biology

  • Joe Lonsdale pours $4.55M for alcohol IoT startup Nectar

    Joe Lonsdale pours $4.55M for alcohol IoT startup Nectar

    Nationally, bars today lose billions of dollars from improperly managed alcohol inventory. These losses add up quickly as a result of oversized pours, spills and even theft. Nectar, a stealth connected-device startup operating out of a Palo Alto dentist’s office (of all places), just locked down a $4.55 million seed funding round from the likes of Joe Lonsdale (8VC + Palantir), Lior… Read More

  • Researchers simulate a dog nose to help smell bombs, cancer, pizza

    Researchers simulate a dog nose to help smell bombs, cancer, pizza

    Like most of us, researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology had always wondered why dogs had wet noses. Further, they wondered why they could sense vapors better, allowing them to sniff out bombs, drugs, and even cancer. They tested the second question by 3D printing a dog’s nose including the “nasal vestibule, external nose, lower jaw, and about 10 cm of… Read More

  • InsideDNA looks deep into DNA to find the best drug targets

    Using a computational platform and your DNA, bioinformatics startup InsideDNA aims to determine the right drug interaction for your body. The startup began three years ago as a cloud-based platform for genomics analysis called InsideDNA Research, which brought optimized storage and reproducible research to scientists through cloud computing. But it soon saw a broader problem in the… Read More

  • Bio
    Sean Parker is partnering with the Cancer Research Institute to find a cancer vaccine

    Sean Parker is partnering with the Cancer Research Institute to find a cancer vaccine

    Cancerous tumors carry certain markers called neoantigens and Facebook billionaire Sean Parker wants to use algorithms to find them. To do so, the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy will work with more than 30 public and private pharmaceutical, biotech, cancer research nonprofits and academic institutions through a partnership with the Cancer Research Institute to use predictive… Read More

  • Siren Care makes a “smart” sock to track diabetic health

    Siren Care makes a “smart” sock to track diabetic health

    Diabetic health tracking startup Siren Care has created smart socks that use temperature sensors to detect inflammation — and therefore injury — in realtime for diabetics. Co-founder Ran Ma was working on growing biomass to grow back skin that had been damaged while at Northwestern University when she started learning how to treat diabetic feet and thought of making a… Read More

  • Bio
    Chinese scientists CRISPR a human for the first time

    Chinese scientists CRISPR a human for the first time

    A group of Chinese scientists injected a human being with cells genetically edited using CRISPR-Cas9 technology. This is the first time CRISPR has been used on a fully formed adult human and it’s encouraged a biomedical battle between China and the United States. The scientists from China are hoping the genetically edited cells will help their patient fend off a virulent type of… Read More

  • Bio
    Oral arguments for who owns CRISPR-Cas9 start next month

    Oral arguments for who owns CRISPR-Cas9 start next month

    The date has been set for oral arguments to begin over who owns the patent rights to the gene-editing wonder CRISPR-Cas9. Berkeley’s Jennifer Doudna and her colleague from the Max Planck Institute Emmanuelle Charpentier head to court on December 6th to face off against MIT’s Feng Zhang and present their argument before three US Patent and Trademark Office judges on why… Read More

  • Bio
    Genetics startup Genos wants to pay you for your DNA data

    Genetics startup Genos wants to pay you for your DNA data

    The first whole human genome sequencing cost a whopping $2.7 billion. That didn’t bode well for making any breakthroughs on genetic disorders. Luckily, the cost has dropped dramatically since then, leading to a new breed of consumer genetics startups taking a deeper dive into all the double helix’s that make up you. Genos is one of those startups using a next-generation… Read More

  • Bio
    Gut health startup uBiome has raised $15.5 million and is launching a DNA test for your poop

    Gut health startup uBiome has raised $15.5 million and is launching a DNA test for your poop

    There are a lot of startups looking at your DNA these days but uBiome stands out as unique among them for testing the DNA of microorganisms found in your fecal matter. These bugs have a lot to do with your health and the startup is launching a clinical screening test called SmartGut to sequence the DNA of those microbes. uBiome tells TechCrunch it has also closed on $15.5 million in Series… Read More

  • 23andMe reportedly no longer working on next-gen sequencing

    23andMe reportedly no longer working on next-gen sequencing

    23andMe won’t continue with next-generation DNA sequencing and has reportedly laid off the lab working on the project. About half-a-dozen workers were laid off from the Salt Lake City, Utah-based lab, according to BuzzFeed, which first reported the news. By our own count based on LinkedIn, at least five members of the lab have been let go, including its chief medical officer, Dr. Read More

  • Bio
    Scientists made babies from mouse skin cells

    Scientists made babies from mouse skin cells

    A group of Japanese scientists from Kyushu University has successfully turned mouse skin cells into baby mice without the use of egg cells. The technology skips over the usual method of fertilizing egg cells with sperm and instead uses a method to grow the cells with the necessary chromosomal pairs needed for life to begin. This is the first time something like this has ever been achieved… Read More

  • Bio
    CRISPR loses Nobel to tiny machines

    CRISPR loses Nobel to tiny machines

    CRISPR, the gene-editing technology revolutionizing the biotech industry, has failed to take home the Nobel prize in chemistry for the second year in a row. Instead, the award went to Jean-Pierre Sauvage, J. Fraser Stoddart, and Bernard L. Feringa – three men who developed the world’s smallest machines using molecular physics. Each will share equally in the 8 million Swedish kronor… Read More

  • Bio
    23andMe’s Anne Wojcicki has a plan to include better genetic data from people of color

    23andMe’s Anne Wojcicki has a plan to include better genetic data from people of color

    One of the first consumer genetic testing companies, 23andMe says it aims to be at the forefront in gathering genetically diverse data throughout the world. The company just launched a standalone $99 ancestry service today as a way to offer those interested in their genetic lineage the ability to trace ancestors and relatives just by spitting into a tube. Ancestral DNA is something founder… Read More

  • Bio
    One professor’s quest to 3D scan every fish in the sea

    One professor’s quest to 3D scan every fish in the sea

    If you were wondering what a mottled sculpin looks like, there are plenty of pictures available online. But while they may satisfy a curious tidepooler, the discerning ichthyologist demands more. That’s why a professor at the University of Washington is getting full 3D scans of every fish in the sea — every species, anyway. Read More

  • EnviroStat gadget holds cells inside force field


    Force fields aren’t just used to obstruct the TMNT, they are actually being used by scientists to improve research. A new gadget called EnviroStat (“Environment”+”Constant”) can hold individual cells in an electric force field, potentially leading to improvements in drug trials or even biofuel production. EnviroStat was developed by Andreas Schmid and his… Read More

  • Spartan DX: Come for the DNA Testing, Stay for the iPod Nano

    DNA testers have historically been clunky devices saddled with heavy instruction manuals and even heavier price tags. I had a girlfriend who used to run DNA tests things and it looked like she was making espresso with one of those eagle-topped coffee makers. So what would you say about a standalone device that looks like a VHS tape rewinder and costs $15K? If you’re a biochemist… Read More