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Trends in Biotechnology

Anna Toldrà, Ciara K O'Sullivan, Mònica Campàs
The use of isothermal nucleic acid amplification strategies to detect harmful algal blooms (HABs) is in its infancy. We describe recent advances in these systems and highlight the challenges for the achievement of simple, low-cost, compact, and portable devices for field applications.
August 6, 2019: Trends in Biotechnology
Achim Rosemann, Susan Molyneux-Hodgson
The UK Industrial Biotechnology (IB) Strategy presents a consistent plan to develop the IB sector but fails to endorse an innovation process that allows for input from multiple publics. This could be disadvantageous for the bioeconomy: there are notable cases where negligence to address societal dimensions has caused innovation failure.
August 6, 2019: Trends in Biotechnology
DoYeun Park, Jaeseo Lee, Justin J Chung, Youngmee Jung, Soo Hyun Kim
Organs-on-chips (OoCs) have attracted significant attention because they can be designed to mimic in vivo environments. Beyond constructing a single OoC, recent efforts have tried to integrate multiple OoCs to broaden potential applications such as disease modeling and drug discoveries. However, various challenges remain for integrating OoCs towards in vivo-like operation, such as incorporating various connections for integrating multiple OoCs. We review multiplexed OoCs and challenges they face: scaling, vascularization, and innervation...
July 22, 2019: Trends in Biotechnology
Aleksandra Małyska, Marios Nektarios Markakis, Carina F Pereira, Marc Cornelissen
Microbiome research and innovation (R&I) promises solutions to a broad range of business and societal challenges. To bridge the gap between today's potential and the moment at which concrete applications start generating societal impact, critical-scale efforts offering visible progress on topics of public interest will be essential.
July 22, 2019: Trends in Biotechnology
Katharina Schallmoser, Reinhard Henschler, Christian Gabriel, Mickey B C Koh, Thierry Burnouf
Human platelet lysate (HPL), rich in growth factors, is an efficient alternative supplement to fetal bovine serum (FBS) for ex vivo propagation of stromal cell-based medicinal products. Since 2014, HPL has been a focus of the Working Party for Cellular Therapies of the International Society of Blood Transfusion (ISBT). Currently, as several Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP)-compliant manufacturing protocols exist, an international consensus defining the optimal modes of industrial production, product specification, pathogen safety, and release criteria of this ancillary material (AM) is needed...
July 17, 2019: Trends in Biotechnology
Isabel Calejo, Raquel Costa-Almeida, Rui L Reis, Manuela E Gomes
Musculoskeletal diseases are increasing the prevalence of physical disability worldwide. Within the body, musculoskeletal soft and hard tissues integrate through specific multitissue transitions, allowing for body movements. Owing to their unique compositional and structural gradients, injuries challenge the native interfaces and tissue regeneration is unlikely to occur. Tissue engineering strategies are emerging to emulate the physiological environment of soft-to-hard tissue interfaces. Advances in biomaterial design enable control over biophysical parameters, but biomaterials alone are not sufficient to provide adequate support and guide transplanted cells...
July 15, 2019: Trends in Biotechnology
Nan Jiang, Julia E Mück, Ali K Yetisen
This article provides a guideline for the design, manufacture, regulatory approval, and post-market surveillance (PMS) of wearable medical devices (WMDs). The integration of regulatory considerations can accelerate wearable device (WD) development from laboratory to market while mitigating device failure risks. The implementation of stringent clinical evaluations will transcend WDs beyond consumer products.
July 15, 2019: Trends in Biotechnology
Neil R Adames, Jenna E Gallegos, Sonia Y Hunt, William K So, Jean Peccoud
The rapid pace of life sciences innovations and a growing list of nontraditional actors engaging in biological research make it challenging to develop appropriate policies to protect sensitive infrastructures. To address this challenge, we developed a five-day awareness program for security professionals, including laboratory work, site visits, and lectures.
July 15, 2019: Trends in Biotechnology
Pablo I Nikel
Ongoing efforts in synthetic biology aim at constructing (micro)organisms with (pre)defined properties. A recent breakthrough is the chemical synthesis of a recoded Escherichia coli genome by Fredens et al. (Nature, 2019). Besides the conceptual and technological tour de force, the consequences of this unprecedented effort for whole-cell biocatalysis are multifold.
July 13, 2019: Trends in Biotechnology
Rod A Herman, Maria Fedorova, Nicholas P Storer
Risk-disproportionate regulation of gene-edited crops has been proposed to gain public acceptance for this breeding technique. However, confounding safety regulations with advocacy for an underlying technology risks weakening achievement of both objectives. Dedicated factual communication and education from trusted sources is likely to better support public acceptance of gene-edited crops.
July 13, 2019: Trends in Biotechnology
Alexander A Boulgakov, Andrew D Ellington, Edward M Marcotte
The spatial distribution of molecules and cells is fundamental to understanding biological systems. Traditionally, microscopies based on electromagnetic waves such as visible light have been used to localize cellular components by direct visualization. However, these techniques suffer from limitations of transmissibility and throughput. Complementary to optical approaches, biochemical techniques such as crosslinking can colocalize molecules without suffering the same limitations. However, biochemical approaches are often unable to combine individual colocalizations into a map across entire cells or tissues...
July 6, 2019: Trends in Biotechnology
Jessica E Snyder, David Walsh, Peter A Carr, Lynn J Rothschild
Human space exploration and settlement will require leaps forward in life support for environmental management and healthcare. Life support systems must efficiently use nonrenewable resources packed from Earth while increasingly relying on resources available locally in space. On-demand production of components and materials (e.g., 3D printing and synthetic biology) holds promise to satisfy the evolving set of supplies necessary to outfit human missions to space. We consider here life support systems for missions planned in the 2020s, and discuss how the maker and 'do-it-yourself' (DIY) biology communities can develop rapid, on-demand manufacturing techniques and platforms to address these needs...
July 4, 2019: Trends in Biotechnology
Do Yon Kim, Su Bin Moon, Yong-Sam Kim
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
July 1, 2019: Trends in Biotechnology
Volker Müller
Strictly anaerobic, acetogenic (acetate-forming) bacteria are characterized by a reductive pathway in which two mol of CO2 are reduced to one mol of acetyl coenzyme A (acetyl-CoA) and then further to acetate, ethanol, or butyrate. Therefore, they have come into focus for an alternative, CO2 -based bioeconomy. Other one-carbon (C1) substrates, such as formic acid or methanol, are promising feedstocks for an alternative bioeconomy using acetogens as biocatalysts that have been somewhat overlooked. In addition, acetogens, such as Acetobacterium woodii and Thermoanaerobacter kivui, have a unique enzyme system capable of reducing CO2 to formate with H2 as reductant that is superior over any chemical catalyst for CO2 -based hydrogen storage...
June 27, 2019: Trends in Biotechnology
Hung-En Lai, Caoimhe Canavan, Loren Cameron, Simon Moore, Monika Danchenko, Todd Kuiken, Zuzana Sekeyová, Paul S Freemont
Synthetic biology is a rapidly emerging interdisciplinary field of science and engineering that aims to redesign living systems through reprogramming genetic information. The field has catalysed global debate among policymakers and publics. Here we describe how synthetic biology relates to these international deliberations, particularly the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD).
June 27, 2019: Trends in Biotechnology
Antoine L Harfouche, Daniel A Jacobson, David Kainer, Jonathon C Romero, Antoine H Harfouche, Giuseppe Scarascia Mugnozza, Menachem Moshelion, Gerald A Tuskan, Joost J B Keurentjes, Arie Altman
Breeding crops for high yield and superior adaptability to new and variable climates is imperative to ensure continued food security, biomass production, and ecosystem services. Advances in genomics and phenomics are delivering insights into the complex biological mechanisms that underlie plant functions in response to environmental perturbations. However, linking genotype to phenotype remains a huge challenge and is hampering the optimal application of high-throughput genomics and phenomics to advanced breeding...
June 21, 2019: Trends in Biotechnology
Steffi Friedrichs, Yoko Takasu, Peter Kearns, Bertrand Dagallier, Ryudai Oshima, Janet Schofield, Catherine Moreddu
The international Organisation for Economic and Co-operative Development (OECD) conference on genome editing (June 2018) provided a timely platform for scientists, risk assessors, policy-makers, and regulators to discuss the applications and implications of this technology in various agriculture areas and the related policy considerations; in addition questions related to appropriate safety assessments and the regulation of genome-edited products were debated.
June 19, 2019: Trends in Biotechnology
Zahra Shiri, Susan Simorgh, Somayeh Naderi, Hossein Baharvand
The human brain has been deemed the most complex organ and has captivated neuroscientists for decades. Most studies of this organ have relied on reductionist model systems. Although all model systems are essentially wrong, cerebral organoids so far represent the closest recapitulation of human brain development and disease both in terms of cell diversity and organization. The optogenetic technique can be used in this context to study the functional neuroanatomy of the brain, to examine the neural circuits, and to determine the etiology of neurological disorders...
June 18, 2019: Trends in Biotechnology
Jonathon Parrish, Khoon Lim, Boyang Zhang, Milica Radisic, Tim B F Woodfield
Microphysiological systems (MPSs) have been proposed as an improved tool to recreate the complex biological features of the native niche with the goal of improving in vitro-in vivo extrapolation. In just over a decade, MPS technologies have progressed from single-tissue chips to multitissue plates with integrated pumps for perfusion. Concurrently, techniques for biofabrication of complex 3D constructs for regenerative medicine and 3D in vitro models have evolved into a diverse toolbox for micrometer-scale deposition of cells and cell-laden bioinks...
June 12, 2019: Trends in Biotechnology
Jarrod Bailey
There remains substantial evidence to warrant great concern over the poor efficiency and specificity of clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR)-mediated genetic modification (GM), despite relatively minor improvements compared to other GM methods. These issues cause persistent, adverse, ethical, and scientific consequences for GM animals, which may never be sufficiently resolvable.
June 7, 2019: Trends in Biotechnology
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