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A Star ProfessorAnd Her Radical, AI-Powered Plan To Discover New Drugs – Forbes

Posted: November 11, 2019 at 9:42 am

Not many scientists get solicited for photo ops, but for Daphne Koller its a regular occurrence. It happens at pretty much any event that has tech people, Koller says when asked about one recent snapshot. Its a little awkward. Its not like I feel like this is something I deserve.

Selfie requests are just one sign of Kollers stardom, earned from more than 20 years bridging computer science, biology and education. She chalked up a string of accolades along the way: getting a masters degree from Jerusalems Hebrew University at 18; becoming a Stanford University professor focused on machine learning at 26; winning, nearly a decade later, a MacArthur genius grant for research that combined artificial intelligence and genomics; cofounding $1 billion (valuation) Coursera, an early platform to let people around the world take university classes for free.

The next act for this 51-year-old innovator: Insitro, a firm in South San Francisco that aims to find new drugs by sorting through masses of data. If it succeeds, it will have overturned how drugs get discovered.

Lab biologists typically focus on a few specific proteins as drug targets. If those fail, data scientists make suggestions for others to try. Insitro, on the other hand, wants to collect much more data before the biologists go off on their hunt. It will leverage advances in bioengineering (such as Crispr gene editing) and in software that enables computers to see things that escape humans.

Koller describes her aha moment this way: Machine learning is now doing amazing things if you give it enough data. We finally have the opportunity to create biological data at scale.

There are very few individuals who understand both sides of the beast, says Mani Subramanian, who heads liver disease clinical research at Gilead. The biology as well as the deep learning.

Insitros computational experts and biologists work together to create lab experiments to produce massive custom data sets. Machine learning models then find patterns to suggest new tests and potential therapies. Robotics like automated pipetting machines reduce human error. With all this, Insitro can do experiments in a matter of weeks instead of years, Koller says.

AI plus biology, her background, was a marriage made in heaven for investors, she says. Within six months Koller raised $100 million from ARCH Ventures, Andreessen Horowitz, Foresite Capital, Alphabets venture fund GV and Third Rock, with Jeff Bezos and others joining later. In April, she landed a deal with Gilead Sciences that gives Insitro $15 million now with $1 billion to follow if it helps find a treatment for a deadly form of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. The disease is expected to soon become the leading cause of liver transplants.

There are very few individuals who understand both sides of the beast, says Mani Subramanian, who heads liver disease clinical research at Gilead. The biology as well as the deep learning.

Insitros future payouts from Gilead hang on whether it can identify five proteins that could be targets for drugs and then whether targeting those proteins leads to approved therapies for the liver disease. The contingent payments, which include revenue sharing from successful drugs, helped Insitro earn a spot on Forbes inaugural AI 50 list of the most promising artificial intelligence companies.

More than 20 other startups are chasing the dream of faster, cheaper drug discovery through AI. Among them are Notable Labs, with $55 million of venture capital, and Verge Genomics, with $36 million. Novartis has announced a five-year AI collaboration with Microsoft, and Merck and GSK have startup partnerships as well.

Artificial intelligence does not make biology easy. I dont think the platform can be magic, Koller says.

Before Insitro can reap rewards, a few hundred thousand lab tests need to happen. Koller has the energy. Bouncing around Insitros officeshe gave away her desk chair to one of her 53 employees because she never used itshe moves from a room named Macrophage (a white blood cell) to one named Elastic Net (a data-modeling technique) to show off the latest lab equipment.

Big Pharmas interest would seem to make Insitro a likely acquisition target if it hits pay dirt. But Koller says she doesnt want to see Insitro swallowed into the maw of a larger organization. She wants it to make its own branded drugs.

The ultimate goal is that the people asking for photos ops will be healthier thanks to Insitro. Koller says she hopes they come up to her and say, Because of you, I have my life back.

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A Star ProfessorAnd Her Radical, AI-Powered Plan To Discover New Drugs - Forbes

Recommendation and review posted by G. Smith

Global Bioreactors and Fermentors Market 2019 are explored with Leading Players Bioengineering AG, Applikon Biotechnology, Pall Corporation, GE…

Posted: November 11, 2019 at 9:42 am

The latest research report on Bioreactors and Fermentors Market by Ricerca Alfa, presents a detailed analysis concerning market share, market valuations, revenue estimation, SWOT analysis, and regional spectrum of the business. The report further highlights key challenges and growth prospects of the market, while examining the business outlook comprising expansion strategies implemented by market leaders.

The Global Bioreactors and Fermentors market 2019 research provides a basic overview of the industry including definitions, classifications, applications and industry chain structure. The Global Bioreactors and Fermentors Industry analysis is provided for the international markets including development trends, competitive landscape analysis, and key regions development status. Development policies and plans are discussed as well as manufacturing processes and cost structures are also analysed. This report also states import/export consumption, supply and demand Figures, cost, price, revenue and gross margins.

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The key players are highly focusing innovation in production technologies to improve efficiency and shelf life. The best long-term growth opportunities for this sector can be captured by ensuring ongoing process improvements and financial flexibility to invest in the optimal strategies. Company profile section of players such asBioengineering AG, Applikon Biotechnology, Pall Corporation, GE Healthcare, Sartorius AG, Eppendorf, Thermo Fisher Scientific, Cellexus, Celltainer Biotech BV, Finesse Solutions, Merck Millipore, PBS Biotech, Cellution Biotech, CerCell ApS, Electrolab Biotech, Infors AG, Pierre Guerin, Techniserv, Broadley-Jamesn includes its basic information like legal name, website, headquarters, its market position, historical background and top 5 closest competitors by Market capitalization / revenue along with contact information. Each player/ manufacturer revenue figures, growth rate and gross profit margin is provided in easy to understand tabular format for past 5 years and a separate section on recent development like mergers, acquisition or any new product/service launch etc.

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Single-use Bioreactors, Multiple-use Bioreactors

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United States

Europe

China

Japan

Southeast Asia

India

Central & South America

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An overview of the regional spectrum:

Table of Content

1 Introduction Of Bioreactors and Fermentors Market1.1 Overview of the Market1.2 Scope of Report1.3 Assumptions

2 Executive Summary

3 Research Methodology3.1 Data Mining3.2 Validation3.3 Primary Interviews3.4 List of Data Sources

4 Bioreactors and Fermentors Market Outlook4.1 Overview4.2 Market Dynamics4.2.1 Drivers4.2.2 Restraints4.2.3 Opportunities4.3 Porters Five Force Model4.4 Value Chain Analysis

5 Bioreactors and Fermentors Market, By Deployment Model5.1 Overview

6 Bioreactors and Fermentors Market, By Solution6.1 Overview

7 Bioreactors and Fermentors Market, By Vertical7.1 Overview

8 Bioreactors and Fermentors Market, By Geography8.1 Overview8.2 North America8.2.1 U.S.8.2.2 Canada8.2.3 Mexico8.3 Europe8.3.1 Germany8.3.2 U.K.8.3.3 France8.3.4 Rest of Europe8.4 Asia Pacific8.4.1 China8.4.2 Japan8.4.3 India8.4.4 Rest of Asia Pacific8.5 Rest of the World8.5.1 Latin America8.5.2 Middle East

9 Bioreactors and Fermentors Market Competitive Landscape9.1 Overview9.2 Company Market Ranking9.3 Key Development Strategies

10 Company Profiles10.1.1 Overview10.1.2 Financial Performance10.1.3 Product Outlook10.1.4 Key Developments

11 Appendix11.1 Related Research

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Global Bioreactors and Fermentors Market 2019 are explored with Leading Players Bioengineering AG, Applikon Biotechnology, Pall Corporation, GE...

Recommendation and review posted by G. Smith

For science’s sake, the government must approve FY20 spending bills | TheHill – The Hill

Posted: November 11, 2019 at 9:42 am

Once again, Congress is poised to approve a second continuing resolution (CR) to keep the U.S. government running when the current resolution expires Nov. 21. As some congressional leaders noted, it is unlikely Congress will reach agreement on any of the 12 fiscal year (FY) 2020 spending bills by the expiration date, raising serious concerns that funding will remain flat for government agencies into, or even through, 2020. The current CR keeps the U.S. government open but operating at FY2019 spending levels. Even more ominous is the threat of another government shutdown should negotiations between Congress and the White House again collapse. Either scenario presents serious consequences for scientific research if federal agencies delay the rollout of new programs such as the National Quantum Initiative (NQI), a coordinated multiagency effort to support research and training in quantum information science.

Without an FY2020 spending package, several federal agencies that support science risk the loss of funding increases approved by House or Senate appropriators 10 percent for the Department of Energys Office of Science, 5 percent for the National Nuclear Security Administrations Inertial Confinement Fusion Program, 6 percent for the National Institute of Standards and Technology, 7 percent for the National Science Foundation, and 6 percent for the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering.

Worse yet is the possibility of another partial government shutdown as memories of last 2019 Januarys 35-day shutdown, the longest in U.S. history, remind us that even minor disruptions in government funding could have a detrimental impact on important research.

During the 2019 shutdown, many researchers, including members of The Optical Society (OSA), who were awaiting grant funding from the National Science Foundation, NASA, or other agencies affected, suddenly found their research projects on hold. Early career scientists rely on grants to establish themselves and faculty members use grant money to hire and train graduate students, postdoctoral researchers and other laboratory staff. Postdoctoral researchers from outside the U.S. either had to wait in limbo for the situation to be resolved or look for work in other countries. Those who rely on government data for their research and access to resources found themselves with limited options to continue their work.

For U.S. government scientists, the situation was similarly dire. They were not allowed to work or use government email accounts. Research projects by U.S. government scientists on cybersecurity, climate monitoring, quantum computing and more, came to a halt. Plans to attend or even register for scientific meetings had to be cancelled and scientific instruments in the field were temporarily abandoned. Work on research papers for scientific journals also stopped, meaning critical publishing deadlines were missed and, in some cases, never rescheduled.

The global science enterprise likewise suffers when collaborations with U.S. scientists wither for lack of funding or when international research projects are suddenly missing a U.S. partner. Researchers outside the U.S. face even greater hurdles obtaining visas to attend scientific meetings in the U.S., during a shutdown, leaving organizers of scientific meetings with a substantial loss of attendees.

We urge the Congress and the White House to move swiftly in approving an FY2020 spending package that provides significant funding increases to support advanced manufacturing, quantum information science, artificial intelligence, solar energy, space exploration, medical imaging and many other areas that will benefit the U.S. and societies worldwide. Congress must act to secure adequate spending increases that will enable our scientific enterprise to support and attract the brightest minds in the pursuit of new discoveries and technologies.

Elizabeth A. Rogan is CEO The Optical Society (OSA).

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For science's sake, the government must approve FY20 spending bills | TheHill - The Hill

Recommendation and review posted by G. Smith

It’s go-time: a doctor and student engineers work to make catheterization easier – Scope

Posted: November 11, 2019 at 9:42 am

As a clinical mentor for the Bioengineering Senior Capstone Design course, Stanford urologist Craig Comiter, MD's first job was to write a story about a problem he had observed in his practice. Students in the course, all senior undergraduate bioengineering majors, would read several such vignettes, choose an unmet need within one of them, and then work in teams to develop a solution.

Comiter wrote about something he saw all the time; the strugglesof patients who have to self-catheterize in order to urinate because of abrain, spinal cord, or nerve problem. His scenario described a young woman whowas paralyzed from the waist down. He detailed the arduous process she had toperform multiple times each day to empty her bladder, and included the frequenturinary tract infections (UTI's) she contracted as a result.

Students Maria Iglesias, Amanda Urke, Gabe Ho, and Issac Justice all chose Comiter's scenario. "We were drawn to the idea of wanting to improve the patient's quality of life," said Iglesias. "While we personally couldn't really understand what she was going through, we recognized that our lives would be very different if we had this amount of difficulty with a simple task that we take for granted."

To help them understand the patient's perspective, the team created a survey that asked patients to rate the difficulty of each step of the procedure. The results made it clear that the procedure was hardest for women, especially those with impaired mobility. Steps included finding a private place, transferring out of the wheelchair, removing clothing, cleaning the vaginal area, inserting a catheter into the urethra, and then reversing the process. For all women, the single biggest problem was locating the opening of urethra, which often requires the patient to strap a mirror onto her leg.

"Not only does this prevent some women from being able toself-catheterize, it's also one of the major reasons females get UTIs," saidComiter. "They miss the urethra and contact the vagina, contaminating thecatheter."

"The responses made us think about how, through the mechanism of use, we could help the patient be certain they were on target," said Urke. She added, "It also brought home the importance of conducting surveys and actually speaking to patients before you get into the design of a solution."

Based on this understanding, the team decided that the most intuitive approach for women would be to use the vagina as an anatomical landmark to help locate the urethra. With input from Comiter and course co-instructor Richard Fan, PhD, they developed more than 40 prototypes of a small plastic device with a handle, a vaginal insert, and a guide that holds the catheter.When the user holds the device with the insert just inside the vagina, the catheter guide is lined up at the urethral opening, and the patient is able to slide the catheter into place.

Next the team created a pair of shorts with a faux vagina and urethra and used it to test most promising prototypes on themselves and on volunteers, even performing the procedure blindfolded. By the end of the spring quarter, they had a working prototype -- the Cath Path.

They entered an NIH-sponsored biomedical engineering competition and won a top prize, prompting them to think seriously about taking their solution forward into patient care. They are currently exploring regulatory pathways and planning next steps including usability testing with real patients.

"It's a device that could help many people," said Comiter. "While self-catheterization is still a complex process for women, this simple, low-cost approach can save time, make a frustrating process easier, and decrease the risk of infection."

The experience showcased the benefits of interdisciplinary collaboration, he said:

When doctors think infection, our solution is antibiotics. When these engineering students heard about infection, their response was, 'Let's find a way to prevent the contamination of the catheter in the first place.' I was the mentor here, but I think I learned as much as the students did. Working with them made me a better problem-solver.

Photo of the team at Biodesign's Health Technology Showcase by Stacey McCutcheon

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It's go-time: a doctor and student engineers work to make catheterization easier - Scope

Recommendation and review posted by G. Smith

Thoughts and reflections on the 3rd International Conference on Plant Synthetic Biology | PLOS Synthetic Biology Community – PLoS Blogs

Posted: November 11, 2019 at 9:42 am

In early October, the 3rd International Conference on Plant Synthetic Biology, Bioengineering, and Biotechnology took place in Cambridge, UK. Ross Cloney was there, and gives us an account mixed with his thoughts on plant synbio!

Guest post by Ross Cloney

What does a synbio world look like? Anyone who has read my previous entries on this blog or if you follow my twitter feed knows I think about what a world with ubiquitous synthetic biology might look like from time to time (in between tweets about my latest homebrewing projects). It was a thought that I pondered during the 3rd annual Plant Synthetic Biology, Bioengineering and Biotechnology conference that was held this year in Cambridge.

Why plants? After all, plants are tricky things to work with and there was plenty of discussion about how in many ways synthetic biology in plants has lagged behind work being doing in other systems. At one point it was put forward that the majority of synthetic biology being done in plants was multi-gene transformations and over-expression of those constructs. This not surprising given plants are complex higher eukaryotes with complex cell structures, often fiendishly convoluted genomes and deep, rich physiology. Several discussions I had revolved around what benefits plants brought to synthetic biology that couldnt be achieved with yeast or other more tractable organisms? After all, for producing desired products such as high-value compounds, yeast are an ideal chassis. Were getting quite good at engineering yeast and maybe the synbio world is one of fermenters, from industrial-scale ones spanning city blocks to rugged field-ready units for off-grid use, full of yeast and other microorganisms producing the compounds, biologics and materials we need.

Well one important fact is that we rely on plants for food and this is where the tools of synthetic biology are being focused. While we live in a world of food excess in some places, we still have a lack of food in others along with an expanding human population. Crop yields arent increasing in line with predicted population growth, requiring new ways to increase output. Caxia Gao spoke about several published papers showing the application of CRISPR editing technology (e.g. here and here) to develop rice and wheat varieties resistant to disease, neatly sidestepping concerns about introducing exogenous DNA into the plant. Followed by her work in genome engineering domestication into a wild tomato, opening the possibility of expanding our crop repertoire.

The focus on crop plants continued with efforts to re-engineer the carbon assimilation pathways for enhanced biomass production, providing improved yields and improved removal of CO2 from the atmosphere. Despite the practical difficulty in working with them, higher plants have millions of years of evolution and thousands of years of domestication to harness solar energy and atmospheric carbon to produce stuff we want.

Of course, the elephant in the room for a plant synthetic biology conference held in Europe is the current state of regulations, particularly in the EU, covering modified plants. Was Europe going to remain a no-go area for this technology or could there be developments of such benefit that the regulatory wall would start to crack? Enter the tomato. Cathie Martin from the John Innes Centre discussed her purple, yellow and bronze tomatoes that produce high levels of anthocyanins, resveratrol, and flavonols.

Would these, and the engineered plants that will follow, change the perception of biodesigned food though providing direct personal benefits, avoiding the accusation leveled against the first generation of GM crops that the beneficiary was a large multinational corporation and not farmers and consumers? Would public concern and regulatory reluctance finally give way if the conversation is no longer about pesticide resistance but about personal health benefits?

Maybe the times are achanging. Golden rice was approved for cultivation last year and the ethos of synthetic biology sustainability, social engagement and trying to make the word a nicer place to live in are as strong as ever. Maybe a world of synthetic biology is a world of bronze tomatoes in our salads and previously wild, now domestic, plants on our plates. A world where it is so seamlessly integrated into our lives we dont even notice it. Maybe its closer than we think.

Ross Cloney is a Senior Editor at Nature Communications handling synthetic biology and genome engineering. He tweets (mostly about synthetic biology, occasionally about his attempts at homebrewing) as @rosscloney

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Thoughts and reflections on the 3rd International Conference on Plant Synthetic Biology | PLOS Synthetic Biology Community - PLoS Blogs

Recommendation and review posted by G. Smith

Fumaric Acid (Cas 110-17-8) Market Trends, Key Players, Overview, Competitive Breakdown and Regional Forecast by 2025 – Business Daily Mirror

Posted: November 11, 2019 at 9:42 am

Fumaric Acid (Cas 110-17-8) Market Trends, Key Players, Overview, Competitive Breakdown and Regional Forecast by 2025  Business Daily Mirror

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Fumaric Acid (Cas 110-17-8) Market Trends, Key Players, Overview, Competitive Breakdown and Regional Forecast by 2025 - Business Daily Mirror

Recommendation and review posted by G. Smith


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