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Programming Language Created for Synthetic DNA Chemistry

Georg Seelig (University of Washington)

Computer scientists and systems biologists at University of Washington, California Institute of Technology, and University of California in San Francisco are developing a coding language to enable the programming of synthetic DNA chemical interactions. A report from the team led by Washington computer scientist Georg Seelig appeared yesterday online . . . → Read More: Programming Language Created for Synthetic DNA Chemistry

FDA Approves Artificial Pancreas System with Glucose Sensor

MiniMed 530G (Medtronic Inc.)

The medical device manufacturer Medtronic Inc. in Minneapolis says the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Friday approved a wearable artificial pancreas system that combines an insulin pump and sensor to detect glucose levels for people with diabetes. The company also revealed it received a warning letter on 19 September . . . → Read More: FDA Approves Artificial Pancreas System with Glucose Sensor

Who’s a Patent Troll? You’ll be Surprised by the Answer

Dean Kamen (DEKA Research and Development Corp.)

Nobody likes patent trolls, the “non-practicing entities” accused of filing lawsuits with questionable infringement claims aimed at extorting settlements from companies just trying to do business. A conference today in Washington, D.C. sponsored by Innovation Alliance — a group promoting a strong U.S. patent system — featured . . . → Read More: Who’s a Patent Troll? You’ll be Surprised by the Answer

Small-Scale Ceramics Materials Engineered for Flexibility

Christopher Schuh (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)

Materials scientists at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Nanyang Technological University in Singapore created a new type of ceramics material with the ability to bend like metal, but retaining its strength. The team from the lab of MIT’s Christopher Schuh published its findings today in the journal Science . . . → Read More: Small-Scale Ceramics Materials Engineered for Flexibility

Genetic Solution Identified for Canola Crop Losses

Canola field (Agricultural Research Service, USDA)

Biologists at University of Calgary in Canada identified a genetic process in plants similar to the oilseed canola that offers a solution to a problem causing large annual losses of this key cash crop. The team lead by Calgary’s Marcus Samuel, with associates from University of Toronto and . . . → Read More: Genetic Solution Identified for Canola Crop Losses

Computer System Built with Carbon Nanotube Circuitry

Carbon nanotube illustration (National Science Foundation)

Engineers at Stanford University in California created a basic computer system of circuits made from carbon nanotubes rather than conventional semiconductors built on silicon. The team led by Stanford electrical engineering professors Subhasish Mitra and H.S. Philip Wong published its findings online today in the journal Nature (paid . . . → Read More: Computer System Built with Carbon Nanotube Circuitry

AbbVie, Galapagos Partner on Cystic Fibrosis Therapies

(Mikael Häggström/Wikimedia Commons)

The pharmaceutical companies AbbVie in North Chicago, Illinois and Galapagos NV in Mechelen, Belgium are collaborating on development and marketing of treatments for the inherited disease cystic fibrosis. The deal, with a total potential value of at least $405 million, covers discovery, development, and commercialization of compounds addressing defective genetic mutations . . . → Read More: AbbVie, Galapagos Partner on Cystic Fibrosis Therapies

Trial Tests Chemo-Immunotherapy with Pancreatic Cancer

(National Institutes of Health)

An early-stage clinical trial found a combination of chemotherapy and antibody protein caused some patients with pancreatic cancer to shrink their tumors. The findings of a study by researchers at University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia and University of Washington in Seattle appear online in the journal Clinical Cancer Research (paid . . . → Read More: Trial Tests Chemo-Immunotherapy with Pancreatic Cancer

FDA to Limit Oversight to Medical Device Mobile Apps

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration will focus its regulation of mobile health apps on those that act as traditional medical devices, according to final guidance released yesterday. The guidance, to be published tomorrow in the Federal Register for public comment, says FDA will not enforce regulations on the majority of health-related smartphone and tablet . . . → Read More: FDA to Limit Oversight to Medical Device Mobile Apps

Clinical Trial to Test Engineered Enzyme with Kidney Failure

Cross-section of kidney (National Library of Medicine)

AM-Pharma, a biopharmaceutical company in Bunnik, the Netherlands, began recruiting volunteers to test an engineered form of the human enzyme alkaline phosphatase to treat acute kidney injury. The clinical trial will test the safety and tolerability of the human recombinant alkaline phosphatase as well as its enzyme-chemical . . . → Read More: Clinical Trial to Test Engineered Enzyme with Kidney Failure