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Top Science & Biotech Lab Headlines – Q1 2015

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The latest science & biotech headlines from the first quarter of 2015, summarized for Cedar Brook tenants and leaders in the industry.  

Mar 31, 2015 – Automating Real-time PCR? Five questions to guide the process.

With the increasing importance of generating large-scale data to drive new pharmaceutical and biotech discoveries, many scientists are feeling pressure to speed up data collection. One increasingly popular strategy that’s helping labs meet this challenge is implementing a robotic PCR workflow.


Mar 31, 2015 – Researchers create ‘Wikipedia’ for neurons.

(Nanowerk News) The decades worth of data that has been collected about the billions of neurons in the brain is astounding. To help scientists make sense of this “brain big data,” researchers at Carnegie Mellon University have used data mining to create http://www.neuroelectro.org, a publicly available website that acts like Wikipedia, indexing physiological information about neurons.


March 19, 2015 – Major soda makers are desperate for a drink that tastes like the real thing, but doesn’t contain sweeteners that spook consumers

In biotech labs from California and New Jersey to Denmark, Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, and their suppliers are racing to find the industry’s holy grail—a soda that tastes as good as the iconic colas, is sweetened naturally, and has zero calories. Falling out of sync with consumers’ taste buds isn’t the issue. A century after first appearing as a drugstore elixir, the sweet, caramel-colored beverage remains the world’s most popular packaged drink. Globally, colas account for more than half of all sodas sold. The challenge for the $187 billion soft drink industry is giving consumers in developed markets the sugary taste they want without giving them the mouthful of calories they don’t. Concerns about obesity and health have led to nine years of falling U.S. soda consumption.


March 17, 2015 – How do we weigh benefits and risks of human gene editing?

Replacing faulty genes in early human embryos and germ cells is within our grasp. Such changes affect DNA in the nucleus and so would be heritable; ultimately, they could be used to make a genetically modified baby.

There are already reports that groups in China, the U.S. and the biotech industry have done this kind of genetic engineering in the lab, prompting some scientists to call for a moratorium on this work. But the underlying technology is potentially hugely disruptive, offering easier and more precise ways to manipulate genes.


Friday, March 6, 2015Zarxio approval paves way for less expensive cutting-edge medications, experts say.

(HealthDay News) — The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Friday approved the nation’s first “biosimilar” drug, a move that could lead to more affordable medications for Americans who take cutting-edge biologic drugs.


Friday, Jan. 30, 2015  – He will ask Congress for $215 million to compile genetic data of 1 million Americans for scientific study.

(HealthDay News) — In what could be a significant advance for personalized medicine, President Barack Obama will ask Congress to fund a research program aimed at developing treatments that would be tailored to a patient’s individual genes, the White House said Friday.


January 12, 2015Major pharmaceutical companies start 2015 with mergers

Pharmaceutical, medical and biotech firms picked up where they left off in 2014 by seeking new profit opportunities through acquisitions and partnerships on Monday. The big companies announcing deals included Johnson & Johnson, Roche and distributor AmerisourceBergen.


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