biotechnology

  • 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

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    Biotech startup Zymergen nabs $130 million from Softbank

    Biotech startup Zymergen nabs $130 million from Softbank

    Zymergen, a Bay Area startup creating all sorts of materials from genetically altered microbes, just raised $130 million in Series B funding from Softbank. For those unfamiliar, the company makes crazy new materials out of genetically altered microbes. It was busy buying up a bunch of robots to make these microbes for mass production of various materials during its last round of funding. CEO… Read More

  • The biotech empires of Silicon Valley and Europe Crunch Network

    The biotech empires of Silicon Valley and Europe

    As biotechnology gains prominence among investors, two hubs have emerged as hotbeds of innovation for the resurgent industry. While the two-square-mile patch of South San Francisco bustles with more than 70 biotech firms, including Genentech, Amgen and Exelixis, an equally influential geography has grown along the Lemanic Arc of Switzerland and into the heart of Basel, where pharma… Read More

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    A federal safety board just OK’d the first CRISPR trial to genetically alter humans

    A federal safety board just OK’d the first CRISPR trial to genetically alter humans

    In the spring of 2015, a group of Chinese scientists modified the DNA of 54 embryos using CRISPR/Cas 9 technology. Twenty-eight of those embryos were successful, but 26 — nearly half of them — failed, setting off a heated debate throughout the scientific community on the ethics of altering human genes. Regulators don’t currently allow the use of CRISPR on human DNA in the… Read More

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    Ginkgo Bioworks grabs $100 million in financing to buy a whole lot of synthetic DNA

    Ginkgo Bioworks grabs $100 million in financing to buy a whole lot of synthetic DNA

    Ginko Bioworks, the Boston-based biotech startup making all sorts of scents and flavors from microbugs, has pulled in $100 million in Series C funding to obtain 600 million base pairs of manufactured DNA – or what Ginkgo claims is the “largest amount of synthetic DNA ever purchased.” The startup plans to use the millions of genetic base pairs to test its production metal in… Read More

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    Genetics startup Twist Bioscience is working with Microsoft to store the world’s data in DNA

    Genetics startup Twist Bioscience is working with Microsoft to store the world’s data in DNA

    Twist Bioscience, a startup making and using synthetic DNA to store digital data, just struck a contract with Microsoft and the University of Washington to encode vast amounts of information on synthetic genes. Big data means business and the company able to gather a lot of it is very valuable to investors and stockholders. But that data needs to be stored somewhere and can cost a lot for… Read More

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    CRISPR creates a way out of regulation for GMO food

    CRISPR creates a way out of regulation for GMO food

    Genetically modified crops are in the midst of a metamorphosis thanks to new gene-editing technology. The latest example is a white button mushroom genetically edited using CRISPR, or the ability to snip out and rearrange parts of an organism’s DNA. The U.S. Department of Agriculture says it won’t regulate the mushroom because it doesn’t pose a possible threat like GMO… Read More

  • Bio
    Citizen scientists, you can now DIY your own DNA analysis with Bento Lab

    Citizen scientists, you can now DIY your own DNA analysis with Bento Lab

    Want to know if you have the “athlete gene” or if you’re actually related to the weirdos who claim you as a family member? Get your collection tubes ready, citizen scientists, Bento Lab’s DIY DNA analysis kit is here and ready for the in-home lab. Normally you’d order a kit somewhere like 23andMe, spit in a tube and mail it off for results in six to eight weeks. Read More

  • Bio
    Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen pledges $100 million toward cutting-edge biotech research

    Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen pledges $100 million toward cutting-edge biotech research

    Investor, entrepreneur, billionaire and Bill Gates’ other half in the founding of Microsoft Paul Allen has announced a $100 million investment in the Paul G. Allen Frontiers Group, a fund focusing on the future of biotech research. Allen, who is worth about $15.3 billion, announced the investment today at the National Academy of Sciences in Washington, D.C. The purpose of this… Read More