the scientific arguments -- unsubstantiated ones -- presented in the paper.

Heres what that paper claimed:

One, ZC45, a bat virus, or a closely related variant or mutant, bears a striking similarity with Sars-CoV2, as shown by genome sequencing, with a 94%-100% similarity of key viral proteins.

The spike protein of Sars-CoV2 is essentially a trimer (essentially three parts) each of which has an S1 and S2 part with a furin cleavage site at the boundary between the two. Other research has already established that the human cellular enzyme furin cleaves, or breaks, the S1 and S2 unit at the cleavage site, and that the S1 unit then attaches to the ACE receptor, another protein found on the surface of most human cells. This binding then facilitates the entry of the viral protein into human cells. The virus ability to bind with the receptor, and the presence of the cleavage site that responds to a cannon human enzyme, are the reasons Covid-19 is as infective as it is.

Click here for complete coverage of the Covid-19 pandemic

Both the furin cleavage site, and the binding ability of the spike protein with the ACE2 receptor arent natural, the paper argued.

In their preface to this scientific hypothesis, the authors also claim that the process of creating such a virus in a laboratory could take only six months. They ask for further research and investigation into the origin of the virus. Even if their hypothesis is subsequently proven erroneous, this is a recommendation that no can argue with the origin of the virus needs to be investigated, not so much to assign blame (although there will be some that too), but to prepare for the next virus and the next pandemic.

Dr Yan, currently in the US, where she fled to in late April, is a virologist who used to work at the University of Hong Kong School of Public Health, and who has for long claimed that China knew of the virus and the fact that human-to-human transmission of the infection was happening, long before it let on. Her claims on the virus being man-made are more recent.

Interestingly, a March paper in Nature titled The Proximal Origin of Sars-Cov2, authored by Kristian G Andersen of Californias Scripps Research Institute, argued, again picking on the same two distinctive features of Sars-CoV2, that the virus was natural. The viral protein showed a high affinity to bind with the receptor, they said, but this interaction wasnt ideal or optimal. In plain English this meant that if anyone had set out to engineer the virus, they would have picked the ideal binding relation, not just another optimal one. The paper also said that there were other coronaviruses that had similar cleavage sites and that this wasnt unique to Sars-CoV2.

However, the two papers differ in one significant aspect. The one published in Nature said the genetic data irrefutably show that Sars-CoV2 is not derived from any previously used virus backbone. Dr Yans said (again, without substantiation that) a genomic sequence analysis reveals that ZC45, or a closely related bat coronavirus, should be the backbone used for the creation of Sars-CoV2.

Also read|Over 5,000 Indians died in West, East Asian countries amid Covid-19 pandemic: Govt informs Parliament

Dr Yans claims are also being seen through a political lens, with scientists in the US pointing out that the two non-profits that published the paper were linked to Steve Bannon, former Trump adviser and former executive chairman of the far-right Breitbart News, casting aspersions on the studys findings.

Clearly, only further research and investigation can shed light on the origin of the virus which has thus far infected 29,927,685 and killed 942,564 around the world. India ended Wednesday with 5,115,846 cases and 83,230 deaths.

But as Vivek Wadhwa, a columnist for this paper, a top technology thinker, and distinguished fellow at Harvard Law Schools Labor and Worklife Program, said in a recent article in Foreign Policy: If genetic engineering wasnt behind this pandemic, it could very well unleash the next one. Thats because, genetic engineering with all its potential for good and bad has become democratised, Wadhwa wrote.

Thanks to a technological revolution in genetic engineering, all the tools needed to create a virus have become so cheap, simple, and readily available that any rogue scientist or college-age biohacker can use them.

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Covid-19: What you need to know today - Hindustan Times

Indian farmers cant wait anymore, they are sowing seeds of GM crops one Bt brinjal at a time – ThePrint

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Earlier this month, the Narendra Modi government reportedly sanctioned biosafety field trials of two new transgenic varieties of brinjal, developed by a public sector research institute. The news created quite the buzz.

Brinjal is among the most widely available and consumed vegetables in India, after potato, onion and tomato. But a brinjal crop is susceptible to pests, particularly the fruit and shoot borer (FSB), which often affects 50-80 per cent of the crop. Farmers frequently spend over half their input costs on pest control, and insecticides may have to be sprayed 30 to 70 times in a five-month crop cycle.

Many farmers spray products derived from naturally occurring soil bacterium, Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt), as a bio-pesticide to control several destructive pests, particularly in vegetable crops. But now, advanced molecular biology tools have enabled scientists to identify certain genes in the bacterium that produce insecticidal proteins that specifically kill a certain group of insect pests, and incorporate them in the desired plant by genetic engineering. When the target insects feed on such transgenic plants, they ingest Bt protein and get killed. Thus, this technology provides a built-in control mechanism against the pests, thereby greatly reducing the need to use chemical insecticides. Bt Brinjal has been developed to achieve this objective.

Also read: GM brinjals are helping Bangladesh farmers earn more, save more, study finds

There are two basic technology platforms offering Bt Brinjal today. One, developed by Maharashtra-based company Mahyco, is built on the gene Cry1Ac, with the event EE-1. This has been commercially grown in Bangladesh since 2013. Another Bt Brinjal technology was indigenously developed by the Indian Agriculture Research Institute (IARI), using the gene Cry1Fa1, with the Event-142.

Bt Brinjal Cry1Ac, EE-1: 2001 to 2010

Bt Brinjal Cry1Fa1, Event-142: 2001-2010

This transgenic Bt Brinjal expressing the gene Cry1Fa1 was developed by IARI in 2001-2004.

But eventually, the science of both these Bt Brinjals failed the political test. On 9 February 2010, the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF) announced an indefinite moratorium on Bt Brinjal following a round of national consultations. Subsequently, all field trials of the GM crops were stopped in 2013.

Also read: APMC laws had shackled farmers, Modi govts ordinance makes them as free as other sectors

In 2009, Bangladesh began tests and trials for Bt Brinjal Cry1Ac with EE-1. It approved the first Bt Brinjal (EE-1) variety for commercial release, with 20 farmers sowing the new seeds in 2013.

The year 2018 marked the fifth anniversary of Bt Brinjal in Bangladesh. During its meeting in September 2018, the GEAC noted that nearly 50,000 farmers in Bangladesh were growing Bt Brinjal.Over 27,000 farmers had adopted Bt brinjal in 2017-18, not including the farmers who had saved their own seeds from the previous season.

The International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), together with Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute (BARI), carried out a randomised control trial among Bt Brinjal and non-Bt Brinjal farmers in Bangladesh in 2018. The key findings showed that net yields were 42 per cent higher for Bt Brinjal farmers. The Bt Brinjal farmers also witnessed a 31 per cent reduction in costs per kg of produce, and a 27.3 per cent increase in gross revenue per hectare.

While the quantity of pesticides used decreased by 39 per cent, the rate of FSB infestation in Bt Brinjal plants was only 1.8 per cent, in contrast to 33.9 per cent of the other. A report published in 2020, assessed the impact based on a survey of brinjal farmers in five districts. Results indicated that Bt Brinjal provided an average of 19.6 per cent higher yield and 21.7 cent higher revenue compared to non-Bt varieties.

Bangladesh recognises that Bt Brinjal needs to be made available in more varieties suitable for different agro-climatic areas in the country, and in varieties that appeal to local tastes.

Also read: Halt Bt brinjal trials, it is against the national interest, RSS affiliate writes to Modi

Prime Minister Modis 2014 claim that there was a possibility of genetic engineering in ancient India raised expectations among many farmers on the prospects of genetically modified (GM) crops. But here is a glance at what really happened to the GM crops.

Also read: Why farmers are still having to protest for their right to sow GM seeds, even in a pandemic

The second decade of the 21st century, 2011 to 2020, has turned out to be the lost decade for India, as far as agriculture biotechnology is concerned. The GEAC has held only 35 meetings in 10 years, and even recommended trials were not held. This contrasts sharply with the previous decade, when the GEAC held almost 81 meetings, and over a dozen GM crops were in various stages of development.

In May 2020, the GEAC, once again granted permission to BSSPL to conduct BRL-II confined field trials with two transgenic Bt Brinjal hybrids (Event-42), in at least two of the eight designated states, provided the state governments issue NOCs. This is a repeat of the recommendations for confined field trials issued in 2010, and again in 2014, both of which had failed to make any difference on the ground. In September, BSSPL said that it hopes to begin the field trials in April 2021.

This chronology of Bt Brinjals development in India suggests that policymakers have merely used the regulatory mechanism to avoid taking a clear decision, focussing on hypothetical risks rather than real ones. The endless demand for trials and tests only suggests that in the name of science, there is an attempt to choke the progress of science and stop its adoption for practical use.

This is a complete reversal of the fundamental legal philosophy of modern civilisation, which holds that one is innocent unless proven guilty. The yardstick now being used for GM crops is that these crops are inherently dangerous, and therefore presumed guilty, unless it can be shown that they are not. But a negative can never be proven.

As any toxicologist knows, it is the dosage that makes a poison.

Increasingly, it is the farmers, who bear the daily risks of agriculture, who are now speaking up in support of technologies that could reduce their risks and improve their wellbeing. It is the farmers who are defying the legal diktat. By taking the risk of sowing unapproved GM crops without any assurance of quality, they are engaging in the largest field trial ever possible. These brave farmers are demonstrating their capacity to take on the risk society is imposing on them by denying them access to new technologies, including GM crops.

Indian farmers are the true representatives of Aatmanirbhar Bharat, and their produce is the original Make in India, long before these slogans were coined.

The author isan independent policy analyst and the former founder-director of Liberty Institute.He has an interest in agriculture reforms and is working with farmers networks on the ground. Views are personal.

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Indian farmers cant wait anymore, they are sowing seeds of GM crops one Bt brinjal at a time - ThePrint

Microbes, the third pillar in the alternative protein industry: ‘The rationale is simple: Fermentation is just more efficient’ – FoodNavigator-USA.com

Its early days, says the Good Food Institute (GFI), but microbial fermentation is rapidly emerging as the third pillar in the alternative protein industry [alongside cell-cultured and plant-based]," attracting $435m in investment capital in 2020 alone.

Right now, producing protein whether from peas and soybeans or cows and chickens is resource-intensive and time-consuming, requiring large amounts of land, energy and water, says the GFI, which has just released a 72-page reporton fermentation in the alternative protein industry, arguing that itspotential is still largely untapped.

Put another way, it takes years to grow animals, and months or years to grow plants, while microbes can double their biomass in a matter of hours, as Natures Fynd CEO Thomas Jonas recently observed: Microbes are pretty damn efficient. They make great protein and they do it really fast.

Many microorganisms also offer innately high protein content (over 50% by dry weight) coupled with extraordinarily fast and self-sufficient growth, requiring only simple and inexpensive nutrient feedstocks, noted the GFI.

Fermentation-based products can also be manufactured from a distributed network of local production facilities using a fraction of the land, water, and inputs required to raise and feed animals with the added appeal of consistent quality, a lack of price volatility, and security of supply (plus it does not require killing animals on an industrial scale).

While many food ingredients, from enzymes (chymosin, a coagulating enzyme used in cheese production) to sweeteners (Reb M), vitamins (B12, Riboflavin), and colors (beta carotene) have been made via microbial fermentation for years, investment in a new wave of fermentation players focused on the alternative protein industry has exploded over the past two years.

Approaches vary, with some startups using synthetic biology (so-called precision fermentation) to write DNA sequences that can be inserted into microorganisms to instruct them to produce substances currently produced by mammals, from whey and casein proteins (Perfect Day), egg white (Clara Foods), and collagen (Geltor) to proteins found in human breast milk (Triton Algae Innovations).

Other are deploying precision fermentation to produce components that are found in plants, but can be produced more efficiently via fermentation. For example, Impossible Foods uses a genetically engineered yeast strain to produce its flagship meaty-tasting and red-colored ingredient leghemoglobin - heme - which is found in nodules attached to the roots of nitrogen-fixing plants such as soy.

A third group of companies (using so-called biomass fermentation) such as Natures Fynd,Meati Foods, Brewed Foods (Plentify), Air Proteinand Noblegen are growing naturally occurring organisms from protists and bacteria to extremophiles that are inherently high in protein.

Globally, fermentation companies devoted to alternative proteins received more than $274m in venture capital funding in 2019 and $435m in the first seven months of 2020 from investors such as Bill Gates-backed Breakthrough Energy Ventures, Temasek and Horizons Ventures to major CPG and ingredients players such as Kellogg, ADM, Danone, Kraft Heinz, Mars and Tyson.

By mid-2020, 44 fermentation companies focused on alternative proteins had formed around the globe, while several of the worlds largest food and life science companies, including DuPont, Novozymes, and DSM, have also been developing fermentation-derived product lines and solutions tailored to the alternative protein industry, said GFI.

But they're still just scratching the surface, argued report authors Dr Liz Specht and Nate Crosser.

While fermentation has a rich history of use in food, as the modern era has demonstrated, its innovative potential is still largely untapped.

The vast biological diversity of microbial species, coupled with virtually limitless biological synthesis capabilities, translates to immense opportunity for novel alternative protein solutions to emerge from fermentation-based approaches.

Fermentation is a key means of producing animal-origin-free growth factors for cell-cultured meat production, with firms such as ORF Genetics, Richcore, and Peprotech now working in this space.

While some of the strain development work to identify and optimize microbes with potential in this segment uses tools such as gene editing and genetic engineering, noted the GFI, vast progress is also possiblethrough simple adaptation and breeding strategies powered by advanced genomic insights.

The urgency of the moment calls for bold research to explore novel hosts that could significantly outperform the incumbents.

More work is also needed to identify more cost effective or sustainable feedstocks (for the microbes) via converting waste products or agro-industrial byproducts into high-quality protein biomass, says the GFI, noting that the extremophile microorganism developed by Natures Fynd, for example, exhibits wide metabolic flexibility and therefore suitability to diverse feedstocks.

The organism used byAir Protein,meanwhile, uses components found in the air - notably carbon dioxide as feedstock.

This is just the beginning: The opportunity landscape for technology development is completely untapped in this area. Many alternative protein products of the future will harness the plethora of protein production methods now available, with the option of leveraging combinations of proteins derived from plants, animal cell culture, and microbial fermentation.

Dr. Liz Specht, associate director of science and technology, The Good Food Institute

But what about price?

According to the GFI, there is reason to believe that fermentation can achieve price parity with most products through a combination of approaches including increasing scale, improving volumetric productivity (better yields), and prolonging continuous bioprocessing (the longer a process runs continuously at its peak in steady-state growth, the more efficient the overall run will be because the cells are continuously harvested from their maximum productivity).

Fermentation is not just valuable in its own right, offering competitive prices, unparalleled functionality and scalability, and validated mechanisms for establishing and ensuring safety; it stands to revolutionize the entire alternative protein industry, with spillover applications in both plant-based products and cultivated meat.

In 2019, fermentation companies raised over 3.5 times more capital than all cell-cultured meat companies combined.

One aspect of the technology that is less explored in the report is consumer perception, which is less of an issue for companies using microbes to produce ingredients consumers already recognize such as whey or collagen, but could present novel challenges for companies making new-to-the-world ingredients, as Lever VC managing partner Nick Cooney told FoodNavigator-USA in a recent interview.

Consumer acceptance is definitely something we think about in the alternative proteins space when were evaluating companies, and I do think there will be an increased challenge for companies producing novel proteins.

Clearly, bacteria-sourced protein is not something youd find in Grandmas kitchen cupboard, Brewed Foods co-founder Dr Jonathan Gordon, told Food Navigator-USA.

But its not some kind of sci-fi fantasy either, he stressed:The notion of consuming bacteria has become very well established thanks to probiotics, although in our case, the bacteria are not live, but are fully deactivated, so theyre entirely dead, and non spore-forming.

KarunaRawal, CMO at Natures Fynd, added: What we found was that consumers just want to know what it is [the protein source], they dont like it when companies cloud things in[euphemistic]language, and we dont want to confuse anyone.

But Id say were in a different time to when Quorn[a soil micro-organism described on pack as mycoprotein]came to market and since then, the notion of good bacteria, and fermented products have become very mainstream and the landscape has changed.

The GFI breaks the market down into three segments:

Perfect Day,a startup producing milk proteins via microbial fermentation (minus the cows), recently expanded its Series C round from a previously-announced $140m, up to $300m through a new tranche led by CPP Investments and bolstered by long-time supporters Temasek and Horizons Ventures.

The cash injection -bringing its cumulative funding to over $360m -was announced as Berkeley, Calif.-based Perfect Day revealed a series of incremental improvements in recent months enabling it to increase the efficiency of its production process, substantially reducing costs two years ahead of expectations.

While Perfect Day is a b2b company, it recently moved into the b2c space via spinoff The Urgent Company, which is focused on consumer brands, beginning with animal-free ice cream Brave Robot.

Plentify a novel protein sourced from a strain of bacteria that naturally produces high levels of protein is more efficient to produce than plant-based proteins, and compared to animal husbandry, is ludicrously efficient,"claims Brewed Foods co-founder Dr Jonathan Gordon.

The obvious advantage here is the incredible compactness of production. You can basically use waste products to fuel the process. We can produce tons of protein in an incredibly small footprintconsistently and efficiently.

"Protein production is also the primary purpose of the process[whereas most plants harvested for protein also contain large quantities of starch, oil or other components that producers need to find a market for, both for economic and sustainability reasons].

Air Protein(which utilizes single-cell organisms called hydrogenotrophs first studied by NASA in the 1960s),is using components found in the air - notably carbon dioxide - as a low-cost feedstock.

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Microbes, the third pillar in the alternative protein industry: 'The rationale is simple: Fermentation is just more efficient' - FoodNavigator-USA.com

The limits of synthetic biology through the origins of SARS-CoV-2 – Drug Target Review

Conspiracy theories about COVID-19 have been spreading since the early days of the outbreak. But how do we know whether a biological entity is artificially made or has occurred naturally? Marc Baiget Francesch explores the capabilities of current scientific approaches in terms of virus engineering and how this applies to the present pandemic.

OVER THE LAST few months, numerous theories relating to the origin of the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 have invaded the internet. Sometimes, these theories can give rise to more interesting discussions than what is originally intended by the authors. For example, the theory that the new coronavirus has been purposely made as a biological weapon would mean that SARS-CoV-2 is a synthetic organism, which simultaneously implies that scientists can create synthetic viruses. How much truth is there in that implication? How far can current technologies go in terms of artificial microorganisms design? To answer these questions, we first need to understand the current state of synthetic biology as a field and acknowledge its limitations.

While making a new virus from scratch is not technically impossible, it would require a level of knowledge that is implausible to imagine in any scientific institution at present

Synthetic biology greatly relies on predictive models and computer simulated structures. Computer programmes use the information collected by years of research in molecular biology, which is stored in huge libraries of microorganisms, molecules and domains, to explore their potential when modified or combined in silico that is, on a computer. The idea of these programmes is to form combinations that, presumably, do not exist in nature in order to analyse potential structures for multiple uses. However, despite in silico models providing valuable information and saving time and money on in vitro experimentation, they are far from perfect.

Professor JA Davies, from the University of Edinburgh, published a paper in the open access journal Life that analysed the current flaws of the engineering approach in synthetic biology. While he recognises that this approach, based on the design-build-test dogma, is interesting and that relying on standard pre-existing parts simplifies the overall design of synthetic structures, it lacks biological understanding.1

In biology, every component from a microorganism has a metabolic cost, ie, the more components you add to a cell, the less energy the cell can direct to each part. Therefore, the fewer parts used for a function, the better. In genetic engineering this is a crucial consideration, since adding new genes normally supposes that pre-existing genes are deleted in order for the organism to be viable. In addition, the interactions between two different pre-existing parts might affect its original function. Hence, as Professor Davies argues, using a novel part, designed for a specific function, might prove easier than trying to reproduce the same function with two pre-existing ones. Ultimately, evolution is based on constant changes of previous structures induced by a huge number of factors and not on the combination of unchanging structures. So, while synthetic biology can cover a lot of unexplored possibilities, it is still far from being an almighty tool or competing with natural evolution.

This brings us to the next question: how capable are current scientific approaches in terms of virus engineering? Researchers can recreate an existing virus from scratch, and this is what many research teams have been attempting since the coronavirus started to spread in order to understand the virus better.2 However, creating a new one is another story. It is possible to create new viruses from original ones; though, there are some restrictions. As aforementioned, synthetic biology relies on the use of pre-existing parts, which means we would need to use different parts of existing viruses and assemble them in order to produce a new virus. Dr Robert F Garry, a microbiologist specialising in virology, commented in Business Insider that there is no consensus on what exactly makes a virus pathogenic.3 Therefore, while making a new virus from scratch is not technically impossible, it would require a level of knowledge that is implausible to imagine in any scientific institution at present. Nevertheless, our current knowledge of molecular science allows us to identify potentially man-made structures or microorganisms.4 This is possible because they are based on pre-existent parts; an engineered virus would have identifiable segments of DNA that belong to other viruses whose sequences are stored in libraries. This means that we should be able to identify if a new virus was artificially designed or is a product of natural evolution.

To study the case of the novel coronavirus, we need to have access to its genetic sequence. This has been a major advancement in epidemiology, as for previous pandemics researchers had to wait from months to years in order to study the microorganism responsible for the outbreak, whereas the structure of SARS-CoV-2 was available within weeks. By analysing its genetic structure, scientists have realised that the backbone of the virus is, indeed, a new one.5 However, this does not mean that the virus was not artificially made; we just know that the backbone was not copied from another virus.

What about prompting an existent virus to mutate? It could be that biotechnologists induced mutations to a known virus in order to produce a novel one, like what we see in nature. However, when scientists evaluated the structure of SARS-CoV-2 and compared it to other viral structures, the closest relative they found was SARS-CoV RaTG13, which showed a 96 percent similarity to the novel coronavirus.6 Although 96 percent may seem a lot, considering the size of SARS-CoV-2, which is close to 30,000 nucleotides long, this four percent difference is quite significant around 1,200 nucleotides.7

Studying evolution and natural processes is key for synthetic biology to expand and become an even more powerful tool

Nevertheless, there may still be some resistance to debunking certain theories. One might argue that, while using known parts of similar viruses, targeted mutations could have been applied to give the virus the ability to attach to human cells which is essentially what makes this virus able to infect humans. One of the most curious facts about the coronavirus is that the receptor binding domain the part that makes SARS-CoV-2 able to attach to human cells was simulated in silico once the sequence of the virus was made available. This sequence showed poor efficiency on the simulations, meaning that nature has found a mechanism that we had not been able to predict.3 If we put together all the facts and reflect on the fact that 75 percent of the new emerging diseases are from zoonotic origin, it appears the theories around SARS-CoV-2 being a man-made virus are quite unrealistic, to say the least.8

Something I have found interesting since the search of the origin of the SARS-CoV-2 started, is that we have confirmed that synthetic biology still has a long way to go. We still need to understand a lot about nature to get a bigger picture of how things work and to grasp all the possibilities that molecular biology has to offer. Studying the evolution of viruses not only benefits the epidemiologists, but also the synthetic biologists, who gain insights into how molecular interactions work. This newfound knowledge can be used to improve current models and propose frameworks for the creation of new molecules. Therefore, one can conclude that studying evolution and natural processes is key for synthetic biology to expand and become an even more powerful tool.

Marc Baiget Francesch is an MSc in Pharmaceutical Engineering and currently works as an Assistant Editor for the International Journal of Molecular Sciences. He also writes articles and innovation grants as a freelancer.

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The limits of synthetic biology through the origins of SARS-CoV-2 - Drug Target Review

CollPlant Biotechnologies Presents on the Use of Novel, Plant-Derived, Recombinant Human Collagen for Anti-Aging Therapies at the Science of Aging…

REHOVOT, Israel, Sept. 16, 2020 /PRNewswire/ --CollPlant (NASDAQ: CLGN) a regenerative and aesthetic medicine company, today announced that Dr. Nadav Orr, Vice President of R&D, presented a corporate overview on the dynamics of cellular aging during Session 3 of the Science of Aging Virtual Symposium 2020. The presentation was titled, "Use of Novel, Plant-Derived, Recombinant Human Collagen for Anti-Aging Therapies."

"We are proud to showcase our plant-derived, recombinant human collagen or rhCollagen platform technology at the exclusive Science of Aging Virtual Symposium 2020 alongside other innovative companies in the aesthetic medicine space," says Dr. Nadav Orr, Vice President of R&D, CollPlant. "Additionally, September is Healthy Aging Month, which presents the ultimate opportunity for us as a company to illuminate our revolutionary Skin Rejuvenation and Breast Implant product pipeline inclusive of our photocurable dermal fillers."

Data presented at the symposium demonstrated smooth injectability and a statistically significant enhancement in proliferation of normal human dermal fibroblasts (nHDF) for cells treated with a combination of hyaluronic acid and rhCollagen relative to HA only following an 8-day treatment period.

About CollPlant

CollPlant is a regenerative and aesthetic medicine company focused on 3D bioprinting of tissues and organs, and medical aesthetics. Our products are based on our rhCollagen (recombinant human collagen) that is produced with CollPlant's proprietary plant based genetic engineering technology.

Our products address indications for the diverse fields of tissue repair, aesthetics and organ manufacturing, and, we believe, are ushering in a new era in regenerative and aesthetic medicine.

Our flagship rhCollagen BioInk product line is ideal for 3D bioprinting of tissues and organs. In October 2018, we entered into a licensing agreement with United Therapeutics, whereby United Therapeutics is using CollPlant's BioInks in the manufacture of 3D bioprinted lungs for transplant in humans.

In January 2020, we also entered into a Joint Development Agreement with 3D Systems Corporation, or 3D Systems, pursuant to which we and 3D Systems jointly develop tissue and scaffold bioprinting processes for third party collaborators. Our industry collaboration also includes the Advanced Regenerative Manufacturing Institute, or ARMI.

For more information about CollPlant, visithttp://www.collplant.com.

Safe Harbor Statements

This press release may include forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements may include, but are not limited to, statements relating to CollPlant's objectives plans and strategies, as well as statements, other than historical facts, that address activities, events or developments that CollPlant intends, expects, projects, believes or anticipates will or may occur in the future. These statements are often characterized by terminology such as "believes," "hopes," "may," "anticipates," "should," "intends," "plans," "will," "expects," "estimates," "projects," "positioned," "strategy" and similar expressions and are based on assumptions and assessments made in light of management's experience and perception of historical trends, current conditions, expected future developments and other factors believed to be appropriate. Forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied in such statements.Many factors could cause CollPlant's actual activities or results to differ materially from the activities and results anticipated in forward-looking statements, including, but not limited to, the following: the Company's history of significant losses, its ability to continue as a going concern, and its need to raise additional capital and its inability to obtain additional capital on acceptable terms, or at all; the outbreak of coronavirus; the Company's expectations regarding the timing and cost of commencing clinical trials with respect to tissues and organs which are based on its rhCollagen based BioInk and products for medical aesthetics; the Company's ability to obtain favorable pre-clinical and clinical trial results; regulatory action with respect to rhCollagen based BioInk and medical aesthetics products including but not limited to acceptance of an application for marketing authorization review and approval of such application, and, if approved, the scope of the approved indication and labeling; commercial success and market acceptance of the Company's rhCollagen based products in 3D Bioprinting and medical aesthetics; the Company's ability to establish sales and marketing capabilities or enter into agreements with third parties and its reliance on third party distributors and resellers; the Company's ability to establish and maintain strategic partnerships and other corporate collaborations; the Company's reliance on third parties to conduct some or all aspects of its product manufacturing; the scope of protection the Company is able to establish and maintain for intellectual property rights and the Company's ability to operate its business without infringing the intellectual property rights of others; the overall global economic environment; the impact of competition and new technologies; general market, political, and economic conditions in the countries in which the Company operates; projected capital expenditures and liquidity; changes in the Company's strategy; and litigation and regulatory proceedings. More detailed information about the risks and uncertainties affecting CollPlant is contained under the heading "Risk Factors" included in CollPlant's most recent annual report on Form 20-F filed with the SEC, and in other filings that CollPlant has made and may make with the SEC in the future. The forward-looking statements contained in this press release are made as of the date of this press release and reflect CollPlant's current views with respect to future events, and CollPlant does not undertake and specifically disclaims any obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

Contact atCollPlant:

Eran Rotem Deputy CEO & CFO Tel: +972-73-2325600 Email: [emailprotected]

Sophia Ononye-Onyia, PhD MPH MBA Founder & CEO, The Sophia Consulting Firm Tel: +1-347-851-8641 Email: [emailprotected]

SOURCE CollPlant

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CollPlant Biotechnologies Presents on the Use of Novel, Plant-Derived, Recombinant Human Collagen for Anti-Aging Therapies at the Science of Aging...

Molecular Scissors Technology Market increasing demand with Industry Professionals: Cibus, Intellia Therapeutics, Inc., Recombinetics – The Daily…

Global Molecular Scissors Technology Market Report is an objective and in-depth study of the current state aimed at the major drivers, market strategies, and key players growth. The study also involves the important Achievements of the market, Research & Development, new product launch, product responses and regional growth of the leading competitors operating in the market on a universal and local scale. The structured analysis contains graphical as well as a diagrammatic representation of worldwide Molecular Scissors TechnologyMarket with its specific geographical regions.

[Due to the pandemic, we have included a special section on the Impact of COVID 19 on the @ Market which would mention How the Covid-19 is Affecting the Global Molecular Scissors Technology Market

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** The Values marked with XX is confidential data. To know more about CAGR figures fill in your information so that our business development executive can get in touch with you.

Global Molecular Scissors Technology(Thousands Units) and Revenue (Million USD) Market Split by Product Type such as Cas9, TALENs and MegaTALs, ZFN, Others,

The research study is segmented by Application such as Laboratory, Industrial Use, Public Services & Others with historical and projected market share and compounded annual growth rate.Global Molecular Scissors Technology by Region (2019-2028)

Geographically,this report is segmented into several key Regions, with production, consumption, revenue (million USD), and market share and growth rate of Molecular Scissors Technologyin these regions, from 2013to 2029(forecast), covering

Additionally, the export and import policies that can make an immediate impact on the Global Molecular Scissors Technology Market. This study contains a EXIM* related chapter on the Molecular Scissors Technologymarket and all its associated companies with their profiles, which gives valuable data pertaining to their outlook in terms of finances, product portfolios, investment plans, and marketing and business strategies. The report on the Global Molecular Scissors Technology Marketan important document for every market enthusiast, policymaker, investor, and player.

Key questions answered in this report Data Survey Report 2029

What will the market size be in 2029and what will the growth rate be?What are the key market trends?What is driving Global Molecular Scissors Technology Market?What are the challenges to market growth?Who are the key vendors in space?What are the key market trends impacting the growth of theGlobal Molecular Scissors Technology Market?What are the key outcomes of the five forces analysis of theGlobal Molecular Scissors Technology Market?

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There are 15 Chapters to display the Global Molecular Scissors Technology Market.

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Chapter 3, to display the Technical Data and Manufacturing Plants Analysis of Molecular Scissors Technology, Capacity and Commercial Production Date, Manufacturing Plants Distribution, R&D Status and Technology Source, Raw Materials Sources Analysis;

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Chapter 9, Market Trend Analysis, Regional Market Trend, Market Trend by Product Type Cas9, TALENs and MegaTALs, ZFN, Others,, Market Trend by Application Cell Line Engineering, Animal Genetic Engineering, Plant Genetic Engineering, Others;

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Molecular Scissors Technology Market increasing demand with Industry Professionals: Cibus, Intellia Therapeutics, Inc., Recombinetics - The Daily...

Novavax Announces COVID-19 Vaccine Manufacturing Agreement with Serum Institute of India, Increasing Novavax’ Global Production Capacity to Over 2…

GAITHERSBURG, Md., Sept. 15, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Novavax, Inc. (Nasdaq: NVAX), a late-stage biotechnology company developing next-generation vaccines for serious infectious diseases, today announced an amendment to its existing agreement with Serum Institute of India Private Limited (SIIPL) under which SIIPL will also manufacture the antigen component of NVXCoV2373, Novavax COVID19 vaccine candidate. With this agreement, Novavax increases its manufacturing capacity of NVX-CoV2373 to over two billion doses annually, when all planned capacity has been brought online by mid-2021. NVXCoV2373 is a stable, prefusion protein made using Novavax recombinant protein nanoparticle technology and includes Novavax proprietary MatrixM adjuvant.

Todays agreement with Serum Institute enhances Novavax commitment to equitable global delivery of our COVID-19 vaccine. With this arrangement, we have now put in place a global supply chain that includes the recently acquired Praha Vaccines and partnerships with leading biologics manufacturers, enabling production on three continents, said Stanley C. Erck, President and Chief Executive Officer of Novavax. We continue to work with extraordinary urgency to develop our vaccine, now in Phase 2 clinical trials, and for which we anticipate starting Phase 3 efficacy trials around the world in the coming weeks.

The agreement with SIIPL augments a global supply chain that will deliver over two billion doses of NVX-CoV2373 annually as of 2021.

The antigen component of NVX-CoV2373 is being manufactured at Novavax CZ in Bohumil, Czech Republic (formerly Praha Vaccines), as well as at the following partnered manufacturing sites:

Novavax Matrix-M adjuvant is now being manufactured at Novavax AB in Uppsala, Sweden and the following partnered manufacturing sites:

Signing of the manufacturing agreement with Novavax for NVX-CoV2373 is another great milestone for both companies, which will further strengthen our existing relationship. SIIPL expertise to scale-up and manufacture NVX-CoV2373 will help ensure the supply of this most-needed vaccine, said Adar Poonawalla, Chief Executive Officer of Serum Institute of India.

About NVX-CoV2373

NVXCoV2373 is a vaccine candidate engineered from the genetic sequence of SARSCoV2, the virus that causes COVID-19 disease. NVXCoV2373 was created using Novavax recombinant nanoparticle technology to generate antigen derived from the coronavirus spike (S) protein and contains Novavax patented saponin-based Matrix-M adjuvant to enhance the immune response and stimulate high levels of neutralizing antibodies. In preclinical trials, NVXCoV2373 demonstrated indication of antibodies that block binding of spike protein to receptors targeted by the virus, a critical aspect for effective vaccine protection. In its Phase 1 portion of the Phase 1/2 clinical trial, NVXCoV2373 was generally well-tolerated and elicited robust antibody responses numerically superior to that seen in human convalescent sera. Phase 2 clinical trials began in August 2020. Novavax has secured $2 billion in funding for its global coronavirus vaccine program, including up to $388 million in funding from the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI).

About Matrix-M

Novavax patented saponin-based Matrix-M adjuvant has demonstrated a potent and well-tolerated effect by stimulating the entry of antigen-presenting cells into the injection site and enhancing antigen presentation in local lymph nodes, boosting immune response.

About Novavax

Novavax, Inc. (Nasdaq:NVAX) is a late-stage biotechnology company that promotes improved health globally through the discovery, development, and commercialization of innovative vaccines to prevent serious infectious diseases. Novavax is undergoing clinical trials for NVX-CoV2373, its vaccine candidate against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. NanoFlu, its quadrivalent influenza nanoparticle vaccine, met all primary objectives in its pivotal Phase 3 clinical trial in older adults. Both vaccine candidates incorporate Novavax proprietary saponin-based Matrix-M adjuvant in order to enhance the immune response and stimulate high levels of neutralizing antibodies. Novavax is a leading innovator of recombinant vaccines; its proprietary recombinant technology platform combines the power and speed of genetic engineering to efficiently produce highly immunogenic nanoparticles in order to address urgent global health needs.

For more information, visit http://www.novavax.com and connect with us on Twitter and LinkedIn.

About Serum Institute of India

Serum Institute of India Pvt. Ltd. was founded in 1966 by Dr. Cyrus Poonawalla with a mission of manufacturing life-saving immuno-biologics. Serum is the world's largest vaccine manufacturer by number of doses produced and sold globally (more than 1.3 billion doses). It is estimated that about 65% of the children in the world receive at least one vaccine manufactured by Serum Institute. Vaccines manufactured by Serum are accredited by the World Health Organization, Geneva and are being used in approximately 170 countries across the globe.

Serum is ranked as India's No. 1 biotechnology company, manufacturing highly specialized lifesaving biologics like vaccines using cutting edge genetic and cell-based technologies, antisera and other medical specialties.

The philanthropic philosophy of Serum continues with its work on newer vaccines and biologicals.

Learn more about Serum Institute of India at https://www.seruminstitute.com/.

About CEPI

CEPI is an innovative partnership between public, private, philanthropic, and civil society organizations, launched at Davos in 2017, to develop vaccines to stop future epidemics. CEPI has moved with great urgency and in coordination with WHO in response to the emergence of COVID-19. CEPI has initiated 9 partnerships to develop vaccines against the novel coronavirus. The programs will leverage rapid response platforms already supported by CEPI as well as new partnerships. The aim is to advance COVID-19 vaccine candidates into clinical testing as quickly as possible.

Before the emergence of COVID-19 CEPI's priority diseases included Ebola virus, Lassa virus, Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus, Nipah virus, Rift Valley Fever and Chikungunya virus. CEPI also invested in platform technologies that can be used for rapid vaccine and immunoprophylactic development against unknown pathogens (Disease X).

Novavax Forward-Looking Statements

Statements herein relating to the future of Novavax and the ongoing development of its vaccine and adjuvant products are forward-looking statements. Novavax cautions that these forward-looking statements are subject to numerous risks and uncertainties, which could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such statements. These risks and uncertainties include those identified under the heading Risk Factors in the Novavax Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2019, and Quarterly Report on Form 8-K for the period ended June 30, 2020, as filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). We caution investors not to place considerable reliance on forward-looking statements contained in this press release. You are encouraged to read our filings with the SEC, available at sec.gov, for a discussion of these and other risks and uncertainties. The forward-looking statements in this press release speak only as of the date of this document, and we undertake no obligation to update or revise any of the statements. Our business is subject to substantial risks and uncertainties, including those referenced above. Investors, potential investors, and others should give careful consideration to these risks and uncertainties.

Contacts:

Novavax

InvestorsSilvia Taylor and Erika Trahanir@novavax.com240-268-2022

MediaBrandzone/KOGS CommunicationEdna Kaplankaplan@kogspr.com617-974-8659

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Novavax Announces COVID-19 Vaccine Manufacturing Agreement with Serum Institute of India, Increasing Novavax' Global Production Capacity to Over 2...

Its in our genes: What is aiding Indias low mortality rate – National Herald

"The genetic ancestry of most South Asians can be traced to West Eurasian populations rather than with East Eurasians, whereas for this gene, the result is other way round," said Prof. George van Driem of University of Bern, Switzerland, one of the experts on the team in the paper.

In this type of analysis, several DNA fragments are compared rather than few mutations as populations that share more DNA chunks are considered to be closer, said Chaubey.

"The match of DNA fragments of South Asians with East Asians suggests that the entry gate of Corona virus among South Asians will be more similar to that of East Asians rather than that of Europeans or Americans. This also explains the low mortality rate in South Asia," he explained.

The second important finding is about two major mutations which are responsible for strengthening the entry point of the Coronavirus among South Asians. "Thus, this paper adds important potential implications to understanding the transmission patterns of Coronavirus in various populations across the world," said Anshika Srivastava, one of the authors of the paper.

Rudra Pandey and Prajwal Singh from BHU, Avinash Rasalkar, Pankaj Srivastava from Sagar Central University, Rakesh Tamang from Calcutta University and Pramod Kumar from National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) were also involved in this research.

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Its in our genes: What is aiding Indias low mortality rate - National Herald

The State Of Educational Travel In a World Gone Virtual – Skift

Educational travel has largely kept under the radar since the pandemic began, but recently made the headlines after one of the largest specialist agencies in the U.S. filed for bankruptcy.

Lakeland Tours LLC, parent company of WorldStrides,filed a Chapter 11 petition last month. WorldStrides operates educational trips for 550,000 students annually, partnering with 7,000 schools and 800 universities around the world.

But with those institutions closed and the majority of field trips and other types of travel canceled, the company had to issue refunds. It has now agreed to a recapitalization plan with shareholders and lenders.

A spokesperson told Skift: This recapitalization is a positive development for us overall as it helps to reduce our debt and provide significant new financing.

Its a niche but multifaceted sector. Travel can take the form of exchanges, with pupils studying in another country, or field trips. Theres also academic travel, such as teachers attending conferences or professors carrying out research projects.

In WorldStrides case, it also offers language immersion, sports travel and career exploration, which are programs for high-achieving school students to get a taste of further education at a college campus.

Universities and colleges certainly havent been immune to the global restrictions but they have been afforded some privileges.

Like international corporations shutting down business travel, so too did educational institutions go into lockdown. At the University of Wisconsin-Madison, in the U.S., all university-sponsored travel outside of Wisconsin or by air within the state remains cancelled until further notice, according to its website.

The policy states that these restrictions are in place for all employees, students and registered student organizations. Some limited cases of travel by ground and air outside of Wisconsin, or by air within the state, may be approved by vice chancellors, academic deans and research center directors.

Many institutions will have cancelled their exchange programs this year. Picture: Mikael Kristenson, Unsplash

But depending on the country, some institutions are being granted more leniency. Australia, for example, enjoys the revenue overseas students bring in, and as far back as April declared it would keep its borders open for education travel, but shut out international tourists. International education is its fourth-largest foreign exchange earner, worth $26.14 billion a year.

Meanwhile, in the U.S., the State Department announced in July that foreign students coming from Europe would be exempt from a travel ban.

In Hong Kong, Connexus Travel was experiencing a slowdown in business long before the pandemic started, CEO Gloria Slethaug told Skift, as bookings dropped following a series of anti-government protests. Those images of demonstrators in the airport, beamed on news channels across the world, didnt help either.

But educational travel proved to be a lifeline, because Hong Kong subsidizes overseas travel for schools. These bookings havent stopped, and Slethaug even believes Connexus will grow its market share over the course of the year.

Its against this backdrop that specialist travel agencies are being challenged.

A lot of universities that have an international focus are still trying to bring students over, in a roundabout way, said Christopher Hellawell, director of account management at Diversity Travel. Obviously the capacity isnt there to bring 400 students from China here to the UK, so theyve been looking into charter aircraft to facilitate that.

A couple of universities have done this, and were also talking to some of our clients. But there are complexities at both ends, around quarantines. And also chartering a plane and landing it in China poses its own challenges as well.

Another specialist has reacted by postponing travel arrangements, and adjusting cancellation policies.

Since the announcement of the March 11 travel restrictions, we have offered every customer the chance to move their tour to another date, thereby protecting every dollar of their investment, international education company EF Education First said in a statement, in relation to its EF Educational Toursdivision. At this time, the majority of our 2020 tour groups have opted to accept flexible travel vouchers, allowing them to rebook their educational tours at no penalty or added cost.

And like most educational travel providers, EF Education First is also navigating the new world of hygiene protocols, and has set up safety hubs teams located domestically and internationally that make recommendations about how various parts of its travel experiences will be adjusted in response to the pandemic. EF has also signed on to the World Travel & Tourism Councils Safe Travels Protocols.

In the long term, the education travel sector will also be assessing the Zoom effect, and Hellawell noted many institutions quickly adapted to video conference-style teaching.

The biggest piece for us is that a lot of bookings in the education sector are conference and events travel, he added. The pandemics impact could be large for us if it moves online, or takes a long time to get back. For some universities, academic travel makes up 40 percent of their travel spend.

For now, the good news is that the fast-tracking of foreign student travel could kick-start a wider recovery welcome green shoots of international recovery and potential valuable lessons for other agencies to learn from. At the same time, how students themselves respond will determine how quickly the industry bounces back.

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Photo Credit: Some countries are waiving travel restrictions for overseas students. StephanieHau / Unsplash

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The State Of Educational Travel In a World Gone Virtual - Skift


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