Nature Biotechnology | Trade Secrets

The News Net

 

It’s time once again for your weekend reading. In this week’s News Net, we start small and work our way up—from the emergence of DIY biotech, to a startup in an out-of-the-way corner of Canada, and finally to a green biotech that’s found funding success.

  • Last month’s TEDGlobal conference in Edinburgh showcased the fast-growing trend of DIY molecular biology. Ellen Jorgensen, co-founder of Genspace, the world’s first community biotech lab says the possibilities are endless. “It’s impossible for me, as a mainstream scientist, to imagine what an artist, an architect or even a lawyer may come up with when they get their hands on this technology.” Read the Guardian article.
  • The Vancouver Sun profiles Soricimed, founded in 2005 in Sackville, New Brunswick, to exploit the pain relief and cancer-fighting potential of soricidin, a paralytic peptide found in the venom of the northern short-tailed shrew. Founder Jack Stewart says small biotech companies like his are filling the void left by Canadian big pharma’s retreat from early R&D. Read more here.
  • Finally, Mumbai-based Hanjer Biotech Energies, which transforms municipal solid waste into green products (though its website isn’t clear on exactly how), has raised $40 million from European funds, including German investment and development company DEG and France’s Proparco. Hanjer plans to set up multiple municipal solid waste processing plants with a capacity of 5,000 tons per day. India’s Economic Times reports

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