A gift to Harvard University for $50 million is slated to be announced Monday. The money will be donated by former Harvard student and businessman Len Blavatnik to help fuel a major enterprise intending to bridge the break between basic biomedical research and the creation of new patient therapies. The gift will also kick-start the creation of a fellowship at Harvard Business School to help life science entrepreneurs by expanding their exposure to life science technologies and research.
Science Market Update
By now we all know that DNA is an informational molecule encoding the genetic instructions used in the development and functioning of all known living organisms and many viruses (Wikipedia). But very recently, Harvard University bio engineers at the Wyss Institute have shown that deoxyribonucleic acid can also be used as a tool. Specifically, two teams have published eye-opening studies on using DNA creatively to:
At the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University, in the Longwood medical neighborhood in Boston, researchers have reached a biotech milestone with tremendous potential for future drug testing and development. Instead of resorting to animals for testing, they may soon be using a simulated organ that lives on a chip. It has mechanical and biological (cellular) parts, and yes, it breathes, thanks to a vacuum system that pumps air through. The bio-inspired micro-device has gone through several tests recently to assess its accuracy in mimicking the human lung when bacteria or potentially toxic drugs are introduced. Results: Positive. The lung-on-a-chip replicates responses found in animal models and observations of human lung function. Indeed, because the device uses human lung and blood vessel cells, it acts may act more like a lung in a human body than lab animals.
Tags: Northeast, Lab-on-a-chip Technology, 2012, Massachusetts, Cancer, biological, Boston, BioResearch Product Faire Event, MA, Harvard, innovative solutions, Drug Development, Harvard Medical School, bio medical research
It's getting to the point where there's less and less relevant distinction to be made between life science and physical science research. It was clearer when one lab had petri dishes and the other had circuitboards, but what happens when you have both? That's the case in the Harvard University labs of chemist Charles Lieber and his medical school colleague Daniel Kohane, where the bio research team has successfully created living tissue embedded with tiny nanowires capable of running an electrical current so subtle that it does not harm the tissue cells. These 3D bioelectronic structures could potentially both relay complex information about what's going on inside the tissue and receive signals from an outside source such as instructions for repairs. Several news outlets are calling it cyborg tissue and envision its future use in implants, prosthetics, or even some kind of therapeutic microbot. More immediately it will most likely be used for drug testing in labs, as a precursor to animal or human trials.
Tags: Northeast, MIT, cell biology, 2012, Biochemistry, Massachusetts, biorobotics, Cell Research, chemistry research, bioprinting, Boston, BioResearch Product Faire Event, MA, Harvard, Harvard Medical School
"There has been a feeling in the field that exercise 'talks to' various tissues in the body, but the question has been, how?"
In yesterday's blog we referenced the findings of a study of established and emerging life science clusters in the United States. That Life Sciences Cluster Report, produced by Jones Lange LaSalle (JLL, a financial and professional services firm specializing in real estate services and investment management) was the basis of an analysis by GEN Magazine's editor that we cited. Today we're looking at the JLL report directly, which ranks the top 16 US life science regions and pinpoints the top markets for real estate expansion in such industries as pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, medical device technology, agricultural biotechnology and biofuels.
This story not only amazed us but brought home how important the work of researchers and medical equipment technology developers is in real time, right now, for saving the lives of actual people. Read the update below, too. -- 12/23/2011
Blood vessels are often looked upon as a constructive part of a functioning organism; a healthy vascular system indicates strong circulation. An unhealthy vascular system leads to weak circulation, low blood pressure, and a low supply of blood to the extremities of the body.
Recently, Harvard scientists took on the challenge of expanding the catheter's capabilities to address specific requirements of open heart surgery while simultaneously offering a significantly less invasive approach to complex cardiac procedures.