@synbiobeta concluded it’s #sbbsf17 annual meeting on synthetic biology Oct 5, 2017. The progress companies are making in harnessing biology as a platform for manufacturing and problem solving is world changing.
The biotechnology (biotech) industry is incredibly diverse. Recently, I wrote about the size of the biotech industry, which is, of course, related to how biotechnology is defined. As a strict definition, biotechnology is the use of biology to turn raw materials into useful products. However, the act of developing a biotech product requires many enabling technologies, reagents, and services that form today's modern industry. ... Read more
A simple web search says biotech is really big. One estimate indicates that the industry will have $400 billion in sales in 2017 with growth to over $775 billion by 2024 . Another report suggests there are over 77,000 employers . That’s big, but is it real, and what you can do with this information?
It's time for the annual blog about the annual Nucleic Acids Research (NAR) database issue. This is the 24th database issue for NAR and the seventh blog for @finchtalk. Like most years I have no idea what I'm going to write about until I start reading the new issue. Something always inspires me. This year's inspiration came from missing data.
On Sept. 30th, I'm going to be co-presenting a Bio-Link webinar on Genome Engineering with CRISPR-Cas9 with Dr. Thomas Tubon from Madison College. If you're interested, Register here. Since my part will be to help our audience understand the basics of this system, I prepared a short tutorial with Molecule World . Enjoy!
A Quick ... Read more
Computers, biological data (molecular sequences, structures, and other data), websites, and databases are integral to modern research. Innovations like precision, or personalized medicine, expect a certain level of patient participation, and our future food and environmental sustainability will require that society can access a multitude of computer-based resources. Thus, higher education has an important role in providing students with employable skills as well as the ability to use data to make important personal and societal decisions. Toward that goal it is worthwhile ... Read more
Did you know small fragments of DNA are circulating in your blood stream?
These short pieces of DNA are left behind after cells self-destruct. This self-destruction, or apoptosis, is a normal process. In the case of fetal development, certain cells in our hands die, leaving behind individual fingers. Immune system cells leave traces of DNA behind after they’ve tackled invading microbes. DNA can also appear in the blood when people have cancer.
I had the good fortune, last Monday, to hear Matthew Snyder describe this cell-free DNA in a fascinating talk and learn why DNA in the blood can be a ... Read more
Someone missed the memo. Over the past year, news and presentations by NIH leaders like Philip Bourne have communicated that the proliferation biologically focused databases is unsustainable. However, unlike last year, where the number of databases tracked by Nucleic Acids Research (NAR) dropped by three databases, 2015's net growth ... Read more
"By night all cats are gray" - Miguel Cervantes in Don Quixote
I've always liked Siamese cats. Students do, too. "Why Siamese cats wear masks" is always a favorite story in genetics class. So, when I opened my January copy of The Science Teacher, I was thrilled to see an article on Siamese cat colors and proteins AND molecular genetics (1). In the article, the authors (Todd and Kenyon) provide some background information on the enzymatic activity of tyrosinase and compare it to the catechol oxidase that ... Read more
We've been fans of the Molecule of the Month series by David Goodsell, for many years. Not only is Dr. Goodsell a talented artist but he writes very clear descriptions of the ways molecules like proteins, RNA, and DNA work together and function inside a cell.
To learn about proteins and their activities, I like to go directly to the Molecule of the Month page, where I can find a list of articles organized by molecule type and name. Many of these articles can also be downloaded in a PDF format.
A really nice of his articles is that he includes PDB IDs ... Read more