If Dr. Seuss were still writing his wonderous books and turned his attention to biotechnology today, we might see a title like Ah, the Things You Can Do With Algae! At the University of California San Diego a number of research institutions have joined together to form the San Diego Center for Algae Biotechnology (SD-CAB) where scientists are pursuing all sorts of innovative projects using the ubiquitous green matter that also happens to be a genetic model organism. Which means it is not only easy to grow, but it can do things that bacteria and even mammalian cells can't, like host a genetically engineered protein that targets cancer.
Science Market Update
The California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM), California's stem cell agency, has just announced a new round of stem cell research funding totalling more than $69M. $12M of that will go to 5 biomedical scientists at the University of California San Diego, with an additional $4.3M awarded to a researcher at Scripps Institute, and a further $4M to two lab teams at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies. That brings the total for UCSD and its affiliate La Jolla research institutes to $17.5M for this third round of CIRM's Early Translational Awards program, which supports projects that are in the initial stages of identifying drugs or cell types that could become disease therapies. UCSD alone received almost twice as much stem cell research funding in this round as any other public university, including UCSF.
The 33rd Semiannual San Diego Biotechnology Vendor Showase™ Event (BVS) at UCSD on February 9th was a success with close to 700 attendees looking at a wide variety of new products. But new products weren't the only thing new at this event, Biotechnology Calendar, Inc. had their very first photo booth available for free fun photo strips to take home!
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The perfect laboratory probably only exists in theory. The most meticulously-designed lab space, outfitted without sparing expense, will be ideal only until needs change, focus shifts, or growth is required. That's why lab planners are abandoning perfection for flexibility, and the form that flexibility takes is often modular. Modular labs can be whole buildings or rooms fabricated off-site and installed to spec, or they can be labs within a solid structure that have been designed with modular concepts to allow for future reconfiguration.
UCSD receives more funding; total funding tops $1Billion for 2011.