In what is being hailed as a victory for both scientific research and patients' rights, the Supreme Court ruled unanimously yesterday that human genetic material cannot be patented. The case, Association for Molecular Pathology v. Myriad Genetics, has been working its way through the court system for a number of years now, led by plaintiffs including the ACLU, the American College of Medical Genetics, the American Society for Clinical Pathology, and numerous prominent genetic research scientists. The verdict invalidates the patents Myriad Genetics has held on breast cancer genes BRCA1 and BRCA2 since the 1990's and allows other labs besides theirs to test for mutations in those genes which, when present, strongly indicate a genetic predisposition to cancer. It also means that scientists can move forward in their genetic research without threat of being sued for copyright infringement. While the case was brought against Myriad specifically, the decision to disallow human gene patenting has profound implications for both scientific discovery and individual rights of ownership over our own genetic material.
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Tags: 2014, CA, 2013, Bioresearch, gene patenting, cancer research, Southwest, Southwest life science marketing events, Cancer Treatment, San Diego, SDVS, Genetics, UC San Diego, biotech industry, Biotechnology Vendor Showcase
Mycology is the branch of biology devoted to the study of fungi (mushrooms), which, we're increasingly learning, are truly astonishing in what they can do. With the support of a grant from the EPA, a team of Washington State University scientists is developing a mycofiltration system to purify storm water of bacteria before it re-enters the urban water supply. Professor Marc Beutel is an environmental engineer who has joined forces with renowned mycologist Paul Stamets of Fungi Perfecti, a research laboratory and retail company also in Washington State. Together they have completed the first phase of a study titled Mycofiltration Biotechnology for Pathogen Management, wherein they have successfully used fungi to create a "living net" to filter effluent bacteria. The project was funded by an EPA Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) award.
Tags: biotech industry, WA, Washington, Washington State University, Northwest, Northeast Region, Biotechnology, BioResearch Product Faire Event, Front Line event, mycofiltration, 2013, WashU, 2014, WSU, Pullman
The Jennie Smoly Caruthers Biotechnology Building on the East Campus of the University of Colorado Boulder is already welcoming researchers to their new labs and offices, and on April 26 there will be an official dedication ceremony for the 330,000sf innovative life science facility. While the university is still waiting for state funding to construct a fifth wing for teaching space, the current building is scheduled to be fully occupied by June. As we reported in a widely-read earlier blog on this much-anticipated research complex, one of the key tenants will be the Biofrontiers Institute, formerly the CIMB. Joining them are the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering and the Division of Biochemistry.
Tags: biotech industry, New research facilities, Colorado, Southwest, construction, University of Colorado Boulder, new construction, flow cytometry, Boulder, Bioresearch, BRPF, Biofrontiers Institute, UCO, BioResearch Product Faire Event
In two recent articles published on business websites, Duke University emerges as being especially strong in both industry research funding (as it matches public funding) and its position within a growing biotech hub (the Research Triangle formed by Durham, Raleigh, and Chapel Hill, North Carolina). What these studies indicate is that Duke is succeeding as a research university in ways that its rivals may not be able to match and that bode well for its growth in the future. Both articles suggest that one of Duke's strengths is its relationship to industry in the region, for developing its technology as well as bringing in new funding for its research.
Current science events including life science product and technique seminars are one of the best scientific sales and marketing tools used by companies to gain exposure, establish credibility and build name recognition in research communities.
We’ve noticed a trend in public/private alliances and an increase in translational research facilities being built at university medical school campuses. Specifically, we've written about these innovative research funding trends in this blog series:
The laboratory equipment supplier Thermo Fisher Scientific has donated their first piece of equipment to the nonprofit Seeding Labs. This admirable nonprofit provides labs in developing countries with much needed lab supplies and professional training.
When Merck bought Sirna in 2006, the pharmaceutical giant took over Sirna's San Francisco Mission Bay research space at 1700 Owens St. and became the first major life science company to move into the up-and-coming biotech hub. Except, of course, for biomedical research megastar University of California, San Francisco, which opened the first building of its Mission Bay Campus in 2003 and currently houses its Biochemistry & Biophysics Departments in Genentech Hall, Byers Hall and Rock Hall. Also on the bayside campus are the William J Rutter Conference Center, Smith Cardiovascular Research Building, UCSF Housing, a child care center, the Helen Diller Family Cancer Research Building, the Orthpaedic Institute, and retail shops. UCSF's real estate holdings at Mission Bay total 57 acres, and the University currently employs over 2000 people at the MB campus alone (before the opening of the future medical center complex and the new Neurosciences Laboratory and Clinical Research Building).
In a speech given at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh on June 24, President Obama announced the launch of the $500M Advanced Manufacturing Partnership (AMP) between university research science, government agencies, and industry to increase investment in technologies that create 21st Century manufacturing jobs here in the United States. In addition to Carnegie Mellon, the research institutions involved in the initiative are: the University of Michigan, the University of California-Berkeley, MIT, Stanford, and the Georgia Institute of Technology.