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Trends in Biotechnology

Sergio Rosales-Mendoza, Ricardo Nieto-Gómez
The use of innovative platforms to produce biopharmaceuticals cheaply and deliver them through noninvasive routes could expand their social benefits. Coverage should increase as a consequence of lower cost and higher patient compliance due to painless administration. For more than two decades of research, oral therapies that rely on genetically engineered plants for the production of biopharmaceuticals have been explored to treat or prevent high-impact diseases. Recent reports on the successful oral delivery of plant-made biopharmaceuticals raise new hopes for the field...
July 3, 2018: Trends in Biotechnology
Yanan Luo, Zhaohui Li, Chengzhou Zhu, Xiaoli Cai, Lingbo Qu, Dan Du, Yuehe Lin
The great success of graphene has driven the discovery and development of new 2D nanomaterials with different optical, electrical, and thermal properties. Compared with other graphene-like 2D nanomaterials, metal-free 2D nanomaterials hold great potential in biomedical applications since they exhibit much better biocompatibility and biosafety. We give an overview of some rapidly emerging graphene-like metal-free 2D nanomaterials including black phosphorus, hexagonal boron nitride, and graphitic carbon nitride, as well as 2D organic polymer-based nanomaterials, and highlight their impressive advances for bioimaging and cancer theranostics in recent years...
June 26, 2018: Trends in Biotechnology
António L Grilo, A Mantalaris
The monoclonal antibody (mAb) market has changed rapidly in the past 5 years: it has doubled in size, becoming dominated by fully human molecules, launched bispecific molecules, and faced competition from biosimilars. We summarize the market in terms of therapeutic applications, type and structure of mAbs, dominant companies, manufacturing locations, and emerging markets.
June 23, 2018: Trends in Biotechnology
Juliane Behler, Dhanya Vijay, Wolfgang R Hess, M Kalim Akhtar
In metabolic engineering, the production of industrially relevant chemicals, via rational engineering of microorganisms, is an intensive area of research. One particular group of microorganisms that is fast becoming recognized for their commercial potential is cyanobacteria. Through the process of photosynthesis, cyanobacteria can use CO2 as a building block to synthesize carbon-based chemicals. In recent years, clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR)-dependent approaches have rapidly gained popularity for engineering cyanobacteria...
June 21, 2018: Trends in Biotechnology
Kiryu K Yap, George C Yeoh, Wayne A Morrison, Geraldine M Mitchell
Vascularisation is key to developing large transplantable tissue constructs capable of providing therapeutic benefits. The vascularised tissue engineering chamber originates from surgical concepts in tissue prefabrication and microsurgery. It serves as an in vivo bioreactor in the form of a closed, protected space surgically created and embedded within the body by fitting a noncollapsible chamber around major blood vessels. This creates a highly angiogenic environment which facilitates the engraftment and survival of transplanted cells and tissue constructs...
June 21, 2018: Trends in Biotechnology
Jared R Auclair
Several regulatory convergence efforts for biologics are underway globally, with the goal of ensuring global standards are applied consistently across regulatory agencies. Training and capacity building will ensure convergence through fostering international collaborations between agencies and ensure harmonized standards are applied, which will bring products to market faster and cheaper.
June 20, 2018: Trends in Biotechnology
Georg M Guebitz, Gibson S Nyanhongo
Hydrogels are 3D hydrophilic polymer networks that absorb and hold huge amounts of water. Although hydrogels have traditionally been synthesized using chemical and physical methods, rapid developments in enzyme technology that, like chemical-based methods, enable the formation of stable covalent bonds are fast emerging as alternative 'green catalyst' tools. Enzymes show great potential for the synthesis of complex multifunctional wound dressing hydrogels (WDHs) ex situ and in situ as well as in acting as interactive molecules to promote the wound healing process...
June 15, 2018: Trends in Biotechnology
Parisa Norouzitallab, Kartik Baruah, Daisy Vanrompay, Peter Bossier
A paradigm shift in our understanding of shrimp immunity offers the potential to develop novel disease-control strategies. We summarize cutting-edge findings on the phenomenon of trained immunity in shrimps and discuss how it may contribute to new avenues for controlling disease in these aquaculturally important animals.
June 15, 2018: Trends in Biotechnology
Zuben E Sauna, Daniel Lagassé, Joao Pedras-Vasconcelos, Basil Golding, Amy S Rosenberg
Therapeutic proteins provide interventions for some of the most complex and intractable diseases and are an essential part of modern medicine. Immunogenicity is the development of immune responses, usually measured by antibodies, to therapeutic proteins. These responses can adversely affect the safety and efficacy of the therapeutic agent and may have the following consequences: neutralization of a life-saving biotherapeutic, crossreactivity to non-redundant endogenous proteins, and hypersensitivity responses...
June 13, 2018: Trends in Biotechnology
Muhammad Zuhaib Khan, Imran Amin, Amir Hameed, Shahid Mansoor
CRISPR-Cas13a is an efficient RNA targeting and editing tool characterized recently in prokaryotes. This system can be recruited to engineer resistance against plant RNA viruses and regulate gene expression. We discuss some important achievements in using the CRISPR-Cas13a system to confer resistance against plant RNA viruses.
June 11, 2018: Trends in Biotechnology
Krishanu Saha, J Benjamin Hurlbut, Sheila Jasanoff, Aziza Ahmed, Anthony Appiah, Elizabeth Bartholet, Françoise Baylis, Gaymon Bennett, George Church, I Glenn Cohen, George Daley, Kevin Finneran, William Hurlbut, Rudolf Jaenisch, Laurence Lwoff, John Paul Kimes, Peter Mills, Jacob Moses, Buhm Soon Park, Erik Parens, Rachel Salzman, Abha Saxena, Hilton Simmet, Tania Simoncelli, O Carter Snead, Kaushik Sunder Rajan, Robert D Truog, Patricia Williams, Christiane Woopen
A new infrastructure is urgently needed at the global level to facilitate exchange on key issues concerning genome editing. We advocate the establishment of a global observatory to serve as a center for international, interdisciplinary, and cosmopolitan reflection. This article is the second of a two-part series.
June 8, 2018: Trends in Biotechnology
Jacob Beal, Traci Haddock-Angelli, Natalie Farny, Randy Rettberg
For synthetic biology to mature, composition of devices into functional systems must become routine. This requires widespread adoption of comparable and replicable units of measurement. Interlaboratory studies organized through the International Genetically Engineered Machine (iGEM) competition show that fluorescence can be calibrated with simple, low-cost protocols, so fluorescence should no longer be published without units.
June 4, 2018: Trends in Biotechnology
Kelly A Markham, Hal S Alper
The oleaginous yeast Yarrowia lipolytica is quickly emerging as the most popular non-conventional (i.e., non-model organism) yeast in the bioproduction field. With a high propensity for flux through tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle intermediates and biological precursors such as acetyl-CoA and malonyl-CoA, this host is especially well suited to meet our industrial chemical production needs. Recent progress in synthetic biology tool development has greatly enhanced our ability to rewire this organism, with advances in genetic component design, CRISPR technologies, and modular cloning strategies...
June 4, 2018: Trends in Biotechnology
Jukyung Kang, Karthik Pisupati, Alexander Benet, Brandon T Ruotolo, Steven P Schwendeman, Anna Schwendeman
Structural and functional differences between REMICADE and its two FDA-approved biosimilars appear to have clinical implications. We suggest a personalized biosimilar substitution approach based on prescribed indication, biosimilar afucosylation level, and a patient's FCGR3A polymorphism. We also advocate for establishing glycosylation variation limits for biosimilar approvals.
May 31, 2018: Trends in Biotechnology
Dennis Eriksson, Wendy Harwood, Per Hofvander, Huw Jones, Peter Rogowsky, Eva Stöger, Richard G F Visser
Is the European Union (EU) regulatory framework for genetically modified organisms (GMOs) adequate for emerging techniques, such as genome editing? This has been discussed extensively for more than 10 years. A recent proposal from The Netherlands offers a way to break the deadlock. Here, we discuss how the proposal would affect examples from public plant research.
May 25, 2018: Trends in Biotechnology
Hadiastri Kusumawardhani, Rohola Hosseini, Johannes H de Winde
The challenge of sustainably producing highly valuable chemical compounds requires specialized microbial cell factories because many of these compounds can be toxic to microbial hosts. Therefore, solvent-tolerant bacteria are promising production hosts because of their intrinsic tolerance towards these compounds. Recent studies have helped to elucidate the molecular mechanisms involved in solvent tolerance. Advances in synthetic biological tools will enable further development of streamlined solvent-tolerant production hosts and the transfer of solvent-tolerant traits to established industrial strains...
May 16, 2018: Trends in Biotechnology
Sílvio B Santos, Ana Rita Costa, Carla Carvalho, Franklin L Nóbrega, Joana Azeredo
Bacteriophages encode many distinct proteins for the successful infection of a bacterial host. Each protein plays a specific role in the phage replication cycle, from host recognition, through takeover of the host machinery, and up to cell lysis for progeny release. As the roles of these proteins are being revealed, more biotechnological applications can be anticipated. Phage-encoded proteins are now being explored for the control, detection, and typing of bacteria; as vehicles for drug delivery; and for vaccine development...
May 16, 2018: Trends in Biotechnology
Mehdi Farokhi, Fatemeh Mottaghitalab, Yousef Fatahi, Ali Khademhosseini, David L Kaplan
Recently, biomimetic wound dressings were introduced as potential replacements for treating skin injuries. Although there are some clinically available skin replacements, the range of wound types and locations necessitates a broader range of options for the clinic. Natural polymeric-based dressings are of central interest in this area due to their outstanding biocompatibility, biodegradability, low toxicity, and non-allergenic nature. Among them, silk fibroin (SF) has exceptional characteristics as a wound dressing...
May 12, 2018: Trends in Biotechnology
Syed Shan-E-Ali Zaidi, M Shahid Mukhtar, Shahid Mansoor
Plant pathogens pose a major threat to crop productivity. Typically, phytopathogens exploit plants' susceptibility (S) genes to facilitate their proliferation. Disrupting these S genes may interfere with the compatibility between the host and the pathogens and consequently provide broad-spectrum and durable disease resistance. In the past, genetic manipulation of such S genes has been shown to confer disease resistance in various economically important crops. Recent studies have accomplished this task in a transgene-free system using new genome editing tools, including clustered regularly interspaced palindromic repeats (CRISPR)...
May 8, 2018: Trends in Biotechnology
Daniel Irimia, Xiao Wang
Inflammation is the typical result of activating the host immune system against pathogens, and it helps to clear microbes from tissues. However, inflammation can occur in the absence of pathogens, contributing to tissue damage and leading to disease. Understanding how immune cells coordinate their activities to initiate, modulate, and terminate inflammation is key to developing effective interventions to preserve health and combat diseases. Towards this goal, inflammation-on-a-chip tools provide unique features that greatly benefit the study of inflammation...
May 1, 2018: Trends in Biotechnology
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