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Why the “Central Dogma” Isn’t

For decades, professional biology education programs, universities, community colleges, and some high schools have inoculated students with the phrase central dogma to refer to the basic paradigm that “DNA encodes RNA, which encodes for protein” (1). Although that is in large part true, we do need to break with tradition, let science take its course, and call it like it is. Background In 1970, Francis Crick’s seminal paper in Nature (“Central Dogma of Molecular Biology”) was published. Eventually its premise…

Managing Collaboration Across the Extended Organization

In an increasingly competitive life-science landscape that includes numerous mergers, acquisitions, and changing business models, the demand for collaboration is increasing at such a pace that it exceeds information technology (IT) capabilities. The need to manage and control this collaboration across the supply chain has become mandatory. That is particularly true for larger organizations with hundreds or thousands of partners that are finding new ways to connect, interact, and conduct business. Individual businesses are forming contractual affiliations that extend beyond…

An Industry–Academia Partnership

GE Healthcare Life Sciences recently launched a joint program with Osaka University to support future growth of the biopharmaceutical sector in Japan. Together, they offer students access to GE Healthcare’s expertise in training and technologies for bioprocess research and manufacturing. The program is funded by Osaka University as part of its “Interdisciplinary Program for Biomedical Sciences” (IPBS), a government-funded commitment to graduate education. The goal of IPBS is to educate young scientists to undertake global-scale collaborations to develop effective treatments…

Women Helping Women in Biotechnology

How can we empower women to advance their own careers? How do we encourage entrepreneurship for more female scientists? What will get more girls excited about science? Those are questions that the Women In Bio (WIB) organization seeks to address as it creates programs and networking events across the country. WIB is an organization of biotechnology professionals whose mission is to promote careers, leadership, and entrepreneurship for women involved in life sciences. Started in 2002 as a small support network…

The Role of Medical Affairs in Moving from R&D to Commercialization

Bringing a new pharmaceutical product to market is a unique process based on a number of requirements for supporting a product launch. For a research and development (R&D) company, launching a product into market may seem to be an issue for someone else to handle in the far-distant future and at a much later time. But even at laboratory or early development stages, biotechnology companies should understand the language of pharmaceutical companies and know how that industry operates. Doing so…

A Proactive Discussion of Synthetic Biology

    Experts in synthetic biology research, law, ethics, and social science from more than a dozen institutions gathered at the Woodrow Wilson International Center in Washington, DC, on 8–9 November 2010 to discuss “Societal Issues Arising from Synthetic Biology: What Lies Ahead.” The workshop was organized by the Department of Energy’s Office of Biological and Environmental Research and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. After plenary presentations on the first day, almost 70 participants broke into groups to discuss potential…

Fight Cancer with Nanotechnology

    Imagine a diagnostic test that sifts through millions of molecules in one drop of a patient’s blood to detect the tell-tale protein signature of a cancer subtype. Envision a drug “ferry” that doesn’t release its cytotoxic contents until it slips inside cancer cells — or a molecule or small panel of proteins that can reveal within days whether a cancer treatment is working. Bioprocess Applications of Nanoparticles ()   Researchers have created nanosized particles and devices that are…

Videos Can Help Ensure Reproducibility of Scientific Results

Biological experiments must be performed correctly. A textual method description doesn’t always capture the myriad techniques involved in even a fairly simple study. So the inability of researchers to reproduce published results is becoming a problem. And it is being addressed by video methods that show exactly how scientific results are achieved, helping future researchers learn new techniques and replicate scientific results. The ability to reproduce and confirm a study’s results and conclusions is a foundation of scientific research. And…

From The Editor

      Not long ago I assembled a few current and former coworkers to meet with a young woman who is contemplating a career in journalism. Part of that visit involved comparing experiences of those who had been in the field for many years with those who had finished their formal education only a few years ago. We wondered whether the field still welcomes newcomers with degrees other than in journalism; or whether publishers now insist on that specific…