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”

The role of viral energy generators in modern biotechnology

By Kilian Robinson Renewable energy generation has never been more important, considering climate change and how much more aware humans are of the impacts of carbon dioxide emissions. Consequently, the search for completely renewable energies has been a prominent topic of discussion in modern day energy generation methods. Despite our recent progress in 2020, inContinue reading “The role of viral energy generators in modern biotechnology”

SUPRA CAR T-Cells: Split, Universal, and Programmable Twist to Cancer Immunotherapy

By Sreenidhi Venkatesh Every year the incidence of cancer continues to increase, taking more than 150,000 lives each year in the UK (Cancer Research UK, n.d.). To combat this complex disease, treatments have evolved to include a plethora of options, including immunotherapy. Cancer immunotherapy involves harnessing the immune system to target and eradicate cancer. ImmunotherapiesContinue reading “SUPRA CAR T-Cells: Split, Universal, and Programmable Twist to Cancer Immunotherapy”

AAV-Induced Cancer: Cause for Concern in Gene Therapy?

By Charlotte Hutchings Gene therapy is an approach to treating or preventing human disorders through the delivery of therapeutic nucleic acids to diseased cells (Lundstrom, 2018). In order to achieve targeted delivery to specific organs and cell types, viruses have been employed as a gene therapy vector as they have naturally evolved to be ableContinue reading “AAV-Induced Cancer: Cause for Concern in Gene Therapy?”

Symptom checkers: how AI could transform the field of diagnostics

By Hannah Scheucher Diagnosis is a patient-specific process to characterize an illness via collection of information, integration of different data and clinical reasoning. In this pursuit, hypotheses of possible conditions explaining a patient’s symptoms are established and eliminated over the course of time. Even with advances in technology and diagnostic testing, diagnostic error still representsContinue reading “Symptom checkers: how AI could transform the field of diagnostics”