Green BioDiscovery: Wheat genetic code breakthrough

In a paper published recently on NATURE, Scientists from UK, Germany and the US have unlocked key components of the genetic code for wheat, helping to create varieties that are more productive and better able to cope with disease, drought and other crop stresses. The identification of around 96,000 wheat genes, and insights into the links between them, comes just two years after UK researchers published the raw data of the wheat genome.

Red BioDiscovery: Stem cells from strangers can repair hearts

Clinical Researchers from Miami and Baltimore US, have reported at an American Heart Association conference in California and published in the Journal of the American Medical Association a key advance in using stem cells to repair hearts damaged by heart attacks. In a study involved 30 patients stem cells donated by strangers proved as safe and effective as patients' own cells for helping restore heart tissue. The patients in the study had suffered heart attacks years earlier, some as long as 30 years ago. All had developed heart failure because the scar tissue from the heart attack had weakened their hearts so much that they grew large and flabby, unable to pump blood effectively.The trial used a specific type of stem cells from bone marrow that researchers believed would not be rejected by recipients. Unlike other cells, these lack a key feature on their surface that makes the immune system see them as foreign tissue and attack them. Researchers advertised for people to supply marrow, which is removed using a needle into a hip bone. The cells were taken from the marrow and amplified for about a month in a lab at Baltimore's Johns Hopkins University, then returned to Miami to be used for treatment, which did not involve surgery. The cells were delivered through a tube pushed through a groin artery into the heart near the scarred area. Fifteen patients were given cells from their own marrow and 15 others, cells from strangers. About a year later, scar tissue had been reduced by about one-third. Both groups had improvements in how far they could walk and in quality of life. There was no significant difference in one measure of how well their hearts were able to pump blood, but doctors hope these patients will continue to improve over time, or that refinements in treatment will lead to better results.

(Oct 2012) Dr Joshua M. Hare, director of the Interdisciplinary Stem Cell Institute, performs a heart biopsy, a preliminary step in one of several cardiac stem cell trials at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine.

Red BioBusiness: Recombinant Lactoferrin Intellectual Property acquisition

Ventria Bioscience (http://ventria.com) announced the completion of an agreement under which Ventria Bioscience will wholly acquire portions of the intellectual property portfolio relating to Recombinant Lactoferrin developed by the French biotechnology company, Meristem Therapeutics. The agreement transfers to Ventria Bioscience exclusive royalty-free ownership rights for the specific patents in the United States, France, and Canada, including those related to recombinant human lactoferrin, in exchange for a one-time payment.

Blue BioBusiness: SEE ALGAE Tech to Present at International Congress

SEE ALGAE Technology GmbH (SAT), a developer of infrastructure for the commercial production of high-quality algae, will present at the upcoming International Algae Congress in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. SAT CEO Dr. Joachim Grill will discuss the Company’s progress in using photobioreactors to produce biofuels and livestock feed from algae at commercial scale.

Scheduled for December 4-5, 2012, the 6th Annual International Algae Congress will bring together leading academic and commercial experts to discuss new developments in algae cultivation technology.

SEE ALGAE Technology was recently awarded the Brazilian Bioenergy Innovation of the Year 2012 Award for its work with Brazil’s Grupo JB. The Award recognized the potential of the Company’s cutting edge algae cultivation technology to be a major boost for the global commercialization of microalgae-based biofuels.