Harnessing Single Cell Analysis for Pharmaceutical Research

Drug discovery development depend on precise, high throughput techniques such as single cell analysis to identify validate appropriate drug targets perform preclinical clinical studies. However, it can be challenging for scientists to keep up with rapidly emerging studies that harness these cutting-edge techniques in innovative ways.

Download this article from 10x Genomics to learn about powerful applications of single cell analysis for supporting all stages of the drug discovery development pathway.

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Technique Talk: Purifying Plant-Based Endogenous Biomolecules

LIVE Webinar

Tuesday, December 7th, 2021
2:30 – 3:30 PM Eastern Time

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Transfection—the process of introducing exogenous genetic material to cells—is one of the most common techniques used in life sciences laboratories. However, researchers still face challenges when transfecting cells, especially low transfection efficiency cytotoxicity.

In this Technique Talk, Sandy Tseng will explore how to troubleshoot transfection issues, discuss alternatives to chemical transfection, offer tips for achieving optimal transfection efficiency.

Learning Objectives

  • Understthe critical parameters for optimal, consistent transfections
  • How to measure transfection efficiency
  • Alternatives to chemical transfection their pros cons

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Meet the Instructor:

Sandy Tseng, PhD
Technical Support Manager
Mirus Bio

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Sheldon Krimsky, Who Warned of Profit Motive in Science, Dies at 80

Sheldon Krimsky, a leading scholar of environmental ethics who explored issues at the nexus of science, ethics biotechnology, who warned of the perils of private companies underwriting influencing academic research, died on April 23 in Cambridge, Mass. He was 80.

His family said that he was at a hospital for tests when he died, that they did not know the cause.

Dr. Krimsky, who taught at Tufts University in Massachusetts for 47 years, warned in a comprehensive way about the increasing conflicts of interest that universities faced as their academic researchers accepted millions of dollars in grants from corporate entities like pharmaceutical biotechnology companies.

In his book “Science in the Private Interest” (2003), he argued that the lure of profits was potentially corrupting research in the process undermining the integrity independence of universities.

But his wide-ranging public policy work went way beyond flagging the dangers inherent in the commercialization of science. The author, co-author or editor of 17 books more than 200 journal articles, he delved into numerous scientific fields — stem-cell research, genetic modification of food DNA privacy among them — sought to pinpoint potential problems.

“He was the Ralph Nader of bioethics,” Jonathan Garlick, a stem-cell researcher at Tufts a friend of Dr. Krimsky, said in a phone interview, referring to the longtime consumer advocate.

“He was saying, if we didn’t slow down pay attention to important check points, once you let the genie out of the bottle there might be irreversible harm that could persist across many generations,” Dr. Garlick added. “He wanted to protect us from irreversible harm.”

In “Genetic Justice” (2012), Dr. Krimsky wrote that DNA evidence is not always reliable, that government agencies had created large DNA databases that posed a threat to civil liberties. In “The GMO Deception” (2014), which he edited with Jeremy Gruber, he criticized the agriculture food industries for changing the genetic makeup of foods.

His last book, published in 2021, was “Understanding DNA Ancestry,” in which he explained the complications of ancestry research said that results from different genetic ancestry testing companies could vary in their conclusions. Most recently, he was starting to explore the emerging subject of stem-cell meat — meat made from animal cells that can be grown in a lab.

Mr. Nader, in fact, had a long association with Dr. Krimsky wrote the introduction to some of his books.

“There was really no one like him: rigorous, courageous, prolific,” Mr. Nader said in an email. “He tried to convey the importance of democratic processes in open scientific decision making in many areas. He criticized scientific dogmas, saying that science must always leave open options for revision.”

Credit…Rowman & Littlefield Publishers

Sheldon Krimsky was born on June 26, 1941, in Brooklyn. His father, Alex, was a house painter. His mother, Rose (Skolnick) Krimsky, was a garment worker.

Sheldon, known as Shelly, majored in physics math at Brooklyn College graduated in 1963. He earned a Master of Science degree in physics at Purdue University in 1965. At Boston University, he earned a Master of Arts degree in philosophy in 1968 a doctorate in the philosophy of science in 1970.

He is survived by his wife, Carolyn Boriss-Krimsky, a playwright, artist author, whom he married in 1970; a daughter, Alyssa Krimsky Clossey; a son, Eliot; three grandchildren; a brother, Sidney.

Dr. Krimsky began his association with Tufts in what is now called the Department of Urban Environmental Policy Planning in 1974 helped build it up over the decades. He also taught ethics at the Tufts University School of Medicine was a visiting scholar at Columbia University, Brooklyn College, the New School New York University.

He began to explore the conflicts of interest in academic research in the late 1970s when he led a team of students on an investigation into whether the chemical company W.R. Grace had contaminated drinking wells in Acton, Mass.

Dr. Krimsky has said that when the company learned that he would be releasing a negative report — the wells were later designated a Superfund site — one of its top executives asked the president of Tufts to bury the study fire him. The president refused. But Dr. Krimsky was disturbed that the company had tried to interfere, it prompted him to begin studying how corporations, whether or not they had made financial contributions, sought to manipulate science.

“He spoke truth to power,” Dr. Garlick said. “He wanted to give voice to skepticism give voice to the skeptics.”

Dr. Krimsky was a longtime proponent of what he called “organized skepticism.”

“When claims are made, you have to start with skepticism until the evidence is so strong that your skepticism disappears,” he told The Boston Globe in 2014. “You don’t in science start by saying, ‘Yes, I like this hypothesis it must be true.’”

He was a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science headed its committee on scientific freedom responsibility from 1988 to 1992. He was also a fellow of the Hastings Center on Bioethics served on the editorial boards of seven scientific journals.

When he wasn’t working, he liked to play the guitar harmonica. He divided his time between Cambridge New York City.

“Shelly never gave up hope of a better world,” Julian Agyeman, a professor in Dr. Krimsky’s department its interim chairman, was quoted as saying in a Tufts obituary. “He was the consummate activist-advocate-scholar.”

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Signs of an Animal Virus Discovered in Man Who Received a Pig’s Heart

A 57-year-old Marylman who survived for two months with a heart transplanted from a genetically altered pig carried signs of a virus that infects the animals, according to the surgeon who performed the first-of-its-kind procedure.

The disclosure bolsters one of the most pressing objections to animal-to-human transplants, which is that widespread use of modified animal organs may facilitate the introduction of new pathogens into the human population.

The presence of viral DNA in the patient may indicate an infection that contributed to his sudden deterioration death on March 8, Dr. Bartley Griffith, a transplant surgeon at the University of MarylSchool of Medicine, said during a presentation to the American Society of Transplantation.

Dr. Griffith’s comments were first reported by MIT Technology Review.

The pig was genetically modified so that its organs would not prompt rejection by the human immune system. The heart was provided to the patient, David Bennett Sr., by Revivicor, a regenerative medicine company based in Blacksburg, Va.

Company officials declined to comment on Thursday. University officials said the animal had been screened for the virus, called porcine cytomegalovirus. But the tests pick up only active infections, not latent ones in which the virus may hide quietly in the pig’s body.

Credit…University of MarylSchool of Medicine, via EPA, via Shutterstock

Mr. Bennett’s transplant was initially deemed successful. He did not show signs of rejecting the organ, the pig’s heart continued to function for well over a month, passing a critical milestone for transplant patients.

A test indicated the presence of porcine CMV in Mr. Bennett 20 days after the transplant, but at such a low level that Dr. Griffith said he thought it might have been a lab error. At 45 days after the surgery, Mr. Bennett became acutely ill, subsequent tests showed a precipitous rise in levels of the virus, Dr. Griffith said.

“So we started thinking that the virus that showed up very early at Day 20 as just a twinkle started to grow in time, it may have been the actor — it could have been the actor — that set this all off,” Dr. Griffith told other transplant scientists.

Mr. Bennett’s health deteriorated abruptly 45 days after the surgery, he said.

“At Day 45, he looked really funky,” Dr. Griffith said. “Something happened. He looked sick. He lost his attention. He wouldn’t talk to us. He lay in bed breathing hard, was kind of warm.”

The heart transplant was one of several groundbreaking transplants in recent months that offer hope to the tens of thousands of patients who need new kidneys, hearts lungs amid a dire shortage of donated human organs.

But the prospect of unforeseen consequences — particularly the potential introduction of an animal disease into the human population — may dampen enthusiasm for the use of genetically modified organs.

Many scientists believe that the coronavirus pandemic originated with a virus transmitted from an animal, as yet unidentified, to people in China.

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Using Single Cell Proteomics to UnderstHuman Health Disease

This webinar will be hosted live available on-demand

Wednesday, June 1, 2022
2:30 – 4:00 PM Eastern Time 

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Over the years, scientists have turned to single cells to explore their detailed genomic transcriptomic profiles. With new technological developments, scientists can now add proteomic data to their single cell studies. In this webinar brought to you by The Scientist, Miriam Merad Savas Tay will present their latest findings obtained using single cell proteomics methods demonstrate how proteomics data complement other omics methods for revealing new insights into human health disease.

Topics to be covered

  • How single cell proteomics helps researchers unravel novel disease pathophysiology mechanisms, refine animal models, enhance the drug discovery effort
  • Maximizing treatment response with proteomics

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Meet the Speakers:

Miriam Merad, MD, PhD
Director, Precision Immunology Institute at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai (PrIISM)
Endowed Chair in Cancer Immunology
Professor, Oncological Science Medicine
Director, Human Immune Monitoring Center
                                 Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

Savas Tay, PhD
Professor of Molecular Engineering
Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering
The University of Chicago

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