Top 11 Biotech News Stories of 2016!


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NUS researchers discover novel mechanism to stop the spread of breast cancer

A team of researchers from the Cancer Science Institute of Singapore (CSI Singapore) at the National University of Singapore (NUS) has found that controlling the levels of the TIP60 protein, which is a tumour suppressor, could potentially prevent the spread of breast cancer cells.

Meet the world’s smartest food scientist: GIUSEPPE

What would be the best way to deliver nutrition to the 7.1 billion odd people on this planet? Science would tell you that it is not the animals. Researchers at the Not Company (NotCo) which is a food-tech startup based at Chile have developed food products that is no longer based on animal ingredients but entirely based on plants. They use machine learning technology to develop tasty, nutritious and affordable plant-based food.

Machine learning could help revolutionize cancer diagnosis

A woman in Japan, initially diagnosed of acute myeloid leukemia, a rare form of blood cancer, underwent chemotherapy. However, her recovery after the treatment was unusually slow, leading her doctors in University of Tokyo’s Institute of Medical Science to suspect of a different form of leukaemia. Dr. Tojo’s team, turned to IBM’s Watson, which proved to be a life saving move. Watson, a cloud based AI-powered computer system,  developed by IBM, cross referenced this case against 20 million oncological records.

Changing sexual habits leads to startling rise in oral cancer in men

There has been a startling rise in reported oral cancer cases in US, says a new study, in the past few years. New study shows oral cancer cases have significantly increased in the US in past years. FAIR Health, a non-profit organization, released data that shows 61 percent increase from 2011 to 2015 in oral cancer cases.

Uncovering The Genetic Roots of Schizophrenia Using 3D Chromosome-mapping

In a rare and interesting study, researchers from the University of California at Los Angeles have come one step closer to understanding the biology of schizophrenia. In the study, scientists have found dozens of genes and two major biological pathways that maybe involved in the development of the disorder by using a newly developed technology for analyzing DNA.

Zika ‘health emergency’ status removed but it’s sad news for reproductive health

The recent announcement the World Health Organisation (WHO) has declared Zika no longer a “public health emergency of international concern” is sad news. Rather than signalling a victory over this high profile global health threat, it is more a recognition the virus is here to stay.

Singapore scientists develop DNA-altering technology to tackle diseases

Researchers in Singapore have developed a new protein that can alter DNA in living cells with much higher precision than current methods. This new protein, named iCas, can be easily controlled by an external chemical input and thus solves some of the problems with CRISPR-Cas9, the existing gold-standard for DNA altering.

Singapore firm’s wound healing drug cleared for clinical trials by FDA

Singapore has the second-highest proportion of diabetics among developed nations, with only the United States faring worse. It is common knowledge how difficult diabetic wounds are to treat. However, a Singapore biomedical firm has received clearance from the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to test its treatment on patients. CellResearch Corporation, a Singapore-based biomedical firm has developed a treatment , using stem cells extracted from umbilical cord lining – normally discarded when a woman gives birth – that can grow into the patient’s new skin.

Google Brain’s Quoc Le speaks about how Deep Learning could revolutionize Healthcare

Dr. Quoc Viet Le is a research scientist at Google Brain known for his path-breaking work on deep neural networks (DNN). He is especially famous for his Ph.D work in image processing under Andrew Ng, one of the pioneers of the DNN revolution. As one of the top tech innovators under 35 in the MIT tech review at EmtechAsia, we asked Quoc Le a few questions about his take on neural networks, its development, philosophy, challenges and future role in enabling or threatening humanity.

23andMe identifies genetic clues to the cause of depression with a massive depression study

In a landmark study, 23andMe along with the drug giant Pfizer have carried out a massive crowdsourced depression study using the DNA of more than 450,000 customers of 23andMe, thereby unraveling a major finding on genetic clues to the cause of depression.

 U.S gives green signal for the first CRISPR human clinical trial

On the 21st of June, in perhaps a move, that is reminiscent of the rapid manner that the scientific community has taken to CRISPR-Cas9, an advisory committee at the National Institute of health approved a proposal that aims to use CRISPR–Cas9 genome editing technology to bolster immunotherapy.