Record songs onto a Bacteria- yes Researchers from Pacific Northwest National Laboratory can claim to use bacteria as an ipod storage device

Researchers Store children’s song It’s a Small World on bacteria and recovered it from the 100th Generation

Researchers from Pacific Northwest National Laboratory used artificial DNA sequences to encode portions of the text of the children’s song It’s a Small World, added the sequences to bacteria DNA, allowed the bacteria to multiply, then extracted the message part of a DNA strand and retrieved the encoded information, Bliss ha just the kind of solution I need to store all my digital music when my ipod gets full.

Well may be not so easy since there are some potential problems the memory capacity would be huge because each bacteria in a colony could encode different information; it is very difficult to select a single bacteria from a colony, well that cant good, But I like the concept pretty futuristic

These DNA messages, each about 150 bases long, were inserted into bacteria such as E. coliDeinococcus radiodurans. Because DNA is passed down through generations of living organisms, information stored this way should survive for as long as the line of organisms survives, said Pak Wong, a chief scientist at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. DNA is made up of four bases attached to a sugar-phosphate backbone. Different sequences of the four bases can represent digital information

Considering that a milliliter of liquid can contain up to 10 billion bacteria, the potential capacity of bacterial-based DNA memory is enormous

The researchers let the bacteria propagate for 100 generations, then retrieved the encoded information by extracting the message part of the DNA strand from the youngest generation and reading it via polymerase chain reaction, a laboratory procedure that took about two hours and involved a series of heating and cooling cycles.

The researchers used seven different bacteria to store and retrieve seven DNA fragments that ranged from 57 to 99 base pairs long and encoded text from the children’s song

The study was published in 2003

Wireless ID Skin Patch Technology for Personal diagnostics using cell phones

Medgadget reports about the IP Development Company Gentag and Frank Sammeroff working on a new smart, wireless ID skin patch technology that aims to reduce medical errors in hospitals worldwide,

 

This patented, non-invasive solution combines disposable skin patches with RFID tags and cellphones, enabling doctors and nurses to use their handsets or wireless PDAs to update medical charts, time of patient visit and drug administration.

 

Not only that, it can be used to warn about possible drug interactions prior to drug delivery on-the-spot – a great tool for a doctor who has been working for 2 shifts in a row without stopping.

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Microsoft Research, Indian Institute of Science Collaborate

Microsoft Research announced a sponsored research and collaboration agreement with the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) in Bangalore, India, to accelerate the scientific discovery process by increasing computational power in scientific and engineering research. This is the first agreement Microsoft Research has signed in India as part of a global effort to collaborate with leading institutions around advanced computing for science and engineering. Under this agreement, Microsoft Research has committed to providing funding and research expertise to assist with major projects around life sciences research and advanced high-performance computing platforms based on Microsoft Windows Compute Cluster Server 2003 for scientific applications, such as modeling of the Indian Ocean in the coming two to three years.

Professor Nagasuma Chandra, on the faculty of the Bioinformatics Centre at IISc, will be the principal investigator collaborating with Microsoft Research India for the biological data mapping project. The goal of the project is to create research tools for integration of various biological data, leading to greater understanding of biological systems as well as facilitating ready applications in many stages of drug and vaccine discovery.

Prof. R. Govindarajan of Supercomputer Education and Research Centre at IISc will lead the second project on high-performance applications using commodity clusters.

Scholarly publishers throws out Microsoft

After PLOS nature its the turn of microsoft, Life science researchers are in no mood to relent to industry’s interests.

Microsoft’s latest Word release has caused chaos in scholarly publishing circles. Submit a paper to, the journal Nature in Word 2007, and you will face the following warning:

We currently cannot accept files saved in Microsoft Office 2007 formats. Equations and special characters cannot be edited and are incompatible with Nature’s own editing and typesetting programs.’

And it’s not just Nature. Try Science, The Lancet and pretty much any ‘mathematics-intensive’ journal in the world and you will hit the same problem

Science and Nature will no longer accept manuscripts written in Microsoft’s Office 2007 suite. because the latest version of Word is no longer compatible with Mathematical Markup Language (MathML), the de facto standard for writing equations in text documents, according to recent notices posted on the Web sites of both Science and Nature journals. In Office 2007, Microsoft’s own Office MathML (OMML) is used for equations.

And it doesnt end there Microsoft and Sun and open world society are up in arms against each other on adoption of Open Source Document Format. Microsoft supports OOXML and Sun supports ODF (Open Document Format alliance)  which also is enjoying widespread support from academia and corporates like Oracle, IBM, Red Hat, Sun Microsystems, Google

India’s  21-member technical committee decided that India will vote a ‘no’ against Microsoft’s Open Office Extensible Mark Up Language (OOXML) standard at the International Standards Organisation (ISO) in Geneva on September 2.

Growing like IT companies- can Biotech do the magic

Information technologies have significantly contributed to the evolution of work over the last fifty years. At first, IT was primarily applied to automate back office, highly repetitive and fairly standardized tasks, such as financial transactions, payroll, and inventory management.

Customer self-service was arguably the commercial killer-app of the Web in the ’90s. Now giving way to SOA and web collaboration technology, and the SaaS

So where does that put the pharma and biotech industry, we are not so famous for collaboration within the industry. The blatant patent wars and the triumphs to outdo the competitor by developing better and blockbuster drugs have certainly not contributed much to the developemnt of Drug industry in ways that supported the end users/customers. Infact the majority of the big inventions in the last 25 years were borne out of intelligent observations rather than from technological marvels, most of them were the bi product or came across as a lightning discovery during some other research projects.

That role is changing atleast now IT is looked upon and using it to drive business innovation. The involvement is present at every department, from Collaborative drug designing, Online Data sharing, ERP, CRM, use of enterprise systems in clinical research and post launch studies and Business intelligence

Better adoption of IT can dramatically improve the efficiency of and drive business innovation  even using internet to speedup clinical research

Its interesting to learn about Conformia a company that claims to do so by Product performance and life cycle managemnet software for pharmaceutical product development industry and people seem to take attention -SAP an Enterprise application provider has mae investment in joint collaboration with conformia

Perhaps it time we see some major investment and IT helping Pharma companies in post product launch studies, to this date pharma companies do not have enough access to pefroamce data of the drugs present in the market , since hopsitlas and GPs will not like to part with data. Perhaps cost effective IT services might help in avoiding vioxx like incidents by giving pharma companies access to patient data,

Such improvements can only cement the future of genomics /personnal medicine such as samller steps are taken in this direction such as the  Large-Scale Medical Sequencing Clinical Research 

Microsoft accelerates free access to journals

Information technology company Microsoft will give technical assistance to enhance access to online research for scientists, thats when most of the publishers of scientific journals are fighting against Open Access journals. Take a look at the blog  on the subject by  Greg at nodalpoint

Announced at a meeting in Washington in July Representatives from the World Health Organization, the Food and Agriculture Organization, the UN Environmental Programme, and leading science and technology publishers, together with representatives from Cornell and Yale Universities met to officially extend their free access to peer-reviewed journals for many developing world scientists to 2015, in line with the UN’s Millennium Development Goals.

Microsoft will provide new software called the Intelligent Application Gateway 2007 (formally Whale) that will meet increased demand for access to heavily trafficked portals and perform at the standards of today’s most heavily trafficked websites. The system will also enhance security through authentication of users when they log on.

The website that benefit includes open access websites such as   HINARI  Cochrane Library   AGORA and Online Access to Research in the Environment (OARE),  

Google Health -health information storage

interestingly I found this image from an earlier post of Bertalan at scienceroll

The story according to the blog Google Blogoscoped, Google’s nascent Google Health product, codenamed “Weaver”, will offer consumers the opportunity to create a central repository for their health records, including medications, history, test results and allergies. The blog has a number of screenshots of the program in development.

Well google certainly has more up its sleeve, doubt it, chek the google labs page,

Passionate about these topics? You should work at Google. among others listed is interest in genetic algorithms

Pharmacogenomics has started

IT been a long time since my last post, So I thought of catching up with other blogger before going to do anything myslef. So here is what got my attention from Alla Katsnelson blog on the scientist magazine  that  USFDA approved updated labeling for the widely used blood-thinning drug, Coumadin, to explain that people’s genetic makeup may influence how they respond to the drug.

so whats going to be good for common man, the next time (not very soon) you are going to be under treatment of a controversial drug you might get to know how your genetics makeup can affect the treatment, thats going to be a good relief especially cancer patients and those who undergo HRT

while Frost&Sullivan reports in its latest industry update that  genomics platforms that are too inefficient and expensive for ultra-high throughput comprehensive genome-wide analysis are hindering the realization of personal genomics.

Gone in 60seconds-

Personalized Medicine in 60 Seconds

Bioinformatics was a BOOM its was predicted to be next big thing, yet the industry which had hundereds of fragmented mom and pop kind small companies are now under mergers and acquisitions, Does everyone got their money back.

Bioinformatics is yet to become the big Billion billion Dollar, and on the door step the next big thing is ready for its journey

Personalized Medicine in 60 Seconds is the article published in Wired magazine

New horizons ahead

Its been two years since I have been with Ocimum Biosolutions ,the India HQ company serving bioinformatics and microarray market in US with office in Indianapolis and another lab in netherlands, I have been working in the business development of the company’s microarray arm in US which was acquired from MWG biotech, we had tasted success,

I have been busy lately as I have resigned from the company now that explains the absence of any new posts for few weeks now. Ocimum is one of the unique bioinformatics oraganization to make its mark in this industry, because unlike many new companies .  it was started by people with no biological background but has been selected as one of fastest growing life science company in India and Asia many times by Deloitte ranking and many other independent agencies. apart from winning awards from government and even a funding fro world bank. So what makes them so sucessful

Ocimum offers services in bioinformatics oligo microarray and R&D but its the presence of its labs near to its customers and the company’s software development division housed at Hyderabad India that makes the difference. Coupled with India’s cost efficiency, it has many advantages

Bioinformatics industry is going through a face of consolidation, marketed in India in its infancy as a glamorous field to work many who jumped into the fray has burned their hands. and industry analysis in 2000 predicted the industry to become a 100 billion worth by 2004, yet even in 2007, majority of the biologists are yet to warm upto the industry in a way predicted by the software pundits

Research and Markets (http://www.researchandmarkets.com/reports/c59429) has announced the addition of “Biomed Outsourcing Report: An Overview of the Life Sciences and Outsourcing Landscape in India: Spotlight on Bangalore” to their offering.

Device helps Third World fight AIDS- a Winner of World Bank Development Marketplace Award

Guava Technologies and PointCare Technologies are two coompanis etup to provide life saving tests to HIV patients at lower costs.

Former President Bill Clinton’s foundation last year signed a deal with privately held Guava Technologies Inc. to make smaller CD4 counting machines available in Africa at a discount

PointCare Technologies Inc., which makes a hematology device used for managing anti-retroviral therapy for HIV/AIDS patients, was one of the 22 winners selected this week in the World Bank Development Marketplace.

The competitive grant program funds creative, small-scale development projects that have the potential to be expanded or replicated.

Privately held PointCare was one of 104 finalists, selected from 3,000 proposals, who showcased their proposal to judges in Washington, D.C., this week.

PointCare’s portable AuRICA NOW testing equipment, which can be operated by nonlaboratory-trained personnel in rural areas, enables HIV-infected patients to be qualified for anti-retroviral therapy, the company said.

The project, which will receive $198,300 from the World Bank, will be carried out at St. Gabriel’s Hospital in Malawi and at 11 outreach clinics and six health centers in the area.

Setup by Petra B. Krauledat and husband W. Peter Hansen after their journey through the sub-Saharan Africa, where they talked to medical workers and patients about the need for a better way to analyze blood for the crucial immune-system cells that signal when a patient needs to begin taking anti-retroviral medicines.

ENCODE consortium: forming background of why 3 billions bp are required for a human to survive not just the set of genes.

ENCODE consortium today published one in nature and 28 papers in genome research involving 35 groups from 80 organizations around the world, which promise to reshape our understanding of how the human genome functions. The findings totally challenge the tidy collection of independent genes , but sees as a complex networking system, along with regulatory elements and other types of DNA sequences that do not code for proteins, interact in overlapping ways not yet fully understood.

“This impressive effort has uncovered many exciting surprises and blazed the way for future efforts to explore the functional landscape of the entire human genome,” said NHGRI Director Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D. “Because of the hard work and keen insights of the ENCODE consortium, the scientific community will need to rethink some long-held views about what genes are and what they do, as well as how the genome’s functional elements have evolved. This could have significant implications for efforts to identify the DNA sequences involved in many human diseases.”

Loads to come out of this …. few days back in nature cell biology there was a article stating small peptide regulators of actin-based cell morphogenesis encoded by a polycistronic mRNA in an eukaryote…

Plants too recognise its kin

Now wonder,  research proves that even plants recognise their kins. Researchers from McMaster University have found that plants go competitive when forced to share their own environment like pot, with strangers of the same species, but they’re accommodating when potted with their siblings.

How they do it???

When a different plant of same species is potted with a growing plant they start growing more roots, which allows them to grab water and mineral nutrients before their neighbours get them. when they share a pot with family i.e the sibiling 1st or 2 nd generation they don’t increase their root growth. Because differences between groups of strangers and groups of siblings only occurred when they shared a pot, the root interactions may provide a cue for kin recognition. The following is the paper that is being published on the same.

Dudley, S. A. and A. L. File (2007). Kin recognition in an annual plant. Biology Letters, in press.

How Many Scientists Does it Take To Fix a Gene?

The headline of the article that appeared in a news paper was interesting, I thought I will use the same headline to right about it.

The original text of the article can be read at cityonHillPress

While reading the article I also came thougth its worth to have a look at the book Building Biotechnology  written by  Yali Friedman who serves on the science advisory board of Chakra Biotech and the editorial advisory boards of the Biotechnology Journal and Open Biotechnology Journal.

 Yali also publishes a blog at BiotechBlog.com

From science to business

It takes upto to 15 years and multimillion  dollar investments  to patent and market one successful drug for pharmaceutical and biotech industry. Trying to make the sure that the scientists receive the best R&D support possible companies have looked at outsourcing and insourcing and everything else.

And the new boy in the buzz world is “crowdsourcing” claiming businesses a way to tap into a larger, global community of scientists and R&D exeutives.

Crowdsourcing is a business model in which a company or institution takes a job traditionally performed by a designated agent (usually an employee) and outsources it to an undefined, generally large group of people in the form of an open call over the Internet. The work is compensated with little or no pay in most cases. However, in a few examples the labor is well-compensated .

Did that made sense it sounds like open source in biotech fields. but hold on your horses, it not that straight forward, remember Nature has published an article about open source in drug discover industry some time back, there is big list of things that makes it a difficult project.

But there is one company that has pulled it off successfully set up by drug giant Eli Lilly in 2001, for its projects Innocentive is one such crowdsourcer, So far, chemicals and life sciences have been the main users of crowdsourcers, offering rewards of up to $1m if they are successful. There are other places , such as Nine Sigma and Yet2.com and Scienteur, offer similar models.

Another firm Procter & Gamble P&G also works with Nine Sigma , YourEncore andYet2.com and Innocentive

Boeing , Dow Chemical , Eli Lilly and Procter & Gamble , Solvay are number of companies that have benefited fro this model ,

IT industry has grown to this level because people were willing to share data and collaborate , ofcourse there is much difference between IT and biological industry . But will scientists from life science industry would do it- So far the answer is No- may in future they might be more open to such needs

Read Related studies Further at
The Value of Openness in Scientific Problem Solving

Can open-source R&D reinvigorate drug research a nature Review

Previous Blogs

Open source in Biotechnology

Online data Sharing for scientists – Will they accept it

Scientific Blogging Names David Houle As Strategic Advisor

 

NewswireToday – /newswire/ – Folsom, CA, United States, 06/06/2007 – David Houle, media executive responsible for branding MTV, VH1 and CNN Headline News, has joined Science 2.0 start-up ScientificBlogging.com as a strategic advisor to handle marketing and corporate communications.

“The explosive growth of Web 2.0 and blogging has created a lot of content but ScientificBlogging.com has carved out a place for high-level and intellectually stimulating discourse. The community has gone from opening its doors to over 150,000 readers per month in just its third month of private beta. I am excited to help that grow as it goes into its next stages of development.”

living neurons for building a simple biological computer

Biological/organic computing has long been the stuffs of science fiction. But as we have all come to see, what is science fiction one day, does become science fact the next.

The scientific journal Physical Review E has just published a paper that highlights some of the new possibilities of using neurons for biological computing.

It may not sound like much, but it is the first step. We won’t have living computers anytime soon as more complex functions must be taught to neurons and cells to even begin to perform the most basic of fencings

Data sharing policies at 10 journals- blog of the week

Heather Piwowar  blogging at ReseacrhRemix made a post on Data sharing policies at 10 selected journals.  general science (Nature and Science), medicine (JAMA and NEJM), oncology (JCO and Cancer), genetics (Human Molecular Genetics and PLoS Computational Biology), and bioinformatics (Bioinformatics and BMC Bioinformatics). she has published a spreadsheet comparing the results at http://spreadsheets.google.com/pub?key=pdheCmaT42j62B-a7sx0BRA

Free DNA Paternity Test for Father’s Day

I am not promoting anything here but I thought it was an intersting news aswell as nothing short of odd considering the recent and ongoing news pages spend on discussing hollywood and famous fatherhood battles inside and out of court this is  one kind of an offer that Chromosomal Laboratories, Inc. a leading DNA testing laboratory, has announced that it will repeat its  offer of five free paternity tests, a $2000 value, to fathers and alleged fathers as a special promotion to celebrate the upcoming Father’s Day holiday. Interested parties should contact Chromosomal Laboratories by June 14th to be entered into the drawing. Five fathers will be chosen at random to receive a free home paternity test kit.

source webwire

Related blogs

dna-isnt-the-answer-to-everything

There’sa DNA Paternity Test Done Every Two Minutes

Science and Genetics -The Hollywood Connection

 

I thought of actually righting about presence of genetics genomics and biology in Hollywood and popular entertainment and books, here is a collection of blogs and websites on the topic

Prestigious journal makes science sexy again- Scientific American

Science of TV impure but CoolExpert Voice Tv science

Best science fiction Movies – Gadget Maniac

Hollywood on HereditoryThe scientist  

Genetics in BigscreenScience Fiction Biology

Genetics in Movies – GxP genetics Expression

Super Heroes  Watch Mojo

Genetics and culture – Wagner Institute

Genetics Silver screen –USATODAY

Holyywodd frightend of genetics- End of Universe

Genetics art and culture –Centre for Genomics and Society

How Hollywood Vilifies A People –Daily Sun

THE GENOMICS MOVIES

The Island of Dr. Moreau
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0116654/

Reversing Darwin’s Theory
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0241382
Murders in the Rue Morgue
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0023249

28 Days Later
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0289043/   

She Demons
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0052187/

Wolf
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0111742/

JK Jackson, “Mothering the monsters,” The Scientist, September 1, 2006.
http://www.the-scientist.com/news/display/24578/

Hulk
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0286716     

Life Without Soul
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0005615/                                       

Spider-Man
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0145487/ 

Humunculus
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0006820    

GATTACA
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0119177

 

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