Latest From Biotech Now

Mito What???

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Mitochondrial Disease: The Most Common Disease You’ve Probably Never Heard of… About 20 years ago, mitochondrial disease was virtually unheard of.  Just 10 years ago, it was considered rare. Today, according to NORD, a disease is considered rare when less than 200,000 people are affected.  Mitochondrial disease is not a single disease, but rather an entire umbrella of rare diseases.  For example, Alpers disease and Barth syndrome are very different and rare forms of mitochondrial Read More >

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Playing Detective With Checkpoint Therapies

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Three words are on the lips of everyone following new developments in cancer therapies: checkpoint inhibitor drugs. Simply put, investigators believe they have figured out a way to dismantle the mechanism used by cancer cells to stay hidden from T-cells, a type of specialized immune cell. CTLA-4 is a protein on the surface of T-cells that acts as an “off” switch for the sleuthing T-cells. It signals them to remain in a resting state, kind of like Read More >

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BIO Announces New Award to Honor Women in the Field Of Industrial Biotechnology

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BIO recently announced the creation of the BIO Rosalind Franklin Award for Leadership in Industrial Biotechnology. This award will be presented to an outstanding woman in the industrial biotechnology sector who has made significant contributions to the advancement of the biobased economy and biotech innovation. The winner will be awarded this honor at the 2014 Pacific Rim Summit on Industrial Biotech & Bioenergy, to be held December 7-9, 2014 in San Diego, California. The award is Read More >

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What to Watch: Vaccines – Calling the Shots

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Recently, PBS’s NOVA had an episode on the reemergence of diseases (including measles, whooping cough, and mumps) that had previously been largely eradicated in the US by vaccines, in part because nervous parents are skipping their children’s shots. At least ten percent of parents delay or skip some recommended vaccines, and one percent don’t vaccinate at all. What’s driving people away, and what are the consequences? Those are the questions explored in Vaccines — Calling Read More >

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Herbicides and 2, 4-D: Cutting Through the Controversy

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A number of media outlets reported on last week’s decision by the USDA to approve the use of genetically modified corn and soybean seeds that are resistant to the herbicide known as 2, 4-D. Farmers and growers, anxious for new tools in the ever-evolving fight against weeds, have been long awaiting the approval. The American Soybean Association, for example, issued a statement cheering the move and calling on the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to now Read More >

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