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Archive for the ‘Genetic Engineering’ Category

EU’s refusal to permit GMO crops led to millions of tonnes of additional CO2, scientists reveal – Alliance for Science – Alliance for Science

Sunday, February 14th, 2021

Europes refusal to permit its farmers to cultivate genetically engineered (GE) crops led to the avoidable emission of millions of tonnes of climate-damaging carbon dioxide, a new scientific analysis reveals.

The opportunity cost of the EUs refusal to allow cultivation of GE varieties of key crops currently totals 33 million tonnes of CO2 per year, the experts say.

This is equivalent to 7.5 percent of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the entire European agricultural sector, or roughly what might be emitted each year by 10-20 coal-fired power stations.

Given that farmers in North and South America adopted GE crops from the late 1990s onward, this analysis implies that over subsequent decades the additional carbon emitted due to the EUs opposition to genetic engineering will likely be in the hundreds of millions of tonnes.

The findings result from from the fact that GE versions of major crops produce a higher yield because they can better resist damage from insects and competition from weeds.

With Europes farmers condemned to lower total agricultural yields because of GE crop non-adoption, more farmland globally has to be kept in production or plowed up which otherwise might be available for forests to sequester carbon in trees and soil.

The new analysis will make uncomfortable reading for environmental groups that have long combined advocacy for climate mitigation with a steadfast opposition to GMOs because it implies that their opposition to genetic engineering might be substantially worsening the climate emergency.

The paper is co-authored by Emma Kovak and Dan Blaustein-Rejto both from the California-based ecomodernist think tank the Breakthrough Institute and Matin Qaim, from the University of Goettingen, Germany. It is published as a pre-print on the bioRxiv server in advance of formal peer review.

The calculation was made by estimating to what extent GHG emissions could have been avoided if the EUs level of adoption of GE varieties of five major crops (maize, soybean, cotton, canola and sugar beet) in 2017 had been equal to that of the United States.

Our results suggest that GHG emissions reductions from the yield increases in GE crops are substantial and should be included in future analyses, writes lead author Kovak.

The researchers also note that their findings are particularly relevant right now because a possible reassessment of the EUs harsh regulatory regime for biotech crops is currently underway.

However the EUs current policy trend pushes in the opposite direction. As Kovak explains, Europes new Farm-to-Fork Strategy under the European Green Deal aims to expand organic farming, which has lower yields and would be associated with significant increases in global GHG emissions through causing land-use change elsewhere.

She concludes: Rather than offshoring environmental damage to other nations, as the European Green Deal does, the EU should increase agricultural productivity through embracing new crop technologies, thus contributing to global environmental benefits.

The authors, however, caution that their assumptions mean that there are substantial uncertainties in the analysis. They assume, for instance, that increased yields in Europe would lead to a proportionate decrease in production elsewhere.

In reality, while the land-sparing effects of crop yield increases are well established, the magnitude can vary widely according to differing circumstances.

However, uncertainties also mean that the estimated annual GHG savings of 33 million tonnes could on the other hand be a big underestimate. In particular, the analysis does not take into account Europes influence on Africa and Asia, where the EUs refusal to allow farmers to cultivate GE crops has been hugely influential.

Nor does it take into consideration what might have happened if crops more widely grown in Europe than in North America in particular wheat and barley had been genetically engineered to allow similar yield improvements as have been seen in maize, cotton and soy.

At the moment no GE varities of wheat or barley are cultivated widely due to intense and long-standing opposition from politicians and anti-GMO activists. If these crops had been available to farmers in standard GE insect- and weed-resistant varieties, Europes agricultural productivity might have increased substantially.

The researchers conclude on a hopeful note, pointing out that new gene editing technologies will likely further increase the diversity of desirable crop-trait combinations. If these crops are permitted in Europe and elsewhere, huge climate mitigation benefits from future GE crops might still be realized.

Image: European Commission

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New species of fly named after Singanallur Tank – The Hindu

Sunday, February 14th, 2021

A new species of fly, which was recently identified by researchers at the Singanallur Tank, has been named after the water body.

The insect was named Asphondylia singanallurensis in the research paper published in the Zootaxa journal in March 2020. The authors said in the paper that they collected the leaves of jujube shrub (Ziziphus jujuba) growing near the Singanallur Tank during their field visits between 2015 and 2018, that contained leaf galls (abnormal growth on leaves) on the surfaces.

The leaves were dissected in a laboratory and the causative agent for the galls was identified to be a fly from the Cecidomyiidae family, which are commonly known as gall midges. Upon further research which also involved DNA sequencing, the insect was confirmed to be a unique species, according to the research paper.

The paper was authored by Duraikannu Vasanthakumar and Radheshyam M. Sharma from Zoological Survey of India (ZSI) - Western Regional Centre (WRC) in Pune, Senthilkumar Palanisamy from the Department of Genetic Engineering, SRM Institute of Science and Technology, Kattankulathur and Vinny R. Peter from Centre for Urban Biodiversity Conservation and Education (CUBE).

Mr. Vasanthakumar, Senior Zoological Assistant at ZSI - WRC Pune, said there were about 396 different species of flies under the Cecidomyiidae family prior to the discovery of this new species. This particular species has only been reported from Singanallur Tank so far, he told The Hindu on Sunday. Despite the abundance of the jujube shrub (ilanthai in Tamil) in the Western Ghats region, this particular fly has not been reported anywhere so far. Further research regarding the ecological parameters and the life cycle of Asphondylia singanallurensis are being carried out, he noted.

According to Ms. Peter, four more insects have been recently found at Singanallur Tank by researchers and efforts to ascertain whether these are unique species are under way.

In 2017, the Coimbatore Corporation declared the 288-acre Singanallur Tank as a biodiversity conservation zone owing to its rich biodiversity.

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Son of Monarchs Pays Homage to the Beauty of Migration – Sierra Magazine

Sunday, February 14th, 2021

To some, a film about a Mexican scientists spiritual transformation into a butterfly may seem strange. But to Alexis Gambis, its personal. Born to a painter and a filmmaker, Gambis rebelled against a career in art. But after completing a PhD in molecular biology and genetics, he sought ways to bridge his academic research with visual storytelling. I was really drawn to biology from an aesthetic and narrative point of view, Gambis told Sierra.

The result is Son of Monarchs, written and directed by Gambis. It is the recipient of the Alfred P. Sloan Prize, awarded to a feature film focused on science and technology, and recently premiered at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival.

The film follows Mendel (played by Tenoch Huerta), an evolutionary biologist who leaves Mexico for New York to study how the genetic engineering tool CRISPR can alter the physical characteristics of butterflies. After discovering that his grandmother has passed away, Mendel travels to Mexico to attend her funeral in Michoacn, home to the Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve. Whats meant to be a two-day visit reconnects him with old friends and family as well as the trauma that drove him away from the place he once called home.

Much of the film unfolds through flashbacks, blurring the lines between Mendels childhood in Michoacn and his life in New York. Son of Monarchs explores Mendels psychic transformation as he reconciles the loss of his parents, the loss of his culture, and ultimately, the loss of himself.

Mendel as a child, played by Kaarlo Isaacs. | Photo courtesy of Sundance Institute/Alexis Gambis

Although Son of Monarchs explores a range of ideas, Gambis weaves them together with subtle precision. The film is layered with sharp observations on science, spirituality, the environment, and migration. The butterfly migrations of Mendels childhood are diminished by deforestation and mining, even as local schoolchildren memorize and reenact the passage of the monarchs from North America to Mexico and perform climate change through folklore dance (the childrens reenactment is based on a real performance that Gambis saw while in Mexico). As the director, I don't want to take a stance and say, Stop destroying the butterfly forest!" Gambis said. I don't want to preach, because I feel that these conversations are so complicated.

In the film, science and spirituality are not juxtaposed but in conversation with one another. When Mendel embraces his animal spirit during an ancestral ceremony or gazes into his microscope to extract butterfly pigment, the goal of understanding the world is the same.

The film conveys the mundanity of lab work without downplaying its wonder. Oftentimes, scientific pursuit and research are separated from the spiritual aspect, Gambis said. But I feel like they're very much connected. The idea of being in a laboratory and trying to understand the building blocks of life and how things work is the utmost kind of spiritual process.

Son of Monarchs avoids the dramatization of planetary disruption thats common in the science fiction genre (think Snowpiercer, Annihilation, and The Martian). There's this obsession with sensationalizing science where it brings you into these dystopian worlds, Gambis said. I love those films, but I feel like there needs to be room for other types of film where the science is the backdrop.... I don't want the character to suddenly say, Oh, I made a discovery! I would rather watch him work in the lab in silence. It's part of who he is. He doesn't need to speak about it.

Just as science is innate to Mendel, so is his hybrid identity as a Latino immigrant living in between cultures. The film expands the definition of what it means to be an immigrant by deviating from reductive tropes of Latin American migration, like the sacrificial immigrant who risks it all for a better life. What you see in films about Latinos and Mexicans is very stereotypical, Gambis said. "It's usually about crossing the border. And here, it's about Mexican scientists who actually return to Mexico and live between worlds."

Mendel talks butterflies with his girlfriend (played by Alexia Rasmussen) in New York City. | Photo courtesy of Sundance Institute/Alexis Gambis

If you go to a research lab today, it's full of people from around the world that come and migrate for work reasons, Gambis said. It's a different type of migration that happens in the US. Mendels story is an intimate look into the emotional consequences that follow a sovereign choice, and its his negotiation between identity and belonging that makes this film so visceral.

Gambis hopes that viewers walk away from Son of Monarchs with a deeper appreciation of how we are all animals, not only within a specific ecosystem but also as creatures who are as dependent on migration as other species. As a Brooklyn-based immigrant who wrestles with the paradox of cultural belongingtorn between his French, Venezuelan, and American identitieshe encourages the audience to think critically about who they are and where they come from.

I hope people understand that migration is fluid, Gambis said. You can leave and come back. Maybe we don't know where Mendel ends up, but he floats like a butterfly. He's in Mexico, hes in New Yorkthere's no permanence. It's all cyclical. Of course, it's a certain type of migration, because there are some [migrants] that can't go back home. But I want to emphasize that in the animal world, migration is cyclical, and I hope people can relate to that, and to embrace that migration is beautiful.

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Podcast: TIME’s 2020 Kid of the Year, Gitanjali Rao – All Together – Society of Women Engineers

Sunday, February 14th, 2021

Get ready to be inspired by our latest SWE podcast with TIMEs 2020 Kid of the Year, Gitanjali Rao. Interviewed by the likes of Angelina Jolie and Ellen DeGeneres, Gitanjali has become quite the starand for good reason. At just 15 years old, this brilliant young innovator has designed and built technology and tools that address serious issues like water contamination, opioid addiction and cyberbullying.

Find our SWE Diverse podcasts on SoundCloud, iTunes, Apple Podcasts and more.

Get to know Gitanjali and her innovations in this SWE Diverse episode, hosted by SWE 2020 Achievement Award recipient Jayshree Seth, chief science advocate at 3M. We promise, itll leave you feeling inspired and eager to help the world through engineering.

Each and every one of us has the power to change the world.

-Gitanjali Rao

Gitanjali Rao was recognized as Discovery Education 3M Americas Top Young Scientist in 2017 and received an EPA Presidential award for inventing her device Tethysan early lead detection tool. Gitanjali is also the inventor of Epionea device for early diagnosis of prescription opioid addiction using genetic engineering, and Kindlyan anti-cyberbullying service using AI and Natural Language processing.

She was honored asForbes30 Under 30 in Science in 2019 andTIMEs Top Young Innovator for her innovations and STEM workshops she conducts globally, which has inspired over thirty-five thousand students in the last two years across four continents. In her sessions, she shares her own process of innovation that can be used by students all over the world. She is an experienced TED speaker and often presents in global and corporate forums on innovation and the importance of STEM.

She is an author of the book, Young InnovatorsGuide to STEM which will release in March 2021, and was recently honored as Time Kid of the Year 2020 for her community service and innovations.

Jayshree Seth, Ph.D., is a Corporate Scientist for 3M Company, headquartered in St. Paul, Minnesota, USA, where she has worked for over 27 years. She holds 70 patents on a variety of innovations, with several others pending. Dr. Seth uses scientific knowledge, technical expertise, and professional experience to advance science and develop new products. She currently leads applied technology development for sustainable industrial products in 3Ms Industrial Adhesives and Tapes Division. She is also 3Ms first-ever Chief Science Advocate and is charged with communicating the importance of science in everyday life, breaking down barriers, and building excitement around STEM careers. She is very passionate about teaching, coaching, mentoring and is a sought-after speaker, globally, on a multitude of topics such as innovation, leadership, and science advocacy. Dr. Seth has been interviewed in national and international media, and she has featured in 3M brand campaigns and commercials.

Dr. Seth is the fourth woman and first woman engineer to attain the highest technical designation of Corporate Scientist at 3M, as well as induction into the 3M Carlton Society, which honors the very best among the scientific community. She is also a certified Design for Six Sigma Black Belt. At 3M, she has served on the CEO Inclusion Council, chaired the Asian and Asian American Employee Network (A3CTION), and serves on the Womens Leadership Forum (WLF) Technical Chapter. She has received numerous 3M excellence awards and a record-setting number of intrapreneurial grants to drive innovation. She was conferred the 2020 Achievement Award from the Society of Women Engineers (SWE), the 2019 International Women & Technologies Le Tecnovisionarieaward for sustainability, the 2020 Woman of Distinction by Girl Scouts River Valley, the 2018 Distinguished Alumni Award from her alma mater in India, and was also among engineers selected to attend the National Academy of Engineerings (NAE) 14th annual U.S. Frontiers of Engineering symposium.

Dr. Seth grew up in Northern India, in the university town of Roorkee, at the foothills of the Himalayas and on the banks of the River Ganges canal. She holds a B.Tech. in chemical engineering from NIT, Trichy, India, and an M.S. and Ph.D. in chemical engineering from Clarkson University, New York. Jayshree is a member of the Engineering Advisory Council for Clarkson University. Dr. Seth has over 15 journal publications based on her graduate work, co-authoring several with her husband, who also works at 3M. They enjoy extending science, creativity, and innovation into their kitchen. They have two adult children. Dr. Seth enjoys experiencing other cultures and she is also an avid reader, writer and poet.

Read SWEs newest publication, The Heart of Science: Engineering Footprints, Fingerprints, & Imprints, written by Jayshree Seth. InThe Heart of Science, Seth discusses the relationship society has with science and engineering and offers her unique perspective on topics surrounding advocacy, interdisciplinary contexts, thoughtful leadership and inclusive progress. She also leans on her childhood experiences, and those of her children, as source material on the lessons she has learned during her career journey.All proceeds from the sale of the book will support the Jayshree Seth Scholarship for Women of Color in STEM. This scholarshipto be awarded annually by the Society of Women Engineerswill support a woman pursuing an undergraduate or graduate degree in a STEM field.

SWE Blog provides up-to-date information and news about the Society and how our members are making a difference every day. Youll find stories about SWE members, engineering, technology, and other STEM-related topics.

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Geoengineering: What could possibly go wrong? Elizabeth Kolbert’s take, in her new book – Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

Sunday, February 14th, 2021

Editors note: This story was originally published by Grist. It appears here as part of theClimate Deskcollaboration. Elizabeth Kolbert is a former member of the Science and Security Board of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists.

In Australia, scientists collect buckets of coral sperm, mixing one species with another in an attempt to create a new super coral that can withstand rising temperatures and acidifying seas. In Nevada, scientists nurse a tiny colony of one-inch long Devils Hole pupfish in an uncomfortably hot, Styrofoam-molded pool. And in Massachusetts, Harvard University scientists research injecting chemicals into the atmosphere to dim the suns lightand slow down the runaway pace of global warming.

These are some of the scenes from Elizabeth Kolberts new book,Under a White Sky, a global exploration of the ways that humanity is attempting to engineer, fix, or reroute the course of nature in a climate-changed world. (The title refers to one of the consequences of engineering the Earth to better reflect sunlight: Our usual blue sky could turn apale white.)

Kolbert, a New Yorker staff writer, has been covering the environment for decades: Her first book,Field Notes from a Catastrophe, traced the scientific evidence for global warming from Greenland to Alaska; her second,The Sixth Extinction, followed the growing pace of animal extinctions.

Under a White Skycovers slightly different ground. Humanity is now, Kolbert explains, in the midst of the Anthropocenea geologic era in whichweare the dominant force shaping earth, sea, and sky. Faced with that reality, humans have gotten more creative at using technology to fix the problems that we unwittingly spawned: Stamping out Australias cane toad invasion with genetic engineering, for example, or using giant air conditioners to suck carbon dioxide out of air and turn it into rock. As Kolbert notes, tongue-in-cheek: What could possibly go wrong?

This interview has been condensed and lightly edited for clarity.

Osaka:Under a White Skyis about a lot of things rivers, solar geoengineering, coral reefs but its also about what nature means in our current world. What got you interested in that topic?

Kolbert: All books have complicated births, as it were. But about four years ago, I went to Hawaii to report on a project that had been nicknamed the super coral project. And it was run by a very charismatic scientist namedRuth Gates, who very sadly passed away about two years ago. We have very radically altered the oceans by pouring hundreds of billions of tons of carbon dioxide into the airand we cant get that heat out of the oceans in any foreseeable timescale. We cant change the chemistry back. And if we want coral reefs in the future, were going to have to counter what weve done to the oceans by remaking reefs so they can withstand warmer temperatures. The aim of the project was to see if you could hybridize or crossbreed corals to get more vigorous varieties.

This ideathat we have to counteract one form of intervention in the natural world (climate change) with another form of intervention (trying to recreate reefs)just struck me as a very interesting new chapter in our long and very complicated relationship with nature. And once I started to think about it that way, I started to see that as a pretty widespread pattern. Thats really what prompted the book.

Osaka: Some of these human interventions to save nature seem hopeful and positiveand others go wrong in pretty epic ways. How do you balance those two types of stories?

Kolbert: The book starts with examples that probably will strike many readers as Okay, that makes sense. That makes sense. But it goes from regional engineering solutions through biotechnology, through gene editing, and all the way up to solar geoengineering. So it kind of leads you down what we might call a slippery slope. And one of the interesting things about these cases is that they will divide up people differently. Even people who consider themselves environmentalists will come down on different sides of some of these technologies. The bind were in is so profound that theres no right answer.

Osaka: So someone who accepts what were doing to save the Devils Hole pupfish might not necessarily accept gene-editing mosquitos or dimming the sun through solar geoengineering.

Kolbert: Exactly. And I think sometimes those linesseemclearer than they are once you start to think about it.

Osaka: At one point in the book, theres a quote that is (apocryphally) attributed to Einstein: We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them. But you dont say whether you agree with that sentiment or not. Is that on purpose?

Kolbert: Yeah, you can read the book and say, Im really glad people are doing these things, and I feel better. Or you can read the book and say, as one scientific quote does, This is a broad highway to hell. And both of those are very valid reactions.

Osaka: When you write about geoengineering, you point out that many scientists conclude that its necessary to avoid catastrophic levels of warming, but that it could also be a really bad ideKolbert Do you think that in 15 or 20 years youll be writing about a geoengineering experiment gone wrong, much as youre writing now about failed attempts to protect Louisiana from flooding?

Kolbert: I might argue about the timescales. Im not sure Ill be reporting on it in 15 years, but I thinkyoumight be reporting on it in 30 years.

At the moment, its still the realm of sci-fi, and Im not claiming to have any particular insight into how people are going to respond in the future. But the case thats made in the book by some very smart scientists is that we dont have very many tools in our toolbox for dealing with climate change quickly, because the system has so much inertia. Its like turning around a supertanker: It takes literally decades, even if we do everything absolutely right.

Osaka: Youve reported on climate change for a long time. How does it feel to see geoengineering being explored as a more valuableand potentially necessaryoption?

Kolbert: Well, one thing I learned in the course of reporting the book was that what we now refer to as geoengineering was actually the very first thing that people started to think about when they first realized we were warming the climate. The very first report about climate change that was handed to Lyndon Johnson in 1965 wasnt about how we should stop emittingit was: Maybe we should find some reflective stuff to throw into the ocean to bounce more sunlight back into space!

Its odd, its kind of almost freakish, and I cant explain it, except to say that it sort of fits the pattern of the book.

Osaka: Theres been a longstanding fight in environmentalism between a technology-will-save-us philosophy and a return-to-nature philosophy. Based on the reporting in this book, do you think that the technology camp has won?

Kolbert: I think the book is an attempt to take on both of those schools of thought. On some level, technologyhaswoneven people who would say dont do geoengineering still want to put up solar panels and build huge arrays of batteries, and those are technologies! But where does that leave us? It goes back to Ruth Gates and the super coral project. There was a big fight among coral biologists about whether a project like that should even be pursued. The Great Barrier Reef is the size of Italyeven if you have some replacement coral, how are you going to get them out on the reef? But Gatess point was, were not returning. Even if we stopped emitting carbon dioxide tomorrow, youre not getting the Great Barrier Reef back as it was in a foreseeable timeframe.

My impulse as an old-school environmentalist is to say Well, lets just leave things alone. But the sad fact is that weve intervened so much at this point that evennot intervening is itself an intervention.

Osaka: Now that we have a US president who takes climate change seriously, do you think we could actually start cutting carbon emissions quickly

Kolbert: I really do want to applaud the first steps that theBiden administration has taken. I think they show a pretty profound understanding of the problem. But the question, and its a big one, is What are the limits? Will Congress do anything? What will happen in theSupreme Court? The United States is no longer the biggest emitter on an annual basis, but on a cumulative basis were still the biggest. And we still dont have resolution on how much carbon dioxdie we can put up there to avoid 1.5 or 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) of warming. Those are questions with big error bars. If were lucky, I think we can avoid disastrous climate change. But if were not lucky, were already in deep trouble.

Osaka: Is there anything else you want to say about the book?

Kolbert: It sounds kind of weird after our conversation, but the book was actually a lot of fun to write. It sounds odd when youre talking about a book where the subject is so immensely serious.

Osaka: You mean like when the undergraduates in Australia are tossing each other buckets of coral sperm?

Kolbert: Yes! There is always humor in all these situations. I hope that sense of fun comes through.

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Geoengineering: What could possibly go wrong? Elizabeth Kolbert's take, in her new book - Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

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An Introduction to PCR – Technology Networks

Sunday, February 14th, 2021

Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) is a technique that has revolutionized the world of molecular biology and beyond. In this article, we will discuss a brief history of PCR and its principles, highlighting the different types of PCR and the specific purposes to which they are being applied.

In 1983, American biochemist Kary Mullis was driving home late at night when a flash of inspiration struck him. He wrote on the back of a receipt the idea that would eventually grant him the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1993. The concept was straightforward: reproducing in a laboratory tube the DNA replication process that takes place in cells. The outcome is the same: the generation of new complementary DNA (cDNA) strands based upon the existing ones.

Mullis used the basis of Sanger's DNA sequencing as a starting point for his new technique. He realized that the repeated use of DNA polymerase triggered a chain reaction resulting in a specific DNA segment's amplification.

The foundations for his idea were laid by a discovery in 1976 of a thermostable DNA polymerase, Taq, isolated from the bacterium Thermus aquaticus found in hot springs.1 Taq DNA polymerase has a temperature optimum of 72 C and survives prolonged exposure to temperatures as high as 96 C, meaning that it can tolerate several denaturation cycles.

Before the discovery of Taq polymerase, molecular biologists were already trying to optimize cyclic DNA amplification protocols, but they needed to add fresh polymerase at each cycle because the enzyme could not withstand the high temperatures needed for DNA denaturation. Having a thermostable enzyme meant that they could repeat the amplification process many times over without the need for fresh polymerase at every cycle, making the whole process scalable, more efficient and less time-consuming.

The first description of this polymerase chain reaction (PCR) using Taq polymerase was published in Science in 1985.2

In 1993, the first FDA-approved PCR kit came to market. Since then, PCR has been steadily and systematically improved. It has become a game-changer in everything from forensic evidence analysis and diagnostics, to disease monitoring and genetic engineering. It is undoubtedly considered one of the most important scientific advances of the 20th century.

The PCR is used to amplify a specific DNA fragment from a complex mixture of starting material called template DNA. The sample preparation and purification protocols depend on the starting material, including the sample matrix and accessibility of target DNA. Often, minimal DNA purification is needed. However, PCR does require knowledge of the DNA sequence information that flanks the DNA fragment to be amplified (called target DNA).

From a practical point of view, a PCR experiment is relatively straightforward and can be completed in a few hours. In general, a PCR reaction needs five key reagents:

DNA to be amplified: also called PCR template or template DNA. This DNA can be of any source, such as genomic DNA (gDNA), cDNA, and plasmid DNA.DNA polymerase: all PCR reactions require a DNA polymerase that can work at high temperatures. Taq polymerase is a commonly used one, which can incorporate nucleotides at a rate of 60 bases/second at 70 C and can amplify templates of up to 5 kb, making it suitable for standard PCR without special requirements. New generations of polymerases are being engineered to improve reaction performance. For example, some are engineered to be only activated at high temperatures to reduce non-specific amplification at the beginning of the reaction. Others incorporate a proofreading function, important, for example, when it is critical that the amplified sequence matches the template sequence exactly, such as during cloning.Primers: DNA polymerases require a short sequence of nucleotides to indicate where they need to initiate amplification. In a PCR, these sequences are called primers and are short pieces of single-stranded DNA (approximately 15-30 bases). When designing a PCR experiment, the researcher determines the region of DNA to be amplified and designs a pair of primers, one on the forward strand and one on the reverse, that specifically flanks the target region. Primer design is a key component of a PCR experiment and should be done carefully. Primer sequences must be chosen to target the unique DNA of interest, avoiding the possibility of binding to a similar sequence. They should have similar melting temperatures because the annealing step occurs simultaneously for both strands. The melting temperature of a primer can be impacted by the percentage of bases that are guanine (G) or cytosine (C) compared to adenine (A) or thymine (T), with higher GC contents increasing melting temperatures. Adjusting primer lengths can help to compensate for this in matching a primer pair. It is also important to avoid sequences that will tend to form secondary structures or primer dimers, as this will reduce PCR efficiency. Many free online tools are available to aid in primer design.Deoxynucleotide triphosphates (dNTPs): these serve as the building blocks to synthesize the new strands of DNA and include the four basic DNA nucleotides (dATP, dCTP, dGTP, and dTTP). dNTPs are usually added to the PCR reaction in equimolar amounts for optimal base incorporation.PCR buffer: the PCR buffer ensures that optimal conditions are maintained throughout the PCR reaction. The major components of PCR buffers include magnesium chloride (MgCl2), tris-HCl and potassium chloride (KCl). MgCl2 serves as a cofactor for the DNA polymerase, while tris-HCl and KCl maintain a stable pH during the reaction.The PCR reaction is carried out in a single tube by mixing the reagents mentioned above and placing the tube in a thermal cycler.The PCR amplification consists of three defined sets of times and temperatures termed steps: denaturation, annealing, and extension (Figure 1).

Figure 1: Steps of a single PCR cycle.

Each of these steps, termed cycles, is repeated 30-40 times, doubling the amount of DNA at each cycle and obtaining amplification (Figure 2).

Figure 2: The different stages and cycles of DNA molecule amplification by PCR.

Let's take a closer look at each step.

The first step of PCR, called denaturation, heats the template DNA up to 95 C for a few seconds, separating the two DNA strands as the hydrogen bonds between them are rapidly broken.

The reaction mixture is then cooled for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Annealing temperatures are usually 50 - 65 C however, the exact optimal temperature depends on the primers' length and sequence. It must be carefully optimized with every new set of primers.

The two DNA strands could rejoin at this temperature, but most do not because the mixture contains a large excess of primers that bind, or anneal, to the template DNA at specific, complementary positions. Once the annealing step is completed, hydrogen bonds will form between the template DNA and the primers. At this point, the polymerase is ready to extend the DNA sequence.

The temperature is then raised to the ideal working temperature for the DNA polymerase present in the mixture, typically around 72 C, 74 C in the case of Taq.

The DNA polymerase attaches to one end of each primer and synthesizes new strands of DNA, complementary to the template DNA. Now we have four strands of DNA instead of the two that were present to start with.

The temperature is raised back to 94 C and the double-stranded DNA molecules both the "original" molecules and the newly synthesized ones denature again into single strands. This begins the second cycle of denaturation-annealing-extension. At the end of this second cycle, there are eight molecules of single-stranded DNA. By repeating the cycle 30 times, the double-stranded DNA molecules present at the beginning are converted into over 130 million new double-stranded molecules, each one a copy of the region of the starting molecule delineated by the annealing sites of the two primers.

To determine if amplification has been successful, PCR products may be visualized using gel electrophoresis, indicating amplicon presence/absence, size and approximate abundance. Depending on the application and the research question, this may be the endpoint of an experiment, for example, if determining whether a gene is present or not. Otherwise, the PCR product may just be the starting point for more complex downstream investigations such as sequencing and cloning.

Thanks to their versatility, PCR techniques have evolved over recent years leading to the development or several different types of PCR technology.

Some of the most widely used ones are:

One of the most useful developments has been quantitative real-time PCR or qPCR. As the name suggests, qPCR is a quantitative technique that allows real-time monitoring of the amplification process and detection of PCR products as they are made.2 It can be used to determine the starting concentration of the target DNA, negating the need for gel electrophoresis in many cases. This is achieved thanks to the inclusion of non-specific fluorescent intercalating dyes, such as SYBR Green, that fluoresce when bound to double-stranded DNA, or DNA oligonucleotide sequence-specific fluorescent probes, such as hydrolysis (TaqMan) probes and molecular beacons. Probes bind specifically to DNA target sequences within the amplicon and use the principle of Frster Resonance Energy Transfer (FRET) to generate fluorescence via the coupling of a fluorescent molecule on one end and a quencher at the other end. For both fluorescent dyes and probes, as the number of copies of the target DNA increases, the fluorescence level increases proportionally, allowing real-time quantification of the amplification with reference to standards containing known copy numbers (Figure 3).

qPCR uses specialized thermal cyclers equipped with fluorescent detection systems that monitor the fluorescent signal as the amplification occurs.

Figure 3: Example qPCR amplification plot and standard curve used to enable quantification of copy number in unknown samples.

Reverse transcription (RT) -PCR and RT-qPCR are two commonly used PCR variants enabling gene transcription analysis and quantification of viral RNA, both in clinical and research settings.

RT is the process of making cDNA from single-stranded template RNA3 and is consequently also called first-strand cDNA synthesis. The first step of RT-PCR is to synthesize a DNA/RNA hybrid between the RNA template and a DNA oligonucleotide primer. The reverse transcriptase enzyme that catalyzes this reaction has RNase activity that then degrades the RNA portion of the hybrid. Subsequently, a single-stranded DNA molecule is synthesized by the DNA polymerase activity of the reverse transcriptase. High purity and quality starting RNA are essential for a successful RT-PCR.

RT-PCR can be performed following two approaches: one-step RT-PCR and two-step RT-PCR. In the first case, the RT reaction and the PCR reaction occur in the same tube, while in the two-step RT-PCR, the two reactions are separate and performed sequentially.

The reverse transcription described above often serves as the first step in qPCR too, quantifying RNA in biological samples (either RNA transcripts or derived from viral RNA genomes).

As with RT-PCR, there are two approaches for quantifying RNA by RT-qPCR: one-step RT-qPCR and two-step RT-qPCR. In both cases, RNA is first reverse-transcribed into cDNA, which is used as the template for qPCR amplification. In the two-step method, the reverse transcription and the qPCR amplification occur sequentially as two separate experiments. In the one-step method, RT and qPCR are performed in the same tube.

Digital PCR (dPCR) is another adaptation of the original PCR protocol.4 Like qPCR, dPCR technology uses DNA polymerase to amplify target DNA from a complex sample using a primer set and probes. The main difference, though, lies in the partitioning of the PCR reactions and data acquisition at the end.

dPCR and ddPCR are based on the concept of limiting dilutions. The PCR reaction is split into large numbers of nanoliter-sized sub-reactions (partitions). The PCR amplification is carried out within each droplet. Following PCR, each droplet is analyzed with Poisson statistics to determine the percentage of PCR-positive droplets in the original sample. Some partitions may contain one or more copies of the target, while others may contain no target sequences. Therefore, partitions classify either as positive (target detected) or negative (target not detected), providing the basis for a digital output format.

ddPCR is a recent technology that became available in 2011.5 ddPCR utilizes a water-oil emulsion to form the partitions that separate the template DNA molecules. The droplets essentially serve as individual test tubes in which the PCR reaction takes place.

The recent development of microfluidic handling systems with microchannels and microchambers has paved the way for a range of practical applications, including the amplification of DNA via PCR on microfluidic chips.

PCR performed on a chip benefits from microfluidics advantages in speed, sensitivity and low consumption of reagents. These features make microfluidic PCR particularly appealing for point-of-care testing, for example, for diagnostics applications. From a practical point of view, the sample flows through a microfluidic channel, repeatedly passing the three temperature zones reflecting the different steps of PCR. It takes just 90 seconds for a 10 L sample to perform 20 PCR cycles.6 The subsequent analysis can then be easily carried out off-chip.

The different PCR approaches all have advantages and disadvantages that impact the applications to which they are suited 7. These are summarized in Table 1.

Approach

Advantages

Limitations

PCR

Easiest PCR to perform

Low cost of equipment and reagents

Several downstream applications (e.g., cloning)

Results are only qualitative

Requires post-amplification analyses that increase time and risk of error

Products may need to be confirmed by sequencing

qPCR

Produces quantitative results

Probe use can ensure high specificity

High analytical sensitivity

Low turnaround time

Eliminates requirements for post-amplification analysis

Requires more expensive reagents and equipment

Less flexibility in primer and probe selection

Less amenable to other downstream product confirmation analyses (such as sequencing) due to the small length of the amplicon

Not suitable for some downstream applications such as cloning

RT-PCR and RT-qPCR

Can be used with all RNA types

RNA is prone to degradation

The RT step may increase the time and potential for contamination

dPCR and ddPCR

Fast

No DNA purification step

Provides absolute quantification

Increased sensitivity for detecting the target in limited clinical samples

Highly scalable

Costly

Based on several statistical assumptions

Microfluidic PCR

Accelerated PCR process

Reduced reagent consumption

Can be adapted for high throughput

Portable device for point-of-care applications

Allows single-cell analysis

Still very new technology

Requires extensive sample preparation to remove debris and unwanted compounds

Restricted choice of materials for the microfluidic device due to high temperatures

Table 1: Key advantages and disadvantages of different PCR approaches.

PCR has become an indispensable tool in modern molecular biology and has completely transformed scientific research. The technique has also opened up the investigation of cellular and molecular processes to those outside the field of molecular biology and consequently also finds utility by scientists in many disciplines.

Whilst PCR is itself a powerful standalone technique, it has also been incorporated into wider techniques, such as cloning and sequencing, as one small but important part of these workflows.

Research applications of PCR include:

Gene transcription -PCR can examine variations in gene transcription among cell types, tissues and organisms at a specific time point. In this process, RNA is isolated from samples of interest, and reverse-transcribed into cDNA. The original levels of RNA for a specific gene can then be quantified from the amount of cDNA amplified in PCR.Genotyping -PCR can detect sequence variations in alleles of specific cells or organisms. A common example is the genotyping of transgenic organisms, such as knock-out and knock-in mice. In this application, primers are designed to amplify either a transgene portion (in a transgenic animal) or the mutation (in a mutant animal).Cloning and mutagenesis- PCR cloning is a widely used technique where double-stranded DNA fragments amplified by PCR are inserted into vectors (e.g., gDNA, cDNA, plasmid DNA). This for example, enables the creation of bacterial strains from which genetic material has been deleted or inserted. Site-directed mutagenesis can also be used to introduce point mutations via cloning. This often employs a technique known as recombinant PCR, in which overlapping primers are specifically designed to incorporate base substitutions (Figure 4). This technique can also be used to create novel gene fusions.

Figure 4: Diagram depicting an example of recombinant PCR.Sequencing- PCR can be used to enrich template DNA for sequencing. The type of PCR recommended for the preparation of sequencing templates is called high-fidelity PCR and is able to maintain DNA sequence accuracy. In Sanger sequencing, PCR-amplified fragments are then purified and run in a sequencing reaction. In next-generation sequencing (NGS), PCR is used at the library preparation stage, where DNA samples are enriched by PCR to increase the starting quantity and tagged with sequencing adaptors to allow multiplexing. Bridge PCR is also an important part of the second-generation NGS sequencing process.Both as an independent technique and as a workhorse within other methods, PCR has transformed a range of disciplines. These include:

Genetic research- PCR is used in most laboratories worldwide. One of the most common applications is gene transcription analysis9, aimed at evaluating the presence or abundance of particular gene transcripts. It is a powerful technique in manipulating the genetic sequence of organisms animal, plant and microbe - through cloning. This enables genes or sections of genes to be inserted, deleted or mutated to engineer in genetic markers alter phenotypes, elucidate gene functions and develop vaccines to name but a few. In genotyping, PCR can be used to detect sequence variations in alleles in specific cells or organisms. Its use isnt restricted to humans either. Genotyping plants in agriculture assists plant breeders in selecting, refining, and improving their breeding stock. PCR is also the first step to enrich sequencing samples, as discussed above. For example, most mapping techniques in the Human Genome Project (HGP) relied on PCR.Medicine and biomedical research- PCR is used in a host of medical applications, from diagnostic testing for disease-associated genetic mutations, to the identification of infectious agents. Another great example of PCR use in the medical realm is prenatal genetic testing. Prenatal genetic testing through PCR can identify chromosome abnormalities and genetic mutations in the fetus, giving parents-to-be important information about whether their baby has certain genetic disorders. PCR can also be used as a preimplantation genetic diagnosis tool to screen embryos for in vitro fertilization (IVF) procedures.Forensic science- Our unique genetic fingerprints mean that PCR can be instrumental in both paternity testing and forensic investigations to pinpoint samples' sources. Small DNA samples isolated from a crime scene can be compared with a DNA database or with suspects' DNA, for example. These procedures have really changed the way police investigations are carried out. Authenticity testing also makes use of PCR genetic markers, for example, to determine the species from which meat is derived. Molecular archaeology too utilizes PCR to amplify DNA from archaeological remains.Environmental microbiology and food safety- Detection of pathogens by PCR, not only in patients' samples but also in matrices like food or water, can be vital in diagnosing and preventing infectious disease.PCR is the benchmark technology for detecting nucleic acids in every area, from biomedical research to forensic applications. Kary Mullis's idea, written on the back of a receipt on the side of the road, turned out to be a revolutionary one.

References1. Chien A, Edgar DB, Trela JM. Deoxyribonucleic acid polymerase from the extreme thermophile Thermus aquaticus. J Bacteriol 1976;127(3):1550-57 doi: 10.1128/JB.127.3.1550-1557.1976

2. Saiki RK, Scharf S, Faloona F, et al. Enzymatic amplification of beta-globin genomic sequences and restriction site analysis for diagnosis of sickle cell anemia. Science 1985;230(4732):1350 doi: 10.1126/science.2999980

3. Arya M, Shergill IS, Williamson M, Gommersall L, Arya N, Patel HRH. Basic principles of real-time quantitative PCR. Expert Review of Molecular Diagnostics 2005;5(2):209-19 doi: 10.1586/14737159.5.2.209

4. Bachman J. Chapter Two - Reverse-Transcription PCR (RT-PCR). In: Lorsch J, ed. Methods in Enzymology: Academic Press, 2013:67-74. doi : 10.1016/B978-0-12-420037-1.00002-6

5. Morley AA. Digital PCR: A brief history. Biomol Detect Quantif 2014;1(1):1-2 doi: 10.1016/j.bdq.2014.06.001

6. Taylor SC, Laperriere G, Germain H. Droplet Digital PCR versus qPCR for gene expression analysis with low abundant targets: from variable nonsense to publication quality data. Scientific Reports 2017;7(1):2409 doi: 10.1038/s41598-017-02217-x

7. Ahrberg CD, Manz A, Chung BG. Polymerase chain reaction in microfluidic devices. Lab on a Chip 2016;16(20):3866-84 doi: 10.1039/C6LC00984K

8. Garibyan L, Avashia N. Polymerase chain reaction. J Invest Dermatol 2013;133(3):1-4 doi: 10.1038/jid.2013.1

9. VanGuilder HD, Vrana KE, Freeman WM. Twenty-five years of quantitative PCR for gene expression analysis. BioTechniques 2008;44(5):619-26 doi: 10.2144/000112776

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Science Talk – Evolution, cancer and coronavirus how biology’s ‘Theory of Everything’ is key to fighting cancer and global pandemics – The Institute…

Sunday, February 14th, 2021

Image: Charles Darwin's Tree of Life

The 12th of February 2021 marks Sir Charles Darwins 212th birthday a day when biologists and many others remember one of the greatest scientists to have ever lived, whose work and theories transformed biology and the world.

Sir Charles Darwins observations that species adapt through variations passed on from one generation to the next is the basis of modern biology a deceptively simple rule that accounts for all of the variation we see in the natural world.

All organisms, big and small, evolve over time to adapt to the environments they inhabit and the same is true for cancer. Understanding evolution is key to the study of cancer and to developing new treatments for the disease. Its also pretty important when it comes to fighting viruses like Covid-19.

This Darwin Day, we spoke to two of our researchers working in the ICRs Centre for Evolution and Cancer, who are building on Darwins theories of evolution to explore new ways to treat cancer.

The ICR's Centre for Evolution and Cancer aims to apply Charles Darwins principle of natural selection to our understanding of why we develop cancer and why it is so difficult to treat.

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Dr Alejandra Bruna is leader of the Preclinical Modelling of Paediatric Cancer Evolution Team, and she is trying to find the evolutionary components that drive cancer in children.

The ICR is an internationally leading research centre in the study of cancer in children, and Dr Brunas work focuses on neuroblastoma, the most commonly fatal solid tumour in children, among other solid paediatric cancers.

One of the main features of cancer is genomic instability, with most adult cancers displaying high levels of mutations which cancer is able to exploit for survival.

Following Darwins theories of Natural Selection, each mutation could potentially help a cancer cell adapt to its environment better to survive, with beneficial adaptations being passed on through cell division.

Preventing or targeting mutations is an important way to treat cancer, but childhood cancers often display very few mutations, and researchers like Dr Bruna think that there may be different evolutionary forces at work.

Her research is looking at epigenetic changes in childhood cancer cells changes to genes that arent caused by mutations, but that can turn genes on and off in cells.

Her team are investigating whether these epigenetic changes could be the driver for how neuroblastoma cells evolve, which could explain how cancer cells with very few mutations can adapt and develop resistance to treatments.

Dr Bruna says, If non-genetic evolution plays a role in resistance to therapy in paediatric tumours, then we should be trying to focus on finding treatments that target these non-genetic events.

She is using a technique to barcode cells in samples of neuroblastoma, to trace cell dynamics and epigenetic changes over time, which may identify the triggers for mutations that lead to resistance to treatment.

Finding the epigenetic changes that lead to resistance in neuroblastoma will be a challenge, but if they can show that they happen before mutations occur, this incredibly exciting discovery could open up new avenues for treatment for childhood cancers.

The ICRs Centre for Evolution and Cancer has developed sophisticated computer simulations to model how tumours evolve over time, but recreating the complexity of the disease seen in humans is still a huge challenge.

Diseases like prostate cancer are caused by hundreds of mutations that build up in cancer cells, so to understand how prostate cancer might evolve in patients, tests that help reflect this diversity are needed.

Dr Marco Bezzi leads the Tumour Functional Heterogeneity Team at the ICR, and he is using lab-grown mini-tumours called tumour organoids that more closely resemble cancer as its seen in the clinic, to better understand how prostate cancer evolves.

Dr Bezzi says, The ICRs mathematical modelling is really strong, and you can really follow how tumours develop through evolutionary principles. My research takes a very wet lab approach to complement this, by recreating the heterogeneity and selective pressures that cancer faces. We can then track this experimentally to understand how tumours evolve.

His lab generates biobanks of cancer organoids they use to mix together different mutations and grow tumour organoids with distinct genetic patterns.

These organoids can have several different mutations important to prostate cancer within one tumour, which can be studied in mice to see how these populations evolve.

Like Dr Brunas team, they hope to track how tumours evolve across generations of cancer cells using barcodes, to see which mutations give cells survival advantages and are passed on, and which die out.

Working together with mathematical modelling, ICR scientists can test how simulations of cancer evolution stand up to real-world examples to refine their predictions.

The goal is to use these different tools in the lab to understand how tumours in patients may evolve in response to treatment, so they can suggest new treatments as tumours adapt and help patients survive for longer.

These two examples take very different approaches to cancer evolution, but they show how this fundamental principle of life can be harnessed to learn more about cancer and design better ways to treat the disease.

Image: The ICR's Centre for Cancer Drug Discovery

Dr Bruna and Dr Bezzi have just moved into the ICRs new Centre for Cancer Drug Discovery, where researchers working in cancer evolution benefit from the expertise of their colleagues discovering new cancer drugs.

The building is the first of its kind to host hundreds of scientists from different disciplines under one roof to lead an unprecedented 'Darwinian' drug discovery programme that aims to overcome cancers ability to evolve resistance to drugs and herd it into more treatable forms.

The ultimate aim is to transform cancer into a manageable disease that can be controlled long term and effectively cured.

Dr Bezzi says, As a biotechnologist most of what I do is genetic engineering, so its fantastic to have access to the expertise of my colleagues in drug discovery.

By sharing the same spaces, we can share our expertise and knowledge. I can have those quick conversations about experiments and ask them what might be the best drug for a specific type of disease or for that specific patient. The connection we have to the clinic is amazing and it ensures that my work is studying the right questions to help patients.

In our pioneering Centre for Cancer Drug Discovery, our researchers are now developing a new generation of drugs that will make the difference to the lives of millions of people with cancer.

But we still need your support to help finish equipping the Centre and to continue to fund the exciting work that is now taking place within the building.

Donate now

As the world battles with the coronavirus pandemic, scientists can apply the same evolutionary thinking our researchers use in cancer to overcome Covid-19.

Professor Andrea Sottoriva, Director of the Centre for Evolution and Cancer in the Centre for Cancer Drug Discovery, says: Evolutionary biology is one of the most important theories of biology, in the same way that we have general relativity in physics. The theory of evolution allows us to make sense of the observations we see in biology and medicine more widely, and this is also true for the pandemic.

We understand how viruses evolve through the lens of evolutionary biology and we design new vaccines that combat the evolution of viruses to adapt and survive, like what we regularly see in the flu.

The variants we are now seeing in Covid-19 are evidence of the fundamental mechanisms that drive how all organisms evolve, including cancer.

Not every variation provides a survival advantage to viruses, making viruses more contagious or more resilient, and viruses often need a number of significant changes before vaccines will no longer work, but by studying how they change and evolve, doctors can attempt to get ahead of new variants with improved vaccines, helping curb transmission and save lives.

Dr Bruna said: Just like cancer, viruses are made of genetic material, and so they will evolve adaptations that are beneficial to the virus. But scientists will be expecting this and they are monitoring variations in the virus that are occurring.

With cancer the rules are exactly the same, and our researchers are coming up with new ways to model the disease's evolution and to find the triggers that help cancer develop.

And so, despite the death of Sir Charles Darwin more than 130 years ago, the impact of his work lives on and acts as inspiration for researchers around the world, and will continue to do so for generations to come.

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22nd Century Group and KeyGene Launch Advanced Cannabis Technology Platform for Accelerated Development of New Varieties of Hemp/Cannabis Plants with…

Sunday, February 14th, 2021

WILLIAMSVILLE, N.Y., Feb. 10, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- 22nd Century Group, Inc. (NYSE American: XXII), a leading plant-based, biotechnology company focused on tobacco harm reduction, very low nicotine content tobacco, and hemp/cannabis research, announced today that it has developed and launched a new, cutting-edge technology platform that will enable the Company and its strategic partners to quickly identify and incorporate commercially valuable traits of hemp/cannabis plants to create new, stable hemp/cannabis lines. The platform incorporates a suite of proprietary molecular tools and a large library of genomic markers and gene-trait correlations. The platform was developed in collaboration with researchers at KeyGene, a global leader in plant research involving high-value genetic traits and increased crop yields.

This is a major breakthrough. Quickly and easily identifying the genes responsible for specific traits in a plant is a powerful tool for 22nd Century Group and the hemp/cannabis industry as a whole, said James A. Mish, chief executive officer of 22nd Century Group. That is why we are even now beginning discussions to license this platform to strategic partners to help them improve their plant breeding techniques and to optimize their hemp/cannabis cultivars. We continue to make great advancements through our partnership with KeyGene, and this newly developed molecular breeding platform has the potential to result in exponential growth for the Companys revenues and create new value opportunities for our stakeholders, including shareholders.

Using traditional breeding techniques, it typically takes at least eight to ten years to develop new varieties of hemp/cannabis plants that consistently express important traits, said Juan Sanchez Tamburrino, Ph.D., vice president of research and development at 22nd Century Group. Our new molecular breeding platform can dramatically reduce our development time for new high-value varieties of hemp/cannabis and allows 22nd Century scientists to identify plant lines that carry high levels of major therapeutic cannabinoids, such as cannabidiol (CBD), cannabichromene (CBC), and other minor therapeutic cannabinoids, like cannabidivarin (CBDV) and tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV).

Demonstrating how this technology can be used, 22nd Century and KeyGene scientists can now accelerate the selection of specific traits yielding novel cannabinoid profiles. For example, the team was able to select specific markers that predict the gender of hemp/cannabis plants with an astounding 99.6% accuracy.

Using this new breeding technology, 22nd Century has already characterized millions of high-value single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). SNPs are molecular markers or guideposts within a plants genome that indicate important variations in Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) sequences. Targeting these newly identified SNPs, 22nd Century was able to locate and isolate specific sections of genetic code from genome assemblies present in the Companys state-of-the-art hemp/cannabis bioinformatics database. 22nd Centurys bioinformatics database continues to grow and already contains hundreds of hemp/cannabis genomes and thousands expression datapoints across a wide array of hemp/cannabis varieties and phenotypes. The ability to identify specific genetic variations allows researchers to isolate high-value traits, like increased CBD or tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) production, and then introduce those traits in new plant lines using modern plant breeding techniques, including trait tracking using molecular marker profiles and the Companys proprietary accelerated breeding pipeline.

Since reporting third quarter earnings, 22nd Century has refocused its hemp/cannabis strategy to target the upstream segments of the cannabinoid value chain, in particular, in the areas of plant biotechnology research, gene modification and engineering, modern plant breeding and development, and extraction. The Company intends to build upon its core strengths in the plant science and ingredient value chain and is in advanced discussions with operational partners that will enable it to offer comprehensive commercial breeding, cultivation, and extract purification services utilizing its proprietary hemp/cannabis plants in development. The Company will continue to focus on and ensure the accelerated delivery of valuable, commercial plant lines and technology, and related intellectual property for the life science, consumer product, and pharmaceutical markets.

About 22nd Century Group,Inc.22nd Century Group, Inc. (NYSE American: XXII) is a leading plant biotechnology company focused on technologies that alter the level of nicotine in tobacco plants and the level of cannabinoids in hemp/cannabis plants through genetic engineering, gene-editing, and modern plant breeding. 22nd Centurys primary mission in tobacco is to reduce the harm caused by smoking through the Companys proprietary reduced nicotine content tobacco cigarettes containing 95% less nicotine than conventional cigarettes. The Companys primary mission in hemp/cannabis is to develop and commercialize proprietary hemp/cannabis plants with valuable cannabinoid profiles and desirable agronomic traits.

Learn more atxxiicentury.com, on Twitter@_xxiicenturyand onLinkedIn.

Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking StatementsExcept for historical information, all of the statements, expectations, and assumptions contained in this press release are forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements typically contain terms such as anticipate, believe, consider, continue, could, estimate, expect, explore, foresee, goal, guidance, intend, likely, may, plan, potential, predict, preliminary, probable, project, promising, seek, should, will, would, and similar expressions. Actual results might differ materially from those explicit or implicit in forward-looking statements. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially are set forth in Risk Factors in the Companys Annual Report on Form 10-K filed on March 11, 2020 and in its subsequently filed Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q. All information provided in this release is as of the date hereof, and the Company assumes no obligation to and does not intend to update these forward-looking statements, except as required by law.

Investor Relations & Media Contact:Mei KuoDirector, Communications & Investor Relations22nd Century Group, Inc.(716) 300-1221mkuo@xxiicentury.com

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Aleph Farms and The Technion Reveal World’s First Cultivated Ribeye Steak – PRNewswire

Tuesday, February 9th, 2021

REHOVOT, Israel, Feb. 9, 2021 /PRNewswire/ --Aleph Farms Ltd. (the Company)and its research partner at the Faculty of Biomedical Engineering at the Technion Israel Institute of Technology, have successfully cultivated the world's first slaughter-free ribeye steak, using three-dimensional (3D) bioprinting technology and natural building blocks of meat real cow cells, without genetic engineering and immortalization. With this proprietary technology developed just two short years after it unveiled the world's first cultivated thin-cut steak in 2018 which did not utilize 3D bioprinting, the Company now has the ability to produce any type of steak and plans to expand its portfolio of quality meat products.

Unlike 3D printing technology, Aleph Farms' 3D bioprinting technology is the printing of actual living cells that are then incubated to grow, differentiate, and interact, in order to acquire the texture and qualities of a real steak. A proprietary system, similar to the vascularization that occurs naturally in tissues, enables the perfusion of nutrients across the thicker tissue and grants the steak with the similar shape and structure of its native form as found in livestock before and during cooking.

"This breakthrough reflects an artistic expression of the scientific expertise of our team," enthuses Didier Toubia, Co-Founder and CEO of Aleph Farms. "I am blessed to work with some of the greatest people in this industry. We recognize some consumers will crave thicker and fattier cuts of meat. This accomplishment represents our commitment to meeting our consumer's unique preferences and taste buds, and we will continue to progressively diversify our offerings," adds Toubia. "Additional meat designs will drive a larger impact in the mid and long term. This milestone for me marks a major leap in fulfilling our vision of leading a global food system transition toward a more sustainable, equitable and secure world."

The cultivated ribeye steak is a thicker cut than the company's first product a thin-cut steak. It incorporates muscle and fat similar to its slaughtered counterpart and boasts the same organoleptic attributes of a delicious tender, juicy ribeye steak you'd buy from the butcher. "With the realization of this milestone, we have broken the barriers to introducing new levels of variety into the cultivated meat cuts we can now produce. As we look into the future of 3D bioprinting, the opportunities are endless," says Technion Professor Shulamit Levenberg, Aleph's Co-Founder, Chief Scientific Advisor and a major brainpower behind the company's IP. Levenberg is considered a global leader in tissue engineering and has amassed over two decades of research in the field at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), in the United States and at the Technion, in Israel. Levenberg is also the former Dean of the Biomedical Engineering Faculty at the Technion.

Aleph Farms' zealous plans to diversify its offering align with its mission to create a global platform for local production, leveraging a highly scalable technology to create culinary experiences that can be adapted for the different food cultures around the world.

About the Technion Israel Institute of Technology and the Faculty of Biomedical Engineering:

Technion Israel Institute of Technology, consistently ranked among the world's top science and technology research universities, is Israel's first university. Since its founding in 1912, the institute has educated generations of engineers, architects, and scientists who have played a key role in laying the State of Israel's infrastructure and establishing its crucial high-tech industries.

The Faculty of Biomedical Engineering at the Technion offers undergraduate and graduate programs for students interested in integrating research, development and engineering methods in all areas of medicine. The Faculty's state-of-the-art research labs enable the acquisition of skills and practical experience in diverse fields which are at the forefront of contemporary science.

About Aleph Farms:

Aleph Farms is a food company that is paving a new way forward as a leader of the global sustainable food ecosystem, working passionately to grow delicious beef steaks from non-genetically engineered cells, isolated from a cow, using a fraction of the resources required for raising an entire animal for meat, without antibiotics and without the use of Fetal Bovine Serum (FBS). Aleph Farms was co-founded with The Kitchen Hub of the Strauss Group and with ProfessorShulamit Levenberg, former Dean of the Biomedical Engineering faculty of the Technion - Israel Institute of Technology. Aleph Farms is backed by some of the world's most innovative food producers, such as Cargill, Migros, and the Strauss Group.

The company has recently received top accolades for its contribution to the global sustainability movement from the World Economic Forum, UNESCO, Netexplo Forum, FAO and EIT Food.

Twitter/LinkedIn/Facebook/Instagram/YouTube/Medium: @AlephFarms

For further information, please contact:

SOURCE Aleph Farms

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Researchers create rice that captures more CO2 with 30 percent more yield – FoodIngredientsFirst

Tuesday, February 9th, 2021

09 Feb 2021 --- Scientists in China and Japan have developed a method to increase paddy field-grown rice yield by over 30 percent while sequestering more CO2 and using less fertilizer than traditional varieties.

Researchers at Nagoya University in Japan and Nanjing Agricultural University in China achieved this functionality by increasing the expression of the plasma membrane proton pump gene OSA1 in the rice plant, which was previously found to influence stomatal opening.

CO2 intake in plants occurs exclusively through the stomata, which are holes on the leaves' surface.

By increasing nutrient uptake and stomatal opening, the researchers were able to increase the rate of photosynthesis thereby speeding up growth and yield with less resources.

This new genetics-based approach detailed in Nature could improve crop efficiency for more types of plants to increase the food supply while mitigating the overproduction of CO2.

Click to EnlargeRice with the overexpressed OSA1 gene had a 25 percent increase in its CO2 storage capacity compared to wild rice.New functionalityThe group of scientists found the proton pump overexpressed rice, when compared to a wild strain, took up over 20 percent more mineral nutrients through its roots and opened its stomata over 25 percent wider when exposed to light.

On further analysis, they found that its carbon dioxide storage capacity (the indicator of photosynthesis activity) increased by over 25 percent. Its dry weight (biomass) increased by 18 to 33 percent in hydroponic laboratory growth.

Testing rice in the fieldWith this determined, the researchers set out to find if the results could be replicated under realistic growing conditions.

They conducted yield measurement exercises at four separate rice farms over the course of two years, finding that the rice with the overexpressed OSA1 gene had a yield over 30 percent higher than that of the wild strain.

They also discovered that even if the level of nitrogen fertilizer was reduced by half, it still produced a greater yield than the wild strain did with normal levels of nitrogen.

Capturing more CO2As they take in mineral nutrients such as nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium through their roots, plants simultaneously absorb carbon dioxide through the stomata on their leaves and grow through photosynthesis.

Photosynthesis enables, not only the farming of plants for food, but the exchange of carbon dioxide and management of the earths environment.

While these early-stage models have been created through genetic modification (GM), the researchers anticipate that future generations will use genome editing or chemical engineering instead.

Edited by Missy Green

To contact our editorial team please email us at editorial@cnsmedia.com

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Interview: Elizabeth Kolbert on why well never stop messing with nature – Grist

Tuesday, February 9th, 2021

In Australia, scientists collect buckets of coral sperm, mixing one species with another in an attempt to create a new super coral that can withstand rising temperatures and acidifying seas. In Nevada, scientists nurse a tiny colony of one-inch long Devils Hole pupfish in an uncomfortably hot, Styrofoam-molded pool. And in Massachusetts, Harvard University scientists research injecting chemicals into the atmosphere to dim the suns light and slow down the runaway pace of global warming.

These are some of the scenes from Elizabeth Kolberts new book, Under a White Sky, a global exploration of the ways that humanity is attempting to engineer, fix, or reroute the course of nature in a climate-changed world. (The title refers to one of the consequences of engineering the Earth to better reflect sunlight: Our usual blue sky could turn a pale white.)

Kolbert, a New Yorker staff writer, has been covering the environment for decades: Her first book, Field Notes from a Catastrophe, traced the scientific evidence for global warming from Greenland to Alaska; her second, The Sixth Extinction, followed the growing pace of animal extinctions.

Under a White Sky covers slightly different ground. Humanity is now, Kolbert explains, in the midst of the Anthropocene a geologic era in which we are the dominant force shaping earth, sea, and sky. Faced with that reality, humans have gotten more creative at using technology to fix the problems that we unwittingly spawned: Stamping out Australias cane toad invasion with genetic engineering, for example, or using giant air conditioners to suck carbon dioxide out of air and turn it into rock. As Kolbert notes, tongue-in-cheek: What could possibly go wrong?

This interview has been condensed and lightly edited for clarity.

Q.Under a White Sky is about a lot of things rivers, solar geoengineering, coral reefs but its also about what nature means in our current world. What got you interested in that topic?

A.All books have complicated births, as it were. But about four years ago, I went to Hawaii to report on a project that had been nicknamed the super coral project. And it was run by a very charismatic scientist named Ruth Gates, who very sadly passed away about two years ago. We have very radically altered the oceans by pouring hundreds of billions of tons of CO2 into the air and we cant get that heat out of the oceans in any foreseeable timescale. We cant change the chemistry back. And if we want coral reefs in the future, were going to have to counter what weve done to the oceans by remaking reefs so they can withstand warmer temperatures. The aim of the project was to see if you could hybridize or crossbreed corals to get more vigorous varieties.

This idea that we have to counteract one form of intervention in the natural world (climate change) with another form of intervention (trying to recreate reefs) just struck me as a very interesting new chapter in our long and very complicated relationship with nature. And once I started to think about it that way, I started to see that as a pretty widespread pattern. Thats really what prompted the book.

Q.Some of these human interventions to save nature seem hopeful and positive and others go wrong in pretty epic ways. How do you balance those two types of stories?

A.The book starts with examples that probably will strike many Grist readers as OK, that makes sense. That makes sense. But it goes from regional engineering solutions through biotechnology, through gene editing, and all the way up to solar geoengineering. So it kind of leads you down what we might call a slippery slope. And one of the interesting things about these cases is that they will divide up people differently. Even people who consider themselves environmentalists will come down on different sides of some of these technologies. The bind were in is so profound that theres no right answer.

Q.So someone who accepts what were doing to save the Devils Hole pupfish might not necessarily accept gene-editing mosquitos or dimming the sun through solar geoengineering.

A.Exactly. And I think sometimes those lines seem clearer than they are once you start to think about it.

Q.At one point in the book, theres a quote that is (apocryphally) attributed to Einstein: We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them. But you dont say whether you agree with that sentiment or not. Is that on purpose?

A.Yeah, you can read the book and say, Im really glad people are doing these things, and I feel better. Or you can read the book and say, as one scientific quote does, This is a broad highway to hell. And both of those are very valid reactions.

Q.When you write about geoengineering, you point out that many scientists conclude that its necessary to avoid catastrophic levels of warming, but that it could also be a really bad idea. Do you think that in 15 or 20 years youll be writing about a geoengineering experiment gone wrong, much as youre writing now about failed attempts to protect Louisiana from flooding?

A.I might argue about the timescales. Im not sure Ill be reporting on it in 15 years, but I think you might be reporting on it in 30 years.

At the moment, its still the realm of sci-fi, and Im not claiming to have any particular insight into how people are going to respond in the future. But the case thats made in the book by some very smart scientists is that we dont have very many tools in our toolbox for dealing with climate change quickly, because the system has so much inertia. Its like turning around a supertanker: It takes literally decades, even if we do everything absolutely right.

Q.Youve reported on climate change for a long time. How does it feel to see geoengineering being explored as a more valuable and potentially necessary option?

A.Well, one thing I learned in the course of reporting the book was that what we now refer to as geoengineering was actually the very first thing that people started to think about when they realized we were warming the climate. The very first report about climate change that was handed to Lyndon Johnson in 1965 wasnt about how we should stop emitting it was: Maybe we should find some reflective stuff to throw into the ocean to bounce more sunlight back into space!

Its odd, its kind of almost freakish, and I cant explain it, except to say that it sort of fits the pattern of the book.

Q.Theres been a longstanding fight in environmentalism between a technology-will-save-us philosophy and a return-to-nature philosophy. Based on the reporting in this book, do you think that the technology camp has won?

A.I think the book is an attempt to take on both of those schools of thought. On some level, technology has won even people who would say dont do geoengineering still want to put up solar panels and build huge arrays of batteries, and those are technologies! But where does that leave us? It goes back to Ruth Gates and the super coral project. There was a big fight among coral biologists about whether a project like that should even be pursued. The Great Barrier Reef is the size of Italy even if you have some replacement coral, how are you going to get them out on the reef? But Gatess point was, were not returning. Even if we stopped emitting CO2 tomorrow, youre not getting the Great Barrier Reef back as it was in a foreseeable timeframe.

My impulse as an old-school environmentalist is to say Well, lets just leave things alone. But the sad fact is that weve intervened so much at this point that even not intervening is itself an intervention.

Q.Now that we have a U.S. president who takes climate change seriously, do you think we could actually start cutting carbon emissions quickly?

A.I really do want to applaud the first steps that the Biden administration has taken. I think they show a pretty profound understanding of the problem. But the question, and its a big one, is What are the limits? Will Congress do anything? What will happen in the Supreme Court? The U.S. is no longer the biggest emitter on an annual basis, but on a cumulative basis were still the biggest. And we still dont have resolution on how much CO2 we can put up there to avoid 1.5 or 2 degrees Celsius of warming. Those are questions with big error bars. If were lucky, I think we can avoid disastrous climate change. But if were not lucky, were already in deep trouble.

Q.Is there anything else you want to say about the book?

A.It sounds kind of weird after our conversation, but the book was actually a lot of fun to write. It sounds odd when youre talking about a book where the subject is so immensely serious.

Q.You mean like when the undergraduates in Australia are tossing each other buckets of coral sperm?

A.Yes! There is always humor in all these situations. I hope that sense of fun comes through.

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Is Biotechnology the Answer to a More Sustainable Beauty Industry? – Fashionista

Tuesday, February 9th, 2021

In Borneo, the balmy forests of the Malay Archipelago are home to some of the richest biodiversity on Earth. The ecosystems of this island nation, the third-largest in the world, and the largest in Asia, support more than 15,000 plant species and 1,400 amphibians, birds, fish, mammals, reptiles and insects. But since 2000, Borneo's wildlife has faced critical endangerment. Because in just the last two decades, the island has experienced a forest loss that rounds out to at least 39%.

The culprit? Palm oil, a productive vegetable oil derived from the tropic-friendly oil palm tree. The edible oil is a cost-effective alternative to more production-heavy vegetable oils like coconut or olive, and so has become a staple ingredient across food products, detergents and biofuel, as well as in cosmetics. Yet its insatiable demand has quickly outgrown supply: Oil palm plantations now cover more than 66 million acres of the Earth's surface, according to environmental advocacy group Rainforest Rescue, depleting crucial ecosystems and displacing Indigenous peoples in the process. Today, the United Nations reports that only half of Borneo's original forest cover remains.

While palm oil is a particularly devastating case study, it's far from the only example of humans taking undue advantage of the planet's natural resources for industrial gain. In the beauty industry alone, crops, animal byproducts and oils yes, including palm are big for business; palm oil, for one, produces moisturizing fatty acids and texturizing alcohols, an A-plus skin-care combo.

So what if we could safely and sustainably recreate the world's most threatened ingredients, while also making them even more effective? That's a question scientists have been asking since the '60s, when biotechnology first began cropping up to study genetic engineering. Today, biotechnology can be defined as an area of applied science that harnesses living organisms and their derivatives to produce better products and processes. And the beauty industry is leading the charge.

"Biotechnology is essentially technology that's used in the lab to recreate endangered ingredients that ultimately improve people's lives or in the case of beauty, skin or to help solve an old problem," says Catherine Gore, president of vegan skin-care brandBiossance. "There are only a certain number of resources available to us, and biotechnology provides that perfect answer to still build brands through incredible ingredients and not make a negative imprint on the planet, or on your skin, for that matter."

A palm oil plantation and factory encroaches on a wildlife reserve in Malaysia, inhabited by both endangered animals and around 1,200 Indigenous peoples who live in riverbank communities.

Photo: Giles Clarke/Getty Images

Biossance launched in 2017 with squalane as its "hero ingredient." Developed via biotechnology, the brand's 100% plant-based, shelf-stable version of the moisturizer is touted as a more eco-friendly substitute for squalene, an organic compound primarily obtained from shark liver oil. Biossance derives its squalane from small-batch renewable Brazilian sugarcane that's then bio-fermented using its own yeast.

"Biotechnology uses bacteria and yeast as nano factories to produce active ingredients, minimizing the impact on the environment," says Dr. Hadley King, a board-certified dermatologist in New York City. "By using only tiny amounts of botanicals, biotechnology is a highly sustainable process. Active ingredients derived from plants and animals are sometimes criticized for the amount of land, water and energy they require, and with animal-derived ingredients, there are also issues of not being cruelty-free."

Squalene was first described and identified in 1916, and though shark harvesting more euphemistically known as "squalene fishing" has since fallen out of favor, sharks have taken a hit nonetheless. In 2006, the European Union banned targeted fisheries, noting a steep decline in certain shark populations, but according to global non-profit coalition Shark Allies, 2.7 million sharks are still harvested each year for their livers. According to Gore, Biossance's squalane isn't only a more ethical alternative to the shark-based substance, but chemically, it also reportedly works better, too.

"If you look at squalene in a vial, you'll see it's pretty cloudy and compromised in terms of quality, so it tends to oxidize on the skin," she says. Compare that to "totally clear and weightless" squalane, which also causes no oxidation science speak for "going bad" after having been exposed to air. "It's an identical counterpart, and we can make as much as the world needs without having a single negative imprint on the planet," claims Gore.

Ingredients formulated through biotechnology can also be far less expensive to manufacture than so-called "naturally derived" ones. While it takes a pretty penny to develop a new biotechnology product (roughly $1.2 billion, to be exact, according to the Tufts Center for the Study of Drug Development), companies may see a drastic dip in long-term operational costs. And with open sourcing, beauty brands can even work together to share technological breakthroughs across the industry at a rate more affordable than it may take for a company to develop its own technology. It's why Biossance sells its squalane to other prestige cosmetics brands.

Fishermen remove caught sharks from a boat in the Mexican state of Baja California Sur.

Photo: Federico Vespignani/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Beauty (skin care, especially) is so reliant on pioneering formulations that biotechnology is kind of a no-brainer. In 2019, Swiss fragrance company Givaudan developed a biotechnologically-produced version of ambroxide, an organic chemical and one of the key constituents responsible for the woody scent of ambergris. Ambroxie is naturally produced in the digestive system of sperm whales, but Givaudan's renewable version, Ambrofix, is made from fermenting sustainably-sourced sugar cane.

Elsewhere in Switzerland, cosmetic supplier Mibelle uses IceAwake, a trademarked ingredient that helps "rejuvenate" aging, sleep-deprived skin. Mibelle developed its technology from just a few samples of glacial ice melt from the Swiss Alps, taking advantage of the nearby water's high levels of microbial content.

As for palm oil? New York City-based C16 Bioscience has developed its own lab-grown alternative to the ingredient via a fermentation process that uses microbes to brew palm oil like beer and to do it to scale. The biotechnology firm closed a $20 million Series A round last March led by Breakthrough Energy Ventures, a $1 billion fund led by Bill Gates to accelerate innovations in sustainable energy.

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With almost no environmental impact in the product formulation itself, it's understandable that biotechnology alternatives can be considered the most "sustainable" option for eco-conscious consumers. But unlike the food sector that offers a number of third-party certification programs, beauty is less stringent, at least as far as governmental agencies are concerned.

The Food and Drug Administration regulates cosmetics, sure, but the term "organic" is not actually defined in any of its standards. Neither is "sustainable," or "clean," or even "natural," and there's no assurance that products that fall into those buckets are necessarily better for your skin overall. (Which is why it's so problematic that these products are also rarely accessible to those with lower incomes, a disproportionate number of whom are people of color.) And all that continues to mislead shoppers, now tasked with pilfering through ingredient lists and research findings on their own time.

"There's the potential for greenwashing [in biotechnology]," says Dr. King. "We need transparency and helpful labeling standards to help us understand and navigate the options. And ultimately, we need excellent safety and efficacy data to be able to evaluate these ingredients."

Biossance's proprietary squalane oilboth hydrates while locking in moisture.

Photo: Courtesy of Biossance

At Biossance, Gore assures that her team is committed to educating curious shoppers not just about biotechnology, but the company's internal processes as a whole. ("The word biotechnology can be rather abstract," she says. "So it naturally leads to more questions, and potentially more confusion, and that's what has to be targeted.") Transparency may be the most effective solution, then, at least until industry-wide accreditation services become available for beauty brands and their customers. Biotechnology is not waiting around, though.

"We're going to see new types of biotechnology ingredients emerge that are beyond just identical to their natural counterpart, but exceed them in quality and performance," says cosmetic chemist Ron Robinson, founder and CEO of BeautyStat, a beauty-influencer agency and blog that launched its own skin-care line in 2019. Robinson hints that BeautyStat is working on "something big" in the biotechnology world, but can't disclose details just yet.

The possibilities are endless, and not limited to the planet's most endangered flora and fauna, though they certainly take precedence. Gore suggests that consumers look out for biotechnologically-developed sandalwood, an officially "vulnerable" plant species that supplies an oil now frequently used in aromatherapy and perfumery. Biossance's parent corporationAmyris, a synthetic chemical company headquartered outside Oakland, recreated sandalwood using yeast fermentation.

If biotechnology feels rather futuristic, like something out of a flashy, 1960s sci-fi movie, that's because, well, it kind of is. As cross-industry climate action becomes increasingly necessary, Gore is hopeful that scientific innovation will, hopefully, only continue to rise to the occasion.

"The ultimate goal is to ask the questions across the board," she says. "How are ingredients being processed and harvested now? And is there a better solution?"

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Is Biotechnology the Answer to a More Sustainable Beauty Industry? - Fashionista

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New Jersey arts and entertainment news, features, and event previews. – New Jersey Stage

Tuesday, February 9th, 2021

By Al Nigrin

Here is my interview with Joey Skaggs: Satire and Art Activism 1960s to the Present and Beyond Director Judy Drosd and Joey Skaggs.

Nigrin: The 2017 documentary filmArt of the PrankDirected by Andrea Marini, seems like a primer or greatest hits on Joeys life as a performance artist. The four oral histories that are part ofJoey Skaggs: Satire and Art Activism 1960s to the Present and Beyondseem to go deeper into his career. Was this what you were hoping to achieve?

Drosd: Andrea Marinis film, Art of the Prank, touches on many of Joeys performances and media satires, but he also wanted to follow Joey working on a new media hoax to show in real time what goes on behind the scenes. So, we get to watch Joey in the act of creating a fake documentary film, Pandoras Hope, which hes making to bring attention to the controversial issue of genetic modification and engineering. There are always limitations to how much material you can cover in a documentary. Any filmmaker will tell you about the heartbreaking and sometimes brutal cuts you have to make to keep the material focused and riveting. Choices have to be made in service of the story, and Andrea was knee deep in Joeys archival material he wanted to use but couldnt. Joeys work is provocative, confrontational and frequently outrageous so it has attracted a lot of media coverage over the decades. His performances are ephemeral, happening in plain sight in everyday life. He collected documentation of his performances as well as the news coverage because otherwise there would be no evidence that these things occurred. Consequently, he has a large collection of film, video, audio and print materials in addition to the physical art works he created to execute the concepts. Now that Art of the Prank has been launched into the world, Joey and I decided to dig deeper into the archive and create these new, more detailed and nuanced oral histories using material not included in the film. We dont have the same limitations Andrea had to deal with. Were approaching this as an open-ended non-linear project. Each piece is (and future pieces will be) as long as they need to be to tell a compelling story.

Nigrin: How did this oral history project come about? You mention in your press packet that you are working with NYU. How are they helping?

Skaggs: As I get older, Im thinking about what to do with my vast collection, which not only includes coverage of my work, but also sheds light on the times, illuminating what was going on that provoked and inspired me. Does it all go into a dumpster when Im gone? Is it picked apart by people who dont necessarily understand the work? So, Ive been seeking a way to preserve it and share it with the public. This is a dilemma all artists face.

Drosd: We reached out to NYU Professor Howard Besser, PhD., who founded the Moving Image Archiving and Preservation Department in the Tisch School of the Arts. Howard is a supporter of Joeys work and became a champion in helping us shape the collection for eventual transference to an institution that can care for it in perpetuity. He arranged for us to have an NYU graduate student intern this past summer to start the process, but when the Covid-19 pandemic hit, we had to segue from hands-on to an online-only experience. Our intern, David Griess, created a detailed Collection Assessment of Joeys archival materials as a first step, and also, at Joeys suggestion, began researching the ins and outs of doing oral histories to accompany the collection. We filmed a couple of tests with David, which became the first and second episodes in the Joey Skaggs Satire and Art Activism, 1960s to the Present and Beyond film. Joey and I then shot many more stories and I began editing this oral history project. NYUs involvement and support will continue as we move forward. Thanks to the New Jersey Film Festival, the first four episodes will be screened together as a single film on February 12, 2020.

Nigrin: You mentioned in the Video Q+A you did for the New Jersey Film Festival that there are more than 50 of these oral histories. Do you plan to release those as well? What periods are these focused on? Are they focused on particular performances?

Drosd: We are creating oral histories on a wide spectrum of Joeys lifes work and experiences. Its hard to say how many episodes there will be. However, each one transports you back in time to a different era and you get a sense of Joeys challenges and the imaginative and frequently hilarious work that he created over the years, all of which remains amazingly relevant today.

Nigrin: The music in these short films seems a bit twee at times. Other times quite serious. Can you elaborate on the use of the music in your films?

Drosd: The stories are nostalgic and music is critical to the narrative. It heightens the mood and helps pull the viewer into the time and place of the story. We tried to be truthful to the soundtrack of Joeys life, and we added a little cheekiness, just to underscore the absurdity of some of the stories. Since we cant afford the rights to songs by the Doors, or Deep Purple, or other iconic musical artists of the times, we did the next best thing. We found royalty free music that could, by association, set that tone. Also, we are fortunate to have a good friend, Daniel Pemberton, who is a world renowned movie composer (Steve Jobs, King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, Mollys Game, Oceans 8, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, Yesterday, Birds of Prey, The Trial of the Chicago 7 and many more), and he has given us access to music to which he owns full rights.

Nigrin: Are there any memorable stories while you made this film or any other info about your film you would like to relay to us?

Skaggs: Everything I do depends on the talent and generosity of a lot of other people. So far, in this series, Im so grateful to graphic designer Kaboom J. Schneider, and motion graphics animator Claudio Castillo, both of whom contributed to the titles. And then, there are all the people who appear in the episodes. I want to recognize all of them because I couldnt be successful without them.

Drosd: Working on these oral histories has been a trip down memory lane for both Joey and me. Because of the pandemic, weve been confined to one location. But this project has temporarily transported us out of todays divisive political reality and put us back in touch with the incredibly divisive realities of previous eras that inspired so much of Joeys activism and satire.

Skaggs: It seems there is always hype, hypocrisy, the mis-use of power, greed, racial injustice, and endless war. We have to continuously resist, preferably in a creative way and where possible with humor. If people get just one thing from this film series, I hope it is the inspiration to use their voices and stand up against social injustice and oppression.

Here is more info on this screening:

Joey Skaggs: Satire and Art Activism 1960s to the Present and Beyond - Judy Drosd (New York, New York) Joey Skaggs is a satirist, performance artist, and activist who for decades pioneered the use of the media as an integral part of his artwork. Skaggs art is both timely and timelessly relevant in that he tackles far ranging cultural, political and social issues, producing works that question and challenge authority and examine societal beliefs in a profound and humorous way. These four short documentaries are the first in a series of Joey Skaggs oral histories produced with technical support from NYUs Moving Image Archiving and Preservation program in the Tisch School of the Arts. In Joey Skaggs:The Early Years, 1940s to 1960s,Joey looks back at some of the earliest influences that led him away from the art establishment and into the streets.In Joey Skaggs: Art as Activism, 1960s and 1970s,Joey talks about the roots of his activism and his earliest renegade and inflammatory performance art in the streets of New York City. We see the spark that ignites his life-long controversial relationship with the news media. In Joey Skaggs: The Bad Guys Talent Management Agency,using historical archival footage, Joey tells the hilarious story of this 1984 media performance piece in which he helps his friend Verne fulfill his life-long ambition to become an actor. And in Joey Skaggs: The Fat Squad, Joey enlists his stable of eager actors and unleashes them as Fat Squad commandos, tough guys you can hire to use force to keep you on your diet. With extraordinary archival footage, Joey shows how he hooked the global news media, always hungry for salacious stories, into covering businesses that were definitely too good to be true. Joey Skaggs' work is also the subject of Andrea Marini's award-winning feature documentaryArt of the Prank, which won the Best Documentary prize at the New Jersey Film Festival back in 2017.2020; 52min.

Friday, February 12, 2021 - $12=General

Film will be available on VOD (Video On Demand) for 24 hours on its showdate.

To buy tickets for this screening go here:

https://watch.eventive.org/newjerseyfilmfestival2021/play/5faa91d9cbe29a0a49aefc78

Information:

https://newjerseyfilmfestival2021.eventive.org/welcome

https://newjerseyfilmfestival2021.eventive.org/schedule

(848) 932-8482; http://www.njfilmfest.com

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New Jersey arts and entertainment news, features, and event previews. - New Jersey Stage

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CollPlant Announces Development and Global Commercialization Agreement with Allergan Aesthetics, an AbbVie company, for rhCollagen in Dermal and Soft…

Tuesday, February 9th, 2021

REHOVOT, Israel, Feb. 8, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- CollPlant Biotechnologies (NASDAQ: CLGN) today announced it has entered into a worldwide exclusive development and commercialization agreement for dermal and soft tissue filler products with Allergan Aesthetics, an AbbVie company.

CollPlanthasgrantedAllergan Aesthetics worldwide exclusivity to use itsplant-derived recombinant human collagen (rhCollagen)in combination with Allergan Aesthetics' proprietary technologies, for the production and commercialization of dermal and soft tissue fillers. In addition, Allergan Aesthetics has the right of first negotiation for CollPlant's technology in two future additional products.

CollPlant will receive an upfront payment of $14 million and is entitled to receive up to an additional $89 million in milestone payments. In addition, CollPlant is eligible to receive royalty payments and a fee for the manufacture and supply of rhCollagen to Allergan Aesthetics.

Yehiel Tal, Chief Executive Officer of CollPlant, stated, "We are very pleased to formalize this collaboration with Allergan Aesthetics, the worldwide leader in dermal and soft tissue fillers. We believe that combining technologies from Allergan Aesthetics and CollPlant will create a paradigm shift in the medical aesthetics field. CollPlant's rhCollagen is non-immunogenic and non-allergenic, and offers better tissue regeneration performance over animal-derived collagen which is currently used in medical aesthetics. This agreement further validates CollPlant's technology as the gold standard collagen for regenerative and aesthetic medicine. We look forward to a highly productive partnership."

Roger J. Pomerantz, MD, FACP, Chairman of the Board of Directors at CollPlant, said, "Our company is extremely excited to expand our work in medical aesthetics towards commercialization in the dermal filler market, which is projected to reach $10 billion by 2026. This collaboration is a major step forward, firmly placing CollPlant at the next level in applying our regenerative medicine technology to tackle new areas in biomedicine."

About CollPlant

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

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

CollPlant's flagship rhCollagen BioInk product line is ideal for 3D bioprinting of tissues and organs. In 2018, CollPlant 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.

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

Contacts at CollPlant:

Eran RotemDeputy CEO & Chief Financial OfficerTel: + 972-73-2325600/631Email:[emailprotected]

Safe Harbor for Forward-Looking 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: CollPlant's history of significant losses and its need to raise additional capital and its inability to obtain additional capital on acceptable terms, or at all; CollPlant's expectations regarding the timing and cost of commencing clinical trials with respect to products which are based on CollPlant's rhCollagen; CollPlant's ability to obtain favorable pre-clinical and clinical trial results; regulatory action with respect to the 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 products; CollPlant's ability to establish sales and marketing capabilities or enter into agreements with third parties and its reliance on third-party distributors and resellers; CollPlant's ability to establish and maintain strategic partnerships and other corporate collaborations; CollPlant's reliance on third parties to conduct some aspects of its product manufacturing; the scope of protection CollPlant is able to establish and maintain for intellectual property rights and the companies' ability to operate their 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 companies operate; projected capital expenditures and liquidity; changes in the companies' 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, respectively, 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 neither company undertakes, and each company specifically disclaims, any obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

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A new tool to investigate bacteria behind hospital infections – MIT News

Tuesday, February 9th, 2021

Researchers from the Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) Interdisciplinary Research Group (IRG) at Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology (SMART), MITs research enterprise in Singapore, and Nanyang Technological University (NTU) have developed a tool using CRISPRi technology that can help understand and prevent biofilm development, drug resistance, and other physiological behaviors of bacteria such as Enterococcus faecalis.

E. faecalis, which is found in the human gut, is one of the most prevalent causes of hospital-associated infections and can lead to a variety of multidrug-resistant, life-threatening infections including bacteremia (bloodstream infection), endocarditis (infection of the heart), catheter-associated urinary tract infection, and wound infections.

However, current methods for understanding and preventing E. faecalis biofilm formation and development are labor-intensive and time-consuming. The SMART AMR research team designed an easily modifiable genetic technique that allows rapid and efficient silencing of bacteria genes to prevent infections.

In a paper published in the journal mBio, the researchers explain the scalable dual-vector nisin-inducible CRISPRi system, which can identify genes that allow bacteria like E. faecalis to form biofilms, cause infections, acquire antibiotic resistance, and evade the host immune system. The team combined CRISPRi technology with rapid DNA assembly under controllable promoters, which enables rapid silencing of single or multiple genes, to investigate nearly any aspect of enterococcal biology.

Infections caused by E. faecalis are usually antibiotic-tolerant and more difficult to treat, rendering them a significant public health threat, says Irina Afonina, postdoc at SMART AMR and lead author of the paper. Identifying the genes that are involved in these bacterial processes can help us discover new drug targets or propose antimicrobial strategies to effectively treat such infections and overcome antimicrobial resistance.

The team believes their new tool will be valuable in rapid and efficient investigation of a wide range of aspects of enterococcal biology and pathogenesis, host-bacterium interactions, and interspecies communication. The method can be scaled up to simultaneously silence multiple bacterial genes or perform full-genome studies.

Bacterial biofilms are clusters of bacteria that are enclosed in a protective, self-produced matrix, says SMART AMR principal investigator and NTU Associate Professor Kimberly Kline, also the corresponding author of the paper. The system we designed enables us to easily interrogate various stages during the biofilm developmental cycle of E. faecalis. By selectively silencing certain genes in preformed, mature biofilms, we can erode the biofilm and force it to disperse.

The scalable CRISPRi system uses high-throughput screens that can allow for rapid identification of gene combinations to be simultaneously targeted for novel and efficient antimicrobial combinatorial therapies.

The idea behind SMARTs inducible CRISPRi system was conceived by Kline and SMART AMR principal investigator Professor Timothy Lu, an associate professor in the MIT departments of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and Biological Engineering, while Afonina developed and delivered the genetic tool.

The research is carried out by SMART and supported by the National Research Foundation (NRF) Singapore under its Campus for Research Excellence And Technological Enterprise (CREATE) program.

SMART was established by MIT in partnership with the NRF Singapore in 2007. SMART is the first entity in CREATE developed by NRF. SMART serves as an intellectual and innovation hub for research interactions between MIT and Singapore, undertaking cutting-edge research projects in areas of interest to both Singapore and MIT. SMART currently comprises an Innovation Center and five IRGs: AMR, Critical Analytics for Manufacturing Personalized-Medicine, Disruptive and Sustainable Technologies for Agricultural Precision, Future Urban Mobility, and Low Energy Electronic Systems.

The AMR IRG is a translational research and entrepreneurship program that tackles the growing threat of antimicrobial resistance. By leveraging talent and convergent technologies across Singapore and MIT, they tackle AMR head-on by developing multiple innovative and disruptive approaches to identify, respond to, and treat drug-resistant microbial infections. Through strong scientific and clinical collaborations, they provide transformative, holistic solutions for Singapore and the world.

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A new tool to investigate bacteria behind hospital infections - MIT News

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Taysha Gene Therapies Announces Collaborations to Advance Next-Generation Mini-Gene Payloads for AAV Gene Therapies for the Treatment of Genetic…

Tuesday, February 9th, 2021

DALLAS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Taysha Gene Therapies, Inc. (Nasdaq: TSHA), a patient-centric, clinical-stage gene therapy company focused on developing and commercializing AAV-based gene therapies for the treatment of monogenic diseases of the central nervous system (CNS) in both rare and large patient populations, today announced multi-year collaborations with Cleveland Clinic and UT Southwestern Gene Therapy Program (UTSW) to advance next-generation mini-gene payloads for AAV gene therapies for the treatment of genetic epilepsies and additional CNS disorders. Taysha will have an exclusive option on new payloads, constructs and intellectual property associated with, and arising from, the research conducted under this agreement.

A team of researchers from Cleveland Clinic Lerner Research Institute will create mini-gene payloads designed to address some of the long-standing limitations in AAV gene therapy. UTSW will create and evaluate vector constructs in in vivo and in vitro efficacy models of genetic epilepsies and additional CNS disorders.

By pushing the boundaries of AAV vector engineering, we may be able to overcome some of the challenges inherent with gene therapy and potentially expand the range of treatable genetic CNS diseases with gene therapies. We appreciate the support from Taysha and UTSW in this work, said Dennis Lal, Ph.D., Assistant Staff at Cleveland Clinic Genomic Medicine Institute and Neurological Institute. We believe that our proprietary approach to overcoming current limitations of packaging capacity and our access to data on thousands of protein structures associated with a whole host of monogenic CNS disorders has the potential to enable a deep pipeline of functioning mini-genes.

Cleveland Clinic and UTSW are two of the worlds preeminent leaders in gene therapy innovation, and this collaboration is designed to leverage our capabilities and synergies with these institutions to pioneer novel approaches to address vector capacity, which is a common limitation when treating genetic disorders associated with large proteins, said Suyash Prasad, MBBS, M.SC., MRCP, MRCPCH, FFPM, Chief Medical Officer and Head of Research and Development of Taysha. We look forward to a productive collaboration with the goal of developing treatments with promising benefits to patients with debilitating genetic epilepsies.

About Taysha Gene Therapies

Taysha Gene Therapies (Nasdaq: TSHA) is on a mission to eradicate monogenic CNS disease. With a singular focus on developing curative medicines, we aim to rapidly translate our treatments from bench to bedside. We have combined our teams proven experience in gene therapy drug development and commercialization with the world-class UT Southwestern Gene Therapy Program to build an extensive, AAV gene therapy pipeline focused on both rare and large-market indications. Together, we leverage our fully integrated platforman engine for potential new cureswith a goal of dramatically improving patients lives. More information is available at http://www.tayshagtx.com.

Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Words such as anticipates, believes, expects, intends, projects, and future or similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements include statements concerning or implying the potential of our collaboration with the Cleveland Clinic and UTSW, the potential of our product candidates to positively impact quality of life and alter the course of disease in the patients we seek to treat, our research, development and regulatory plans for our product candidates, the potential benefits of rare pediatric disease designation and orphan drug designation to our product candidates, the potential for these product candidates to receive regulatory approval from the FDA or equivalent foreign regulatory agencies, and whether, if approved, these product candidates will be successfully distributed and marketed. Forward-looking statements are based on managements current expectations and are subject to various risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially and adversely from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Accordingly, these forward-looking statements do not constitute guarantees of future performance, and you are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements. Risks regarding our business are described in detail in our Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filings, including in our Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended September 30, 2020, which is available on the SECs website at http://www.sec.gov. Additional information will be made available in other filings that we make from time to time with the SEC. Such risks may be amplified by the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. These forward-looking statements speak only as of the date hereof, and we disclaim any obligation to update these statements except as may be required by law.

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Outlook on the CRISPR Gene Editing Global Market to 2030 – Analysis and Forecasts – GlobeNewswire

Tuesday, February 9th, 2021

Dublin, Feb. 08, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The "Global CRISPR Gene Editing Market: Focus on Products, Applications, End Users, Country Data (16 Countries), and Competitive Landscape - Analysis and Forecast, 2020-2030" report has been added to ResearchAndMarkets.com's offering.

The global CRISPR gene editing market was valued at $846.2 million in 2019 and is expected to reach $10,825.1 million by 2030, registering a CAGR of 26.86% during the forecast.

The development of genome engineering with potential applications proved to reflect a remarkable impact on the future of the healthcare and life science industry. The high efficiency of the CRISPR-Cas9 system has been demonstrated in various studies for genome editing, which resulted in significant investments within the field of genome engineering. However, there are several limitations, which need consideration before clinical applications. Further, many researchers are working on the limitations of CRISPR gene editing technology for better results. The potential of CRISPR gene editing to alter the human genome and modify the disease conditions is incredible but exists with ethical and social concerns.

The growth is attributed to the increasing demand in the food industry for better products with improved quality and nutrient enrichment and the pharmaceutical industry for targeted treatment for various diseases. Further, the continued significant investments by healthcare companies to meet the industry demand and growing prominence for the gene therapy procedures with less turnaround time are the prominent factors propelling the growth of the global CRISPR gene editing market.

Research organizations, pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries, and institutes are looking for more efficient genome editing technologies to increase the specificity and cost-effectiveness, also to reduce turnaround time and human errors. Further, the evolution of genome editing technologies has enabled wide range of applications in various fields, such as industrial biotech and agricultural research. These advanced methods are simple, super-efficient, cost-effective, provide multiplexing, and high throughput capabilities. The increase in the geriatric population and increasing number of cancer cases, and genetic disorders across the globe are expected to translate into significantly higher demand for CRISPR gene editing market.

Furthermore, the companies are investing huge amounts in the research and development of CRISPR gene editing products, and gene therapies. The clinical trial landscape of various genetic and chronic diseases has been on the rise in recent years, and this will fuel the CRISPR gene editing market in the future.

Within the research report, the market is segmented based on product type, application, end-user, and region. Each of these segments covers the snapshot of the market over the projected years, the inclination of the market revenue, underlying patterns, and trends by using analytics on the primary and secondary data obtained.

Key Companies Profiled

Abcam, Inc., Applied StemCell, Inc., Agilent Technologies, Inc., Cellecta, Inc., CRISPR Therapeutics AG, Thermo Fisher Scientific, Inc., GeneCopoeia, Inc., GeneScript Biotech Corporation, Horizon Discovery Group PLC, Integrated DNA Technologies, Inc., Merck KGaA, New England Biolabs, Inc., Origene Technologies, Inc., Rockland Immunochemicals, Inc., Synthego Corporation, System Biosciences LLC, ToolGen, Inc., Takara Bio

Key Questions Answered in this Report:

Key Topics Covered:

1 Technology Definition

2 Research Scope

3 Research Methodology

4 Market Overview4.1 Introduction4.2 CRISPR Gene Editing Market Approach4.3 Milestones in CRISPR Gene Editing4.4 CRISPR Gene Editing: Delivery Systems4.5 CRISPR Technology: A Potential Tool for Gene Editing4.6 CRISPR Gene Editing Current Scenario4.7 CRISPR Gene Editing Market: Future Potential Application Areas

5 Global CRISPR Gene Editing Market, $Million, 2020-20305.1 Pipeline Analysis5.2 CRISPR Gene Editing Market and Growth Potential, 2020-20305.3 Impact of COVID-19 on CRISPR Gene Editing Market5.3.1 Impact of COVID-19 on Global CRISPR Gene Editing Market Growth Rate5.3.1. Impact on CRISPR Gene Editing Companies5.3.2 Clinical Trial Disruptions and Resumptions5.3.3 Application of CRISPR Gene Editing in COVID-19

6 Market Dynamics6.1 Impact Analysis6.2 Market Drivers6.2.1 Prevalence of Genetic Disorders and Use of Genome Editing6.2.2 Government and Private Funding6.2.3 Technology Advancement in CRISPR Gene Editing6.3 Market Restraints6.3.1 CRISPR Gene Editing: Off Target Effects and Delivery6.3.2 Ethical Concerns and Implications With Respect to Human Genome Editing6.4 Market Opportunities6.4.1 Expanding Gene and Cell Therapy Area6.4.2 CRISPR Gene Editing Scope in Agriculture

7 Industry Insights7.1 Introduction7.2 Funding Scenario7.3 Regulatory Scenario of CRISPR Gene Editing Market7.4 Pricing of CRISPR Gene Editing7.5 Reimbursement of CRISPR Gene Editing7.5.1 CRISPR Gene Editing: Insurance Coverage in the U.S.

8 CRISPR Gene Editing Patent Landscape8.1 Overview8.2 CRISPR Gene Editing Market Patent Landscape: By Application8.3 CRISPR Gene Editing Market Patent Landscape: By Region8.4 CRISPR Gene Editing Market Patent Landscape: By Year

9 Global CRISPR Gene Editing Market (by Product Type), $Million9.1 Overview9.2 CRISPR Products9.2.1 Kits and Enzymes9.2.1.1 Vector-Based Cas99.2.1.2 DNA-Free Cas99.2.2 Libraries9.2.3 Design Tools9.2.4 Antibodies9.2.5 Other Products9.3 CRISPR Services9.3.1 gRNA Design and Vector Construction9.3.2 Cell Line and Engineering9.3.3 Screening Services9.3.4 Other Services

10 CRISPR Gene Editing Market (by Application), $Million10.1 Overview10.2 Agriculture10.3 Biomedical10.3.1 Gene Therapy10.3.2 Drug Discovery10.3.3 Diagnostics10.4 Industrial10.5 Other Applications

11 Global CRISPR Gene Editing Market (by End User)11.1 Academic Institutions and Research Centers11.2 Biotechnology Companies11.3 Contract Research Organizations (CROs)11.4 Pharmaceutical and Biopharmaceutical Companies

12 Global CRISPR Gene Editing Market (by Region)12.1 Introduction12.2 North America12.3 Europe12.4 Asia-Pacific12.5 Latin America

13 Competitive Landscape13.1 Key Developments and Strategies13.1.1 Overview13.1.1.1 Regulatory and Legal Developments13.1.1.2 Synergistic Activities13.1.1.3 M&A Activities13.1.1.4 Funding Activities13.2 Market Share Analysis13.3 Growth Share Analysis

14 Company Profiles14.1 Overview14.2 Abcam, Inc.14.2.1 Company Overview14.2.2 Role of Abcam, Inc. in the Global CRISPR Gene Editing Market14.2.3 Financials14.2.4 SWOT Analysis14.3 Applied StemCell, Inc.14.3.1 Company Overview14.3.2 Role of Applied StemCell, Inc. in the Global CRISPR Gene Editing Market14.3.3 SWOT Analysis14.4 Agilent Technologies, Inc.14.4.1 Company Overview14.4.2 Role of Agilent Technologies, Inc. in the Global CRISPR Gene Editing Market14.4.3 Financials14.4.4 R&D Expenditure, 2017-201914.4.5 SWOT Analysis14.5 Cellecta, Inc.14.5.1 Company Overview14.5.2 Role of Cellecta, Inc. in the Global CRISPR Gene Editing Market14.5.3 SWOT Analysis14.6 CRISPR Therapeutics AG14.6.1 Company Overview14.6.2 Role of CRISPR Therapeutics AG in the Global CRISPR Gene Editing Market14.6.3 Financials14.6.4 R&D Expenditure, 2017-201914.6.5 SWOT Analysis14.7 Thermo Fisher Scientific, Inc. INC14.7.1 Company Overview14.7.2 Role of Thermo Fisher Scientific, Inc. in the Global CRISPR Gene Editing Market14.7.3 Financials14.7.4 R&D Expenditure, 2017-201914.7.5 SWOT Analysis14.8 GeneCopoeia, Inc.14.8.1 Company Overview14.8.2 Role of GeneCopoeia, Inc. in the Global CRISPR Gene Editing Market14.8.3 SWOT Analysis14.9 GeneScript Biotech Corporation14.9.1 Company Overview14.9.2 Role of GenScript Biotech in the Global CRISPR Gene Editing Market14.9.3 Financials14.9.4 SWOT Analysis14.1 Horizon Discovery Group PLC14.10.1 Company Overview14.10.2 Role of Horizon Discovery Group PLC in the Global CRISPR Gene Editing Market14.10.3 Financials14.10.4 SWOT Analysis14.11 Integrated DNA Technologies, Inc.14.11.1 Company Overview14.11.2 Role of Integrated DNA Technologies, Inc. in the Global CRISPR Gene Editing Market14.11.3 SWOT Analysis14.12 Merck KGaA14.12.1 Company Overview14.12.2 Role of Merck KGaA in the Global CRISPR Gene Editing Market14.12.3 Financials14.12.4 SWOT Analysis14.13 New England Biolabs, Inc.14.13.1 Company Overview14.13.2 Role of Integrated DNA Technologies, Inc. in the Global CRISPR Gene Editing Market14.13.3 SWOT Analysis14.14 Origene Technologies, Inc.14.14.1 Company Overview14.14.2 Role of Origene Technologies, Inc. in the Global CRISPR Gene Editing Market14.14.3 SWOT Analysis14.15 Rockland Immunochemicals, Inc.14.15.1 Company Overview14.15.2 Role of Rockland Immunochemicals, Inc. in the Global CRISPR Gene Editing Market14.15.3 SWOT Analysis14.16 Synthego Corporation14.16.1 Company Overview14.16.2 Role of Synthego Corporation in the Global CRISPR Gene Editing Market14.16.3 SWOT Analysis14.17 System Biosciences LLC14.17.1 Company Overview14.17.2 Role of System Biosciences LLC in the Global CRISPR Gene Editing Market14.17.3 SWOT Analysis14.18 ToolGen, Inc.14.18.1 Company Overview14.18.2 Role of ToolGen, Inc. in the Global CRISPR Gene Editing Market14.18.3 SWOT Analysis14.19 Takara Bio14.19.1 Company Overview14.19.2 Role of Takara Bio in the Global CRISPR Gene Editing Market14.19.3 Financials14.19.4 SWOT Analysis

For more information about this report visit https://www.researchandmarkets.com/r/c7om7t

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Outlook on the CRISPR Gene Editing Global Market to 2030 - Analysis and Forecasts - GlobeNewswire

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Development of new coronavirus vaccines may be hitting critical mass. Here’s how they work – CNN

Tuesday, February 9th, 2021

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","descriptionText":"CNN's Nick Watt reports on the concern over more contagious coronavirus variants despite the encouraging news that the US daily case count hit it's lowest number in 3 months. 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","descriptionText":"CNN'su003ca href="/profiles/omar-jimenez" target="_blank"> Omar Jimenezu003c/a> reports on the racial disparities in Covid-19 vaccinations, focusing specifically on the Latinx community in Chicago. "},{"title":"More Covid-19 vaccination sites opening across the US","duration":"02:44","sourceName":"CNN","sourceLink":"http://www.cnn.com","videoCMSUrl":"/video/data/3.0/video/health/2021/02/05/coronavirus-pandemic-vaccine-more-sites-us-hill-pkg-tsr.cnn/index.xml","videoId":"health/2021/02/05/coronavirus-pandemic-vaccine-more-sites-us-hill-pkg-tsr.cnn","videoImage":"//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/210202161253-01-vaccination-line-la-0128-large-169.jpg","videoUrl":"/videos/health/2021/02/05/coronavirus-pandemic-vaccine-more-sites-us-hill-pkg-tsr.cnn/video/playlists/coronavirus/","description":"More mass coronavirus vaccination sites are popping up across the country as the pandemic continues, including sports arenas like Doger Stadium in Los Angeles. 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Months later, this "miracle mom" finally gets to go home and meet her new baby."},{"title":"CNN correspondent on demographics of vaccine distribution","duration":"02:14","sourceName":"CNN","sourceLink":"https://www.cnn.com","videoCMSUrl":"/video/data/3.0/video/health/2021/02/02/coronavirus-vaccination-wrap-watt-newsroom-vpx.cnn/index.xml","videoId":"health/2021/02/02/coronavirus-vaccination-wrap-watt-newsroom-vpx.cnn","videoImage":"//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/210202161253-01-vaccination-line-la-0128-large-169.jpg","videoUrl":"/videos/health/2021/02/02/coronavirus-vaccination-wrap-watt-newsroom-vpx.cnn/video/playlists/coronavirus/","description":"CNN's Nick Watt looks at the vaccine efforts across the US and how the vaccine is being distributed among different segments of the population.","descriptionText":"CNN's Nick Watt looks at the vaccine efforts across the US and how the vaccine is being distributed among different segments of the population."},{"title":"Dr. Fauci on what is needed for society to 'get back to normal'","duration":"02:15","sourceName":"CNN","sourceLink":"http://www.cnn.com","videoCMSUrl":"/video/data/3.0/video/us/2021/02/03/anthony-fauci-vaccination-coronavirus-normalcy-sot-ctn-vpx.cnn/index.xml","videoId":"us/2021/02/03/anthony-fauci-vaccination-coronavirus-normalcy-sot-ctn-vpx.cnn","videoImage":"//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/210202232138-fauci-lemon-split-large-169.jpg","videoUrl":"/videos/us/2021/02/03/anthony-fauci-vaccination-coronavirus-normalcy-sot-ctn-vpx.cnn/video/playlists/coronavirus/","description":"Dr. Anthony Fauci talks with Don Lemon about how many people need to be vaccinated against the coronavirus before society can "get back to normal."","descriptionText":"Dr. Anthony Fauci talks with Don Lemon about how many people need to be vaccinated against the coronavirus before society can "get back to normal.""},{"title":"Why many Black Americans are hesitant to get Covid-19 vaccine","duration":"03:36","sourceName":"CNN","sourceLink":"https://www.cnn.com/","videoCMSUrl":"/video/data/3.0/video/health/2021/02/02/black-american-hesitancy-coronavirus-vaccine-young-lead-dnt-vpx.cnn/index.xml","videoId":"health/2021/02/02/black-american-hesitancy-coronavirus-vaccine-young-lead-dnt-vpx.cnn","videoImage":"//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/210201183747-01-coronavirus-vaccine-washington-0126-large-169.jpg","videoUrl":"/videos/health/2021/02/02/black-american-hesitancy-coronavirus-vaccine-young-lead-dnt-vpx.cnn/video/playlists/coronavirus/","description":"CNN's Ryan Young explains why many Black Americans are hesitant to take the Covid-19 vaccine and the historical significance behind this reluctance. ","descriptionText":"CNN's Ryan Young explains why many Black Americans are hesitant to take the Covid-19 vaccine and the historical significance behind this reluctance. "},{"title":"Massive winter storm disrupts vaccination efforts","duration":"02:19","sourceName":"CNN","sourceLink":"http://www.cnn.com","videoCMSUrl":"/video/data/3.0/video/health/2021/02/01/coronavirus-vaccine-efforts-winter-storm-pkg-vpx-nr.cnn/index.xml","videoId":"health/2021/02/01/coronavirus-vaccine-efforts-winter-storm-pkg-vpx-nr.cnn","videoImage":"//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/210201142408-22-winter-storm-0201-new-york-large-169.jpg","videoUrl":"/videos/health/2021/02/01/coronavirus-vaccine-efforts-winter-storm-pkg-vpx-nr.cnn/video/playlists/coronavirus/","description":"A major winter storm blanketed parts of the mid-Atlantic in more than a foot of snow as it churned up the Northeast coast, delaying Covid-19 vaccinations and testing across the region.","descriptionText":"A major winter storm blanketed parts of the mid-Atlantic in more than a foot of snow as it churned up the Northeast coast, delaying Covid-19 vaccinations and testing across the region."},{"title":"Florida's vaccine rollout frustrates residents","duration":"03:01","sourceName":"CNN","sourceLink":"http://www.cnn.com","videoCMSUrl":"/video/data/3.0/video/health/2021/02/01/florida-coronavirus-vaccine-rollout-frustrations-flores-pkg-vpx.cnn/index.xml","videoId":"health/2021/02/01/florida-coronavirus-vaccine-rollout-frustrations-flores-pkg-vpx.cnn","videoImage":"//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/210201094635-florida-covid-vaccine-flores-pkg-large-169.jpg","videoUrl":"/videos/health/2021/02/01/florida-coronavirus-vaccine-rollout-frustrations-flores-pkg-vpx.cnn/video/playlists/coronavirus/","description":"CNN's u003ca href="http://www.cnn.com/profiles/rosa-flores-profile" target="_blank">Rosa Floresu003c/a> reports on how issues with Florida's latest Covid-19 vaccine rollout plan has left some residents frustrated.","descriptionText":"CNN's u003ca href="http://www.cnn.com/profiles/rosa-flores-profile" target="_blank">Rosa Floresu003c/a> reports on how issues with Florida's latest Covid-19 vaccine rollout plan has left some residents frustrated."}],'js-video_headline-featured-28kamba','',"js-video_source-featured-28kamba",true,true,'coronavirus');if (typeof configObj.context !== 'string' || configObj.context.length

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Development of new coronavirus vaccines may be hitting critical mass. Here's how they work - CNN

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Novavax Announces Start of Rolling Review by Multiple Regulatory Authorities for COVID-19 Vaccine Authorization – GlobeNewswire

Tuesday, February 9th, 2021

GAITHERSBURG, Md., Feb. 04, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Novavax, Inc. (Nasdaq: NVAX), a biotechnology company developing next-generation vaccines for serious infectious diseases, today announced the start of the rolling review process for authorization of NVX-CoV2373, its COVID-19 vaccine, by multiple regulatory agencies. The reviews will continue while the company completes its pivotal Phase 3 trials in the United Kingdom (U.K.) and United States (U.S.) and through initial authorization for emergency use granted under country-specific regulations.

The rolling review of our submission by regulatory authorities of non-clinical data and early clinical studies will help expedite the review process and bring us that much closer to delivering a safe and effective vaccine worldwide, said Gregory M. Glenn, MD, President of Research and Development, Novavax. We appreciate the agencies confidence in Novavax based on our early data and the collective sense of urgency to ensure speedier access to much-needed COVID-19 vaccination.

To date, Novavax has begun the rolling review process with several regulatory agencies worldwide, including the European Medicines Agency (EMA), U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), U.K. Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), and Health Canada. As part of the rolling review, the company will continue to submit additional information, including clinical and manufacturing data.

Novavax recombinant protein-based vaccine candidate is currently in Phase 3 clinical development in both the U.K. and U.S. for the prevention of COVID-19. It was the first vaccine to demonstrate clinical efficacy against the original strain of COVID-19 and both of the rapidly emerging variants in the United Kingdom and South Africa.

About NVX-CoV2373

NVX-CoV2373 is a protein-based vaccine candidate engineered from the genetic sequence of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19 disease. NVX-CoV2373 was created using Novavax recombinant nanoparticle technology to generate antigen derived from the coronavirus spike (S) protein and is adjuvanted with Novavax patented saponin-based Matrix-M to enhance the immune response and stimulate high levels of neutralizing antibodies. NVX-CoV2373 contains purified protein antigen and can neither replicate, nor can it cause COVID-19. In preclinical studies, NVX-CoV2373 induced antibodies that block binding of spike protein to cellular receptors and provided protection from infection and disease. It was generally well-tolerated and elicited robust antibody response numerically superior to that seen in human convalescent sera in Phase 1/2 clinical testing. NVX-CoV2373 is currently being evaluated in two pivotal Phase 3 trials: a trial in the U.K that demonstrated 89.3 percent overall efficacy and 95.6 percent against the original strain in a post-hoc analysis, and the PREVENT-19 trial in the U.S. and Mexico that began in December. It is also being tested in two ongoing Phase 2 studies that began in August: A Phase 2b trial in South Africa that demonstrated up to 60 percent efficacy against newly emerging escape variants, and a Phase 1/2 continuation in the U.S. and Australia.

About Matrix-MNovavax 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 NovavaxNovavax, Inc.(Nasdaq: NVAX) is a biotechnology company that promotes improved health globally through the discovery, development and commercialization of innovative vaccines to prevent serious infectious diseases. The companys proprietary recombinant technology platform combines the power and speed of genetic engineering to efficiently produce highly immunogenic nanoparticles designed to address urgent global health needs. Novavaxis conducting late-stage 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 and will be advanced for regulatory submission. Both vaccine candidates incorporate Novavax proprietary saponin-based Matrix-M adjuvant to enhance the immune response and stimulate high levels of neutralizing antibodies.

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

Novavax Forward Looking Statements

Statements herein relating to the future ofNovavaxand the ongoing development of its vaccine and adjuvant products are forward-looking statements.Novavaxcautions 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 endedDecember 31, 2019, and Quarterly Report on Form10-Qfor the period endedSeptember 30, 2020, as filed with theSecurities 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 theSEC, available atsec.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.

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Novavax Announces Start of Rolling Review by Multiple Regulatory Authorities for COVID-19 Vaccine Authorization - GlobeNewswire

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Global Lab-On-A-Chip Market Industry Perspective, Comprehensive Analysis, and Forecast 2027||Players-Perkin Elmer Corporation, IDEX, Thermo Fisher…

Tuesday, February 9th, 2021

A wide ranging Lab-on-a-chip market report offers the strategists, marketers and senior management with the critical information they need to assess the global market research services market. A good market research report makes it possible to develop strategies such as market segmentation that means identifying specific groups within a market and product differentiation which creates an identity for a product or service that separates it from those of the competitors. With Lab-on-a-chip market research report, it gets effortless to identify growth segments for investment as well as benchmark performance against key competitors.

Lab-on-a-chip market is expected to gain market growth in the forecast period of 2020 to 2027. Data Bridge Market Research analyses the market to account to USD 9.40 billion by 2027 and growing at a CAGR of 7.90% in the above-mentioned forecast period are majorly driven by the increasing application of lab on chip devices in the medical field.

Get Full PDF Sample Copy of Report: (Including Full TOC, List of Tables & Figures, Chart) @ https://www.databridgemarketresearch.com/request-a-sample/?dbmr=global-lab-on-a-chip-market&kb

The major players covered in the lab-on-a-chip market report are BD, Agilent Technologies, Danaher, Bio-Rad Laboratories, Inc, Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd, Perkin Elmer Corporation, IDEX, Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc, Cepheid, General Electric Company, Merck KGaA, and Healthcare among other domestic and global players.

Healthcare Infrastructure growth Installed base and New Technology Penetration

Lab-on-a-chip market also provides you with detailed market analysis for every country growth in healthcare expenditure for capital equipments, installed base of different kind of products for lab-on-a-chip market, impact of technology using life line curves and changes in healthcare regulatory scenarios and their impact on the lab-on-a-chip market. The data is available for historic period 2010 to 2018.

GlobalLab-On-A-Chip Market Scope and Market Size

Lab-on-a-chip market is segmented on the basis of product, application, technology and end-use. The growth amongst these segments will help you analyse meagre growth segments in the industries, and provide the users with valuable market overview and market insights to help them in making strategic decisions for identification of core market applications.

Enquire Here Get customization & check discount for report @: https://www.databridgemarketresearch.com/inquire-before-buying/?dbmr=global-lab-on-a-chip-market&kb

Lab-On-A-CHIP Market Country Level Analysis

Lab-on-a-chip market is analysed and market size insights and trends are provided by country, product, application, technology and end-use, as referenced above.

The countries covered in the lab-on-a-chip market report are U.S., Canada and Mexico in North America, Germany, France, U.K., Netherlands, Switzerland, Belgium, Russia, Italy, Spain, Turkey, Rest of Europe in Europe, China, Japan, India, South Korea, Singapore, Malaysia, Australia, Thailand, Indonesia, Philippines, Rest of Asia-Pacific (APAC) in the Asia-Pacific (APAC), Saudi Arabia, U.A.E, South Africa, Egypt, Israel, Rest of Middle East and Africa (MEA) as a part of Middle East and Africa (MEA), Brazil, Argentina and Rest of South America as part of South America.

America is dominating the lab-on-a-chip market owing to increasing advances in molecular biology and genetic engineering techniques as well increasing prevalence of the diseases.

Table Of Content:

Part 01: Executive SummaryPart 02: Scope Of The ReportPart 03: Global Lab-On-A-Chip Market Landscape

Part 04: Global Lab-On-A-Chip Market Sizing

Part 05: Global Lab-On-A-Chip Market Segmentation By Product

Part 06: Five Forces Analysis

Part 07: Customer LandscapePart 08: Geographic Landscape

Part 09: Decision FrameworkPart 10: Drivers And Challenges

Part 11: Market Trends

Part 12: Vendor Landscape

Part 13: Vendor Analysis

And More..Get Detailed TOC At https://www.databridgemarketresearch.com/toc/?dbmr=global-lab-on-a-chip-market&kb

Opportunities in the market

About Us:

Data Bridge Market Research set forth itself as an unconventional and neoteric Market research and consulting firm with unparalleled level of resilience and integrated approaches. We are determined to unearth the best market opportunities and foster efficient information for your business to thrive in the market. Data Bridge Market Research provides appropriate solutions to the complex business challenges and initiates an effortless decision-making process.

Data Bridge adepts in creating satisfied clients who reckon upon our services and rely on our hard work with certitude. GetCustomizationandDiscounton Report by emailingsopan.gedam@databridgemarketresearch.com. We are content with our glorious 99.9 % client satisfying rate.

Contact:

Data Bridge Market ResearchUS: +1 888 387 2818UK: +44 208 089 1725Hong Kong: +852 8192 7475Email: Corporatesales@databridgemarketresearch.com

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Global Lab-On-A-Chip Market Industry Perspective, Comprehensive Analysis, and Forecast 2027||Players-Perkin Elmer Corporation, IDEX, Thermo Fisher...

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