Next Generation Sequencing

By Mark Comer The development of Sanger sequencing in 1977 laid the foundation for DNA sequencing technologies and continued to be the leading technique for the discovery of DNA sequences until the 1990s.  With the genome of a bacteriophage the first to be sequenced in the same year, sequencing technology continued to be developed. ReplacingContinue reading “Next Generation Sequencing”

AlphaFold 2: Unfolding the Future of Predicting Protein Structures

By Audrey Ko Proteins are macromolecules that are essential for many biological functions within our body. The specific function of a protein depends on its unique 3D structure which is the result of folding of a chain or chains of amino acids. For the past decades, researchers have developed different experimental techniques for determining theContinue reading “AlphaFold 2: Unfolding the Future of Predicting Protein Structures”

Detect-seq: A Tool for Evaluating Gene Editing technologies

By Chi Wai (Jessie) Ng The ethics crisis of 2018 surrounding the birth of two genetically edited twin girls, Lulu and Nana,  raised enormous medical practice concerns and sparked outcry from all across the globe. Aside from ethical concerns, the subject matter of gene editing on humans is so sensitive because the genetically modified twinsContinue reading “Detect-seq: A Tool for Evaluating Gene Editing technologies”

DNA Encoded Data: A Replacement for Hard Drives?

By Nick Bitterlich We all own that one hard drive that stores our fondest memories in an intricate network of chips. It writes and rewrites data multiple times whenever we save or download files. It seems USBs and hard drives can’t have enough storage with the tremendous amounts of data generated on a daily basis.Continue reading “DNA Encoded Data: A Replacement for Hard Drives?”

How can graphs help us solve problems underpinning biology?

By Anjali Samra To understand biological processes, knowledge about molecules and the relationships between them is required. For example, graphs can be used to model protein to protein binding interactions within different molecular pathways and so they can be used to investigate the relationships between different structures and their properties. This is particularly important inContinue reading “How can graphs help us solve problems underpinning biology?”

Understanding cultured meat and its future

By Clemence Blanchard Cultured meat goes by many names – ‘cell-based meat’, ‘in vitro meat’, ‘clean meat’ – but the concept remains the same. While not entirely new, the application of tissue engineering and cell culturing techniques to replicate conventional meat from animal cells has gained traction in recent years, with the first in vitroContinue reading “Understanding cultured meat and its future”

The Rising Technology of Single Cell Transcriptomic Sequencing

By Denny Yang Tze Te 1977 marked a major breakthrough in the lab of Frederick Sanger when he and his colleagues introduced the “dideoxy chain-termination” method to the world. This is famously known as  Sanger sequencing, an example of ‘first-generation’ sequencing. The first step begins with double-stranded DNA denaturation into single-stranded DNAs and each single-strandedContinue reading “The Rising Technology of Single Cell Transcriptomic Sequencing”

Engineered red blood cells: a potential mode of therapy?

By Alexandra Grba Engineered human red blood cells (RBCs) have become an attractive means of delivering drugs, immunomodulatory agents and diagnostic imaging probes into the body. They confer several advantages for therapeutic delivery over other methods, such as stem cell-based therapies. Namely, the use of modified RBCs is safer, longer-lasting and can target both wideContinue reading “Engineered red blood cells: a potential mode of therapy?”

Xenobots: Tiny blobs with massive potential

By Heiloi Yip When asked to envision the future of biotechnology, one might think of a couple common images. Some may think about synthetic organisms using tissue pieced together from different species to form a ‘Frankenstein’s monster’. Others may think about a swarm of tiny robots that work together like ants might do, performing aContinue reading “Xenobots: Tiny blobs with massive potential”

Early Drug Discovery Transformation in the Era of Artificial Intelligence

By Anjali Samra Artificial intelligence (AI) related tools are increasingly being used in the early drug discovery pipeline (Reda, Kaufmann & Delahaye-Duriez, 2020). Whilst some are looking towards the vast opportunities that are offered by such tools, there are also many that are opposed, waiting for a clear impact to be seen within the field.Continue reading “Early Drug Discovery Transformation in the Era of Artificial Intelligence”