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Genetic Medicine Isn’t Moving Faster Than the Speed of …

Posted: May 1, 2019 at 4:47 pm

Faye Flam is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist. She has written for the Economist, the New York Times, the Washington Post, Psychology Today, Science and other publications. She has a degree in geophysics from the California Institute of Technology.

Weve had plenty of time to ponder the medical ethics.

Source: Hulton Archive, via Getty Images

Source: Hulton Archive, via Getty Images

The news that scientists may have finally used gene therapy to cure the bubble boy immune disorder, SCID-X1, came as a surprise not because it happened so fast, but because it took so long that it had begun to seem impossible.

Scientists were talking about revolutionizing medicine with gene therapy back in the 1980s, and the first child with a different form of the disease, called SCID-ADA, was given gene therapy in 1992. By 2000, doctors were treating the first kids with SCID-X1. But there were problems. Some of them developed leukemia.

Theres a belief that became pervasive in the 1990s that medicine is moving so fast that ethics cant keep up. Science stories in the news would refer toBrave New World or Frankensteins monster. But now that were living in that long-imagined future, it looks like science isnt keeping pace with the hype, which over the years has included promises of cures tied to the human genome project, the expectation that gene therapy would be commonplace, and even the weird belief that cloning would replace sex as the preferred method of human reproduction.

Things havent quite panned out that way. To better understand why, I talked with Jonathan Kimmelman, a medical ethicist at McGill University in Canada, and an expert in human experimentation. He said that despite all the hype, medical technology doesnt leap forward with every new idea the way other kinds of tech can. The ethics of human research slows things down.

Not that medical ethics is easy. The challenge for ethicists, and for society, is to judge research decisions based on what the scientists knew at the time, not the outcome. Unethical researchers might get lucky, and good ones might get very unlucky. By those standards, he said, the researchers who accidentally caused some SCID patients to get leukemia were still taking an ethically acceptable risk, given the scale of the potential benefits, but researchers at the University of Pennsylvania whose experiment killed an 18-year-old subject were not.

In that 1999 case, Jesse Gelsinger died from an experimental gene therapy aimed at curing a different genetic disorder one less life-threatening than SCID. His immune system mounted a deadly reaction to the virus used to insert the gene into his cells a deactivated cold virus called an adenovirus.

In retrospect, there were problems with that trial financial conflicts of interest, worrisome signs in animal studies that were ignored, and some irregularities in the way the human subjects were treated, said Kimmelman, who has written a book about the case. After the death, lots of people claimed to have seen these problems, but, sadly, none of them took the initiative to blow the whistle.

SCID gene therapy trials progressed more carefully, even though the disease was claiming lives with each passing year. A defective gene prevents the bone marrow from creating working immune cells, so kids with the disease have essentially no immune system. This came to public attention in the 1970s, when doctors found a way to keep the famous bubble boy, David Vetter, alive until the age of 12 by sealing him into a sterile plastic enclosure.

Gene therapy seemed like a promising solution. Doctors knew which genes were damaged, and they knew that they need to get working copies into the patients bone marrow.

But theres another layer of precision needed: It can matter where newly introduced genes get incorporated into the persons chromosomes. Viruses cant be programmed to put them in any specific place. Scientists knew, said Kimmelman, that getting the working versions of these genes into the wrong places might trigger leukemia. They thought it was very unlikely, but realized only after the fact that the viruses tended to preferentially place the genes in locations where they increased risk. In 2002, the SCID-X1 trial was stopped after the disease affected four children.

Over the years, scientists have examined other, safer vectors, and, counterintuitively, found that for SCID-X1, their best bet was a deactivated human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). These latest experiments, done in St. Judes Childrens Research Hospital in Memphis and published in the New England Journal of Medicine, took steps to prevent leukemia. Its still early, but the researchers say that so far the results look promising.

A similar standard should apply to the claimed gene-edited babies allegedly born in China late last year. The ethics has to be judged on the risks that were taken at the time, not the outcome, which may never be known given the secrecy surrounding the research. The babies - twin girls - were essentially human guinea pigs. The only disease involved was the fathers HIV-positive status, but there are safe ways to make sure a fathers virus isnt passed to his offspring.

The risks of this are still relatively unknown, and the fact that the SCID researchers misjudged the risk of giving their subjects leukemia should serve as a warning. Once again, in the case of the Crispr babies, the ethical principles were there, but they were broken maybe by a rogue scientist but possibly by one whose experiments were known and fundedby the Chinese government. Kimmelman points out that people have been debating the ethics of genetic engineering on unborn children since the 1970s, soon after the debut of genetic engineering.

In the medical community, there was almost universal agreement that the experiment was unethical because the twin girls were subject to unnecessary risk. The main problem with genetic technology isnt the need to prevent the birth ofFrankensteins monster, but to follow the ethical principles that Hippocrates wrote about more than 2,000 years ago. The needs of patients have to come first, even if it slows down the pace of progress.

This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.

To contact the author of this story:Faye Flam at [email protected]

To contact the editor responsible for this story:Philip Gray at [email protected]

Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal.

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Genetic Medicine Isn't Moving Faster Than the Speed of ...

Recommendation and review posted by G. Smith

Genomics and Medicine | NHGRI

Posted: May 1, 2019 at 4:47 pm

It has often been estimated that it takes, on average, 17years to translate a novel research finding into routine clinical practice. This time lag is due to a combination of factors, including the need to validate research findings, the fact that clinical trials are complex and take time to conduct and then analyze, and because disseminating information and educating healthcare workers about a new advance is not an overnight process.

Once sufficient evidence has been generated to demonstrate a benefit to patients, or "clinical utility," professional societies and clinical standards groups will use that evidence to determine whether to incorporate the new test into clinical practice guidelines. This determination will also factor in any potential ethical and legal issues, as well economic factors such as cost-benefit ratios.

The NHGRIGenomic Medicine Working Group(GMWG) has been gathering expert stakeholders in a series of genomic medicine meetingsto discuss issues surrounding the adoption of genomic medicine. Particularly, the GMWG draws expertise from researchers at the cutting edge of this new medical toolset, with the aim of better informing future translational research at NHGRI. Additionally the working group provides guidance to theNational Advisory Council on Human Genome Research (NACHGR)and NHGRI in other areas of genomic medicine implementation, such as outlining infrastructural needs for adoption of genomic medicine, identifying related efforts for future collaborations, and reviewing progress overall in genomic medicine implementation.

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Genomics and Medicine | NHGRI

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CI MEMBER | Cryonics Institute

Posted: May 1, 2019 at 4:47 pm


If the person is in critical condition or hospice care, collect all required legal documents relating to suspension and confirm plans for standby and transport as soon as possible.

If the person has been legally pronounced dead and is currently a CI member, then entirely cover and cool his or her head with bags of crushed ice.Do NOT place ice on a Member until there has been a legal pronouncement of death -- attempt to obtain a pronouncement as soon as possible.


In order to fund a suspension at the $28,000 fee, a member must sign all required CI documents themselves with their signature witnessed by a notary. The membership documents and funding must be in place for a minimum of two weeks otherwise, the suspension fee will cost $35,000 and other nonmember restrictions may apply.

In either situation, contact the Cryonics Institute as soon as possible at:

Also see the listing below for exit codes for countries that do not use 00

Calling from Outside North America: + 1 586 791 5961 where +represents the exit code for your country,see "

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Journal of Nanomedicine and Biotherapeutic Discovery- Open …

Posted: May 1, 2019 at 4:45 pm

Nanomedicine is an application of nanotechnology which made its debut with greatly increased possibilities in the field of medicine. Nanomedicine desires to deliver research tools and clinically reformative devices in the near future.

Journal of Nanomedicine & Biotherapeutic Discovery is a scholarly open access journal publishing articles amalgamating broad range of fields of novel nano-medicine field with life sciences. Nanomedicine & Biotherapeutic Discovery is an international, peer-reviewed journal providing an opportunity to researchers and scientist to explore the advanced and latest research developments in the field of nanoscience & nanotechnology.

This is the best academic journal which focuses on the use nanotechnology in diagnostics and therapeutics; pharmacodynamics and pharmacokinetics of nanomedicine, drug delivery systems throughout the biomedical field, biotherapies used in diseases treatment including immune system-targeted therapies, hormonal therapies to the most advanced gene therapy and DNA repair enzyme inhibitor therapy. The journal also includes the nanoparticles, bioavailability, biodistribution of nanomedicines; delivery; imaging; diagnostics; improved therapeutics; innovative biomaterials; regenerative medicine; public health; toxicology; point of care monitoring; nutrition; nanomedical devices; prosthetics; biomimetics and bioinformatics.

The journal includes a wide range of fields in its discipline to create a platform for the authors to make their contribution towards the journal and the editorial office promises a peer review process for the submitted manuscripts for the quality of publishing. Biotherapeutics journals impact factors is mainly calculated based on the number of articles that undergo single blind peer review process by competent Editorial Board so as to ensure excellence, essence of the work and number of citations received for the same published articles.

The journal is using Editorial Manager System for quality peer review process. Editorial Manager is an online manuscript submission, review and tracking systems. Review processing is performed by the editorial board members of Journal of Nanomedicine & Biotherapeutic Discovery or outside experts; at least two independent reviewers approval followed by editor approval is required for acceptance of any citable manuscript. Authors may submit manuscripts and track their progress through the system, hopefully to publication. Reviewers can download manuscripts and submit their opinions to the editor. Editors can manage the whole submission/review/revise/publish process.

Submit manuscript at or send as an e-mail attachment to the Editorial Office at[emailprotected]

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Journal of Nanomedicine and Biotherapeutic Discovery- Open ...

Recommendation and review posted by G. Smith

At 6.5% CAGR, Biotechnology Separation Systems Market Size …

Posted: April 30, 2019 at 8:51 am

Apr 25, 2019 (Heraldkeeper via COMTEX) -- The Biotechnology Separation Systems market was valued at 16100 Million US$ in 2018 and is projected to reach 26600 Million US$ by 2025, at a CAGR of 6.5% during the forecast period. In this study, 2018 has been considered as the base year and 2019 to 2025 as the forecast period to estimate the market size for Biotechnology Separation Systems.

The Biotechnology Separation Systems market study is a well-researched report encompassing a detailed analysis of this industry with respect to certain parameters such as the product capacity as well as the overall market remuneration. The report enumerates details about production and consumption patterns in the business as well, in addition to the current scenario of the Biotechnology Separation Systems market and the trends that will prevail in this industry.

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The global market is further analyzed by the following types: DNA microarray, flow cytometry, liquid chromatography, membrane filtration, protein microarray, and others.

The classification of biotechnology separation systems includes membrane filtration, chromatography, centrifuge, electrophoresis, flow cytometry and others. The proportion of chromatography in 2015 is about 45.7%, and the proportion of membrane filtration in 2015 is about 17.3%. Others are also important in separation.

The application of biotechnology separation systems is commercial and scientific research. The most proportion of biotechnology separation systems is used in commercial, and the market share in 2015 is about 85.2%.

North America region is the largest supplier of biotechnology separation systems, with a revenue market share nearly 54.8% in 2015. Europe is the second largest supplier of biotechnology separation systems, enjoying Revenue market share about 28.2% in 2015.

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The Biotechnology Separation Systems market research study conscientiously mentions a separate section that enumerates details with regards to major parameters like the price fads of key raw material and industrial chain analysis, not to mention, details about the suppliers of the raw material. That said, it is pivotal to mention that the Biotechnology Separation Systems market report also expounds an analysis of the industry distribution chain, further advancing on aspects such as important distributors and the customer pool.

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Some of the Major Highlights of TOC covers:

Biotechnology Separation Systems Regional Market Analysis

Biotechnology Separation Systems Segment Market Analysis (by Type)

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At 6.5% CAGR, Biotechnology Separation Systems Market Size ...

Recommendation and review posted by G. Smith

Biotechnology –

Posted: April 30, 2019 at 8:50 am

Department Chair:Dr. Samuel Nahashon, (615) 963-5431

Suggested Four-year Plan









For the BS degree, in addition to the General Education requirements of the university, students in the Biotechnology Concentration take the following courses:

NumberCourse TitleUNIV 1000 OrientationAGSC 1200 Introduction to Plant ScienceAGSC 1410 Introduction to Animal ScienceAGSC 2010 Introduction to AgribusinessAGSC 2200 Fundamentals of Soil ScienceAGSC 2410 Introduction to Poultry ScienceAGSC 3540 Laboratory instrumentationAGSC 4500 Senior ProjectAGSC 4710-4720 SeminarAGSC xxxx Biotechnology and SocietyAGSC xxxx Principals and Methods of Biotechnology IAGSC xxxx Principals and Methods of Biotechnology IIAGSC xxxx Biotechnology in Agricultural ProductionAGSC xxxx Agricultural Bio-securityAGSC xxxx Ethics and Bio-forensics in Ag. BiotechnologyBIOL 4112 BioinformaticsBIOL 1110-1 General Biology I & LabCHEM 2010 Organic Chemistry I & LabBIOL 2110 Cell Biology + LabBIOL 2120, 2121 Genetics + LabCHEM 3410 General Biochemistry I & LabBIOL 3410 Principles General BacteriologBIOL 4110, 4111 Molecular Genetics & Lab

And two credits of electives from the following list:

NumberCourse Title AGSC 3210 Principles of Crop ScienceAGSC 3260 Plant PhysiologyAGSC 3300 Plant PathologyAGSC 3320 Propagation of Horticultural PlantsAGSC 3400 Animal and Plant GeneticsAGSC 3410 Anatomy and Physiology of Domestic AnimalsAGSC 3430 Animal Health and Disease PreventionAGSC 3530 Food MicrobiologyAGSC 4070 Agricultural Special ProblemsAGSC 4310 Plant BreedingAGSC 4410 Dairy Production and ManagementAGSC 4420 Poultry Disease Prevention and SanitationAGSC 4430 Animal NutritionAGSC 4440 Physiology of Reproduction

For additional information:ContactDr. S. Nahashon.

The Ph.D. concentration in Biotechnology is an interdepartmental degree program that is jointly offered by the Department of Agricultural Sciences and theDepartment of Biological Sciences.

Admission Requirements: Ph.D. Program

Administered by the Department of Biological Sciences. Applicants to the Ph.D. program must submit a completed application form, a personal statement describing interest in the program and professional goals, and three letters of recommendations from persons familiar with the applicant's academic work, especially in biology. The departmental admissions committee will base admission upon these materials and interviews with selected applicants.

Admission requires the applicant have a bachelor's degree from a fully accredited four-year college or university, a minimum score of 1370 calculated from the GPA multiplied by 200 and added to the GRE combined verbal and quantitative scores and a minimum score of 600 on the GRE subject test in biology. Students may also be admitted with subject test scores below 600, but such students must take the departmental diagnostic examination. The admissions committee will evaluate the student's performance on the examination and design a curriculum to eliminate any identified weaknesses. After passing the recommended courses with a grade of "B" or better in each, the student will begin the Ph.D. curriculum.

Programs of Study: Ph.D. Program

The degree candidate must file a program of study after competing nine (9) semester hours of graduate work, but before completing fifteen (15) hours of graduate work. The program lists the courses which will be used to satisfy degree requirements, as well as detailing how other requirements will be met. The student may later change the program of study with the written approval of the Department and the Graduate School.

Admission to Candidacy: Ph.D. Program

The student must apply for admission to candidacy after completing the 24 hour core of required courses (See Degree Requirements below), with an average of "B" (3.00) or better, passing the comprehensive examination, and gaining approval of the dissertation proposal. Students may have a "C" grade in no more than two courses (6 credit hours), neither of which can be a core course. No "D" or "F" grades are acceptable. A student who receives a grade of "C" in excess of six credits must repeat the course and achieve at least a "B".

Degree Requirements: Ph.D. Program

After gaining admission to candidacy, the student must complete an approved curriculum (24 hours minimum of electives set by the student's research advisory committee), enroll in Graduate Seminar (BIOL 7010, 7020), complete a dissertation (24 hours), and successfully defend the dissertation prior to gaining the Ph.D. degree (please refer to Biological Sciences Graduate Student Handbook for specific dissertation requirements). A student entering with a Master's degree may have applicable hours transferred toward the Ph.D. program, as determined by the Advisory Committee. The total number of hours required is 76.

For additional information:ContactDr. S. Nahashon.

Graduate Elective Courses

AGSC 5160 Animal Genetics and BreedingAGSC 5190 Plant BreedingAGSC 7010 Advancements in Agricultural BiotechnologyAGSC 7020 Economic, Regulatory and Ethical Issues in BiotechnologyAGSC 7030 Gene Expression and Regulation and Regulation in Higher PlantsAGSC 7040 Plant Tissue Culture Methods and ApplicationsAGSC 7050 Biotechnology in Animal ReproductionAGSC 7060 Advanced Soil TechnologyAGSC 7070 Molecular Genetic Ecology

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Biotechnology -

Recommendation and review posted by G. Smith

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