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Journal Cover Trends in Biotechnology
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   ISSN (Print) 0167-7799
   Published by Elsevier Homepage  [3043 journals]
  • Biological Tools for and from the Environment
    • Authors: Matthew Pavlovich
      Pages: 797 - 798
      Abstract: Publication date: September 2017
      Source:Trends in Biotechnology, Volume 35, Issue 9
      Author(s): Matthew Pavlovich

      PubDate: 2017-08-19T19:22:19Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.tibtech.2017.07.001
  • Wastewater Opportunities for Denitrifying Anaerobic Methane Oxidation
    • Authors: Yali Wang; Dongbo Wang; Qi Yang; Guangming Zeng; Xiaoming Li
      Pages: 799 - 802
      Abstract: Publication date: September 2017
      Source:Trends in Biotechnology, Volume 35, Issue 9
      Author(s): Yali Wang, Dongbo Wang, Qi Yang, Guangming Zeng, Xiaoming Li
      Denitrifying anaerobic methane oxidation (DAMO) can concurrently reduce methane emissions and nitrogen levels in aquatic environments, but how useful is this process' We propose the use of DAMO-based technology as a tool for sustainably operating wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs).

      PubDate: 2017-08-19T19:22:19Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.tibtech.2017.02.010
  • Carbon Concentration in Algae: Reducing CO2 From Exhaust Gas
    • Authors: Atreyee Ghosh; Bala Kiran
      Pages: 806 - 808
      Abstract: Publication date: September 2017
      Source:Trends in Biotechnology, Volume 35, Issue 9
      Author(s): Atreyee Ghosh, Bala Kiran
      Algal carbon-concentrating mechanisms can be used to sequester CO2 from the atmosphere, and the resulting biomass can produce various value-added products. Mechanisms for carbon concentration in algae are complex and sometimes inefficient. We need to understand how algae successfully overcome these challenges while capturing CO2 from their nearby environment.

      PubDate: 2017-08-19T19:22:19Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.tibtech.2017.05.003
  • Endolichenic Fungi: A Hidden Reservoir of Next Generation
    • Authors: Brahma N. Singh; Dalip K. Upreti; Vijai K. Gupta; Xiao-Feng Dai; Yueming Jiang
      Pages: 808 - 813
      Abstract: Publication date: September 2017
      Source:Trends in Biotechnology, Volume 35, Issue 9
      Author(s): Brahma N. Singh, Dalip K. Upreti, Vijai K. Gupta, Xiao-Feng Dai, Yueming Jiang
      Endolichenic fungi (ELF) offer an opportunity to discover emerging natural drugs. ELF are promising bioresources given their ability to produce bioactive metabolites that represent unique and diverse structural classes. Here, we assess the potential of recent technologies to provide insight into the chemical diversity of ELF for biopharmaceutical development.

      PubDate: 2017-08-19T19:22:19Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.tibtech.2017.03.003
  • Microbiome Tools for Forensic Science
    • Authors: Jessica L. Metcalf; Zhenjiang Z. Xu; Amina Bouslimani; Pieter Dorrestein; David O. Carter; Rob Knight
      Pages: 814 - 823
      Abstract: Publication date: September 2017
      Source:Trends in Biotechnology, Volume 35, Issue 9
      Author(s): Jessica L. Metcalf, Zhenjiang Z. Xu, Amina Bouslimani, Pieter Dorrestein, David O. Carter, Rob Knight
      Microbes are present at every crime scene and have been used as physical evidence for over a century. Advances in DNA sequencing and computational approaches have led to recent breakthroughs in the use of microbiome approaches for forensic science, particularly in the areas of estimating postmortem intervals (PMIs), locating clandestine graves, and obtaining soil and skin trace evidence. Low-cost, high-throughput technologies allow us to accumulate molecular data quickly and to apply sophisticated machine-learning algorithms, building generalizable predictive models that will be useful in the criminal justice system. In particular, integrating microbiome and metabolomic data has excellent potential to advance microbial forensics.

      PubDate: 2017-08-19T19:22:19Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.tibtech.2017.03.006
  • Discovering Protein-Coding Genes from the Environment: Time for the
    • Authors: Roland Marmeisse; Harald Kellner; Laurence Fraissinet-Tachet; Patricia Luis
      Pages: 824 - 835
      Abstract: Publication date: September 2017
      Source:Trends in Biotechnology, Volume 35, Issue 9
      Author(s): Roland Marmeisse, Harald Kellner, Laurence Fraissinet-Tachet, Patricia Luis
      Eukaryotic microorganisms from diverse environments encompass a large number of taxa, many of them still unknown to science. One strategy to mine these organisms for genes of biotechnological relevance is to use a pool of eukaryotic mRNA directly extracted from environmental samples. Recent reports demonstrate that the resulting metatranscriptomic cDNA libraries can be screened by expression in yeast for a wide range of genes and functions from many of the different eukaryotic taxa. In combination with novel emerging high-throughput technologies, we anticipate that this approach should contribute to exploring the functional diversity of the eukaryotic microbiota.

      PubDate: 2017-08-19T19:22:19Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.tibtech.2017.02.003
  • Biodegradation of Carbon Nanotubes, Graphene, and Their Derivatives
    • Authors: Ming Chen; Xiaosheng Qin; Guangming Zeng
      Pages: 836 - 846
      Abstract: Publication date: September 2017
      Source:Trends in Biotechnology, Volume 35, Issue 9
      Author(s): Ming Chen, Xiaosheng Qin, Guangming Zeng
      Carbon nanotubes (CNTs), graphene (GRA), and their derivatives are promising materials for a wide range of applications such as pollutant removal, enzyme immobilization, bioimaging, biosensors, and drug delivery and are rapidly increasing in use and increasingly mass produced. The biodegradation of carbon nanomaterials by microbes and enzymes is now of great importance for both reducing their toxicity to living organisms and removing them from the environment. Here we review recent progress in the biodegradation field from the point of view of the primary microbes and enzymes that can degrade these nanomaterials, along with experimental and molecular simulation methods for the exploration of nanomaterial degradation. Further efforts should primarily aim toward expanding the repertoire of microbes and enzymes and exploring optimal conditions for the degradation of nanomaterials.

      PubDate: 2017-08-19T19:22:19Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.tibtech.2016.12.001
  • Biotechnologies for Marine Oil Spill Cleanup: Indissoluble Ties with
    • Authors: Francesca Mapelli; Alberto Scoma; Grégoire Michoud; Federico Aulenta; Nico Boon; Sara Borin; Nicolas Kalogerakis; Daniele Daffonchio
      Pages: 860 - 870
      Abstract: Publication date: September 2017
      Source:Trends in Biotechnology, Volume 35, Issue 9
      Author(s): Francesca Mapelli, Alberto Scoma, Grégoire Michoud, Federico Aulenta, Nico Boon, Sara Borin, Nicolas Kalogerakis, Daniele Daffonchio
      The ubiquitous exploitation of petroleum hydrocarbons (HCs) has been accompanied by accidental spills and chronic pollution in marine ecosystems, including the deep ocean. Physicochemical technologies are available for oil spill cleanup, but HCs must ultimately be mineralized by microorganisms. How environmental factors drive the assembly and activity of HC-degrading microbial communities remains unknown, limiting our capacity to integrate microorganism-based cleanup strategies with current physicochemical remediation technologies. In this review, we summarize recent findings about microbial physiology, metabolism and ecology and describe how microbes can be exploited to create improved biotechnological solutions to clean up marine surface and deep waters, sediments and beaches.

      PubDate: 2017-08-19T19:22:19Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.tibtech.2017.04.003
  • Ultra High Field MRI-Guided Deep Brain Stimulation
    • Authors: Birte U. Forstmann; Bethany R. Isaacs; Yasin Temel
      Pages: 904 - 907
      Abstract: Publication date: October 2017
      Source:Trends in Biotechnology, Volume 35, Issue 10
      Author(s): Birte U. Forstmann, Bethany R. Isaacs, Yasin Temel
      Deep brain stimulation (DBS) is a neurosurgical treatment for neurological disorders often planned with 1.5-T or 3-T MRI. The clinical efficacy of DBS can be improved using ultrahigh-field (UHF) MRI for planning by increasing the level of precision required for an individualized approach.

      PubDate: 2017-09-23T12:19:57Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.tibtech.2017.06.010
  • Pushing Bacterial Biohybrids to In Vivo Applications
    • Authors: Morgan M. Stanton; Samuel Sánchez
      Pages: 910 - 913
      Abstract: Publication date: October 2017
      Source:Trends in Biotechnology, Volume 35, Issue 10
      Author(s): Morgan M. Stanton, Samuel Sánchez
      Bacterial biohybrids use the energy of bacteria to manipulate synthetic materials with the goal of solving biomedical problems at the micro- and nanoscale. We explore current in vitro studies of bacterial biohybrids, the first attempts at in vivo biohybrid research, and problems to be addressed for the future.

      PubDate: 2017-09-23T12:19:57Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.tibtech.2017.04.008
  • Biotechnological Perspectives of Pyrolysis Oil for a Bio-Based Economy
    • Authors: Stefanie Arnold; Karin Moss; Marius Henkel; Rudolf Hausmann
      Pages: 925 - 936
      Abstract: Publication date: October 2017
      Source:Trends in Biotechnology, Volume 35, Issue 10
      Author(s): Stefanie Arnold, Karin Moss, Marius Henkel, Rudolf Hausmann
      Lignocellulosic biomass is an important feedstock for a potential future bio-based economy. Owing to its compact structure, suitable decomposition technologies will be necessary to make it accessible for biotechnological conversion. While chemical and enzymatic hydrolysis are currently established methods, a promising alternative is provided by fast pyrolysis. The main resulting product thereof, referred to as pyrolysis oil, is an energy-rich and easily transportable liquid. Many of the identified constituents of pyrolysis oil, however, have previously been reported to display adverse effects on microbial growth. In this Opinion we discuss relevant biological, biotechnological, and technological challenges that need to be addressed to establish pyrolysis oil as a reliable microbial feedstock for a bio-based economy of the future.

      PubDate: 2017-09-23T12:19:57Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.tibtech.2017.06.003
  • Advances in Alzheimer’s Diagnosis and Therapy: The Implications of
    • Authors: Mohammad Javad Hajipour; Michelle R. Santoso; Farhad Rezaee; Haniyeh Aghaverdi; Morteza Mahmoudi; George Perry
      Pages: 937 - 953
      Abstract: Publication date: October 2017
      Source:Trends in Biotechnology, Volume 35, Issue 10
      Author(s): Mohammad Javad Hajipour, Michelle R. Santoso, Farhad Rezaee, Haniyeh Aghaverdi, Morteza Mahmoudi, George Perry
      Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a type of dementia that causes major issues for patients’ memory, thinking, and behavior. Despite efforts to advance AD diagnostic and therapeutic tools, AD remains incurable due to its complex and multifactorial nature and lack of effective diagnostics/therapeutics. Nanoparticles (NPs) have demonstrated the potential to overcome the challenges and limitations associated with traditional diagnostics/therapeutics. Nanotechnology is now offering new tools and insights to advance our understanding of AD and eventually may offer new hope to AD patients. Here, we review the key roles of nanotechnologies in the recent literature, in both diagnostic and therapeutic aspects of AD, and discuss how these achievements may improve patient prognosis and quality of life.

      PubDate: 2017-09-23T12:19:57Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.tibtech.2017.06.002
  • Manufacturing Cell Therapies Using Engineered Biomaterials
    • Authors: Amr A. Abdeen; Krishanu Saha
      Pages: 971 - 982
      Abstract: Publication date: October 2017
      Source:Trends in Biotechnology, Volume 35, Issue 10
      Author(s): Amr A. Abdeen, Krishanu Saha
      Emerging manufacturing processes to generate regenerative advanced therapies can involve extensive genomic and/or epigenomic manipulation of autologous or allogeneic cells. These cell engineering processes need to be carefully controlled and standardized to maximize safety and efficacy in clinical trials. Engineered biomaterials with smart and tunable properties offer an intriguing tool to provide or deliver cues to retain stemness, direct differentiation, promote reprogramming, manipulate the genome, or select functional phenotypes. This review discusses the use of engineered biomaterials to control human cell manufacturing. Future work exploiting engineered biomaterials has the potential to generate manufacturing processes that produce standardized cells with well-defined critical quality attributes appropriate for clinical testing.

      PubDate: 2017-09-23T12:19:57Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.tibtech.2017.06.008
  • Can Microalgae Remove Pharmaceutical Contaminants from Water'
    • Authors: Jiu-Qiang Xiong; Mayur B. Kurade; Byong-Hun Jeon
      Pages: 486 - 493
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 6 October 2017
      Source:Trends in Biotechnology
      Author(s): Jiu-Qiang Xiong, Mayur B. Kurade, Byong-Hun Jeon
      The increase in worldwide water contamination with numerous pharmaceutical contaminants (PCs) has become an emerging environmental concern due to their considerable ecotoxicities and associated health issues. Microalgae-mediated bioremediation of PCs has recently gained scientific attention, as microalgal bioremediation is a solar-power driven, ecologically comprehensive, and sustainable reclamation strategy. In this review, we comprehensively describe the current research on the possible roles and applications of microalgae for removing PCs from aqueous media. We summarize several novel approaches including constructing microbial consortia, acclimation, and cometabolism for enhanced removal of PCs by microalgae, which would improve practical feasibility of these technologies. Some novel concepts for degrading PCs using integrated processes and genetic modifications to realize algal-based bioremediation technologies are also recommended.

      PubDate: 2017-10-08T07:43:31Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.envpol.2017.04.044
  • The Impact of Systems Biology on Bioprocessing
    • Authors: Kate Campbell; Jianye Xia; Jens Nielsen
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 4 October 2017
      Source:Trends in Biotechnology
      Author(s): Kate Campbell, Jianye Xia, Jens Nielsen
      Bioprocessing offers a sustainable and green approach to the production of chemicals. However, a bottleneck in introducing bioprocesses is cell factory development, which is costly and time-consuming. A systems biology approach can expedite cell factory design by using genome-wide analyses alongside mathematical modeling to characterize and predict cellular physiology. This approach can drive cycles of design, build, test, and learn implemented by metabolic engineers to optimize the cell factory performance. Streamlining of the design phase requires a clearer understanding of metabolism and its regulation, which can be achieved using quantitative and integrated omic characterization, alongside more advanced analytical methods. We discuss here the current impact of systems biology and challenges of closing the gap between bioprocessing and more traditional methods of chemical production.

      PubDate: 2017-10-08T07:43:31Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.tibtech.2017.08.011
  • Challenges of the Nano–Bio Interface in Lateral Flow and Dipstick
    • Authors: Helena de Puig; Irene Bosch; Lee Gehrke; Kimberly Hamad-Schifferli
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 28 September 2017
      Source:Trends in Biotechnology
      Author(s): Helena de Puig, Irene Bosch, Lee Gehrke, Kimberly Hamad-Schifferli
      Lateral flow assays (LFAs) are highly attractive for point-of-care (POC) diagnostics for infectious disease, food safety, and many other medical uses. The unique optical, electronic, and chemical properties that arise from the nanostructured and material characteristics of nanoparticles provide an opportunity to increase LFA sensitivity and impart novel capabilities. However, interfacing to nanomaterials in complex biological environments is challenging and can result in undesirable side effects such as non-specific adsorption, protein denaturation, and steric hindrance. These issues are even more acute in LFAs where there are many different types of inorganic–biological interfaces, often of a complex nature. Therefore, the unique properties of nanomaterials for LFAs must be exploited in a way that addresses these interface challenges.

      PubDate: 2017-09-30T12:41:12Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.tibtech.2017.09.001
  • Fast Science and Sluggish Policy: The Herculean Task of Regulating
    • Authors: Rachel Wynberg; Sarah A. Laird
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 27 September 2017
      Source:Trends in Biotechnology
      Author(s): Rachel Wynberg, Sarah A. Laird
      New rules for access and benefit sharing (ABS) of genetic resources and associated traditional knowledge have been established by the Nagoya Protocol but have not kept up with rapid scientific and technological advances in biodiscovery. This suggests the need for innovative, transdisciplinary approaches to regulate ABS and emerging technologies.

      PubDate: 2017-09-30T12:41:12Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.tibtech.2017.09.002
  • Editors, Contents, Cover details
    • Abstract: Publication date: October 2017
      Source:Trends in Biotechnology, Volume 35, Issue 10

      PubDate: 2017-09-23T12:19:57Z
  • Nanoparticle-Based Dressing: The Future of Wound Treatment'
    • Authors: Morgane Berthet; Yves Gauthier; Céline Lacroix; Bernard Verrier; Claire Monge
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 22 September 2017
      Source:Trends in Biotechnology
      Author(s): Morgane Berthet, Yves Gauthier, Céline Lacroix, Bernard Verrier, Claire Monge

      PubDate: 2017-09-23T12:19:57Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.tibtech.2017.08.007
  • Nanoenvironmental Effects Dramatically Influence the Sensitivity of
    • Authors: B. Mattiasson; K. Teeparuksapun; L. Lebogang; M. Hedström
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 21 September 2017
      Source:Trends in Biotechnology
      Author(s): B. Mattiasson, K. Teeparuksapun, L. Lebogang, M. Hedström
      It is possible to improve the sensitivity of immunoassays by several orders of magnitude by exploiting nanoenvironmental effects. This approach can detect trace amounts of compounds and will better illuminate the presence of signal substances in biological systems. Here we describe a method for ultrasensitive immunoassays using ‘normal’ antibodies (Abs).

      PubDate: 2017-09-23T12:19:57Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.tibtech.2017.06.001
  • Computational Fluid Dynamics and Additive Manufacturing to Diagnose and
           Treat Cardiovascular Disease
    • Authors: Amanda Randles; David H. Frakes; Jane A. Leopold
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 21 September 2017
      Source:Trends in Biotechnology
      Author(s): Amanda Randles, David H. Frakes, Jane A. Leopold
      Noninvasive engineering models are now being used for diagnosing and planning the treatment of cardiovascular disease. Techniques in computational modeling and additive manufacturing have matured concurrently, and results from simulations can inform and enable the design and optimization of therapeutic devices and treatment strategies. The emerging synergy between large-scale simulations and 3D printing is having a two-fold benefit: first, 3D printing can be used to validate the complex simulations, and second, the flow models can be used to improve treatment planning for cardiovascular disease. In this review, we summarize and discuss recent methods and findings for leveraging advances in both additive manufacturing and patient-specific computational modeling, with an emphasis on new directions in these fields and remaining open questions.

      PubDate: 2017-09-23T12:19:57Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.tibtech.2017.08.008
  • Improving Biopharmaceutical Safety through Verification-Based Quality
    • Authors: Yihua Bruce Yu; Marc B. Taraban; Weizhen Wang; Katharine T. Briggs
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 21 September 2017
      Source:Trends in Biotechnology
      Author(s): Yihua Bruce Yu, Marc B. Taraban, Weizhen Wang, Katharine T. Briggs
      Biopharmaceuticals and small-molecule drugs have different approval pathways but the same quality control (QC) paradigm, where the quality of released but untested units is inferred from that of tested but destroyed units. This inference-based QC will likely miss rare prerelease defects, and defects emerging after product release. The likelihood for such defects is heightened for biopharmaceuticals due to their complexity, which makes manufacturing errors more likely, and fragility, which makes postrelease damage more likely. To improve biopharmaceutical safety, we suggest transitioning their QC from inference- to verification-based practice by developing inspection technologies that can nondestructively verify the quality of every vial from the point of release to the point of care. One candidate, water proton NMR (wNMR), is briefly discussed.

      PubDate: 2017-09-23T12:19:57Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.tibtech.2017.08.010
  • New Light for Phytochemicals
    • Authors: Jarmo K. Holopainen; Minna Kivimäenpää; Riitta Julkunen-Tiitto
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 19 September 2017
      Source:Trends in Biotechnology
      Author(s): Jarmo K. Holopainen, Minna Kivimäenpää, Riitta Julkunen-Tiitto
      Light-emitting diode (LED) lighting technology with narrow-bandwidth illumination helps to reduce energy consumption on covered crops. Here, we discuss how this new technology, which provides flexible modification of light spectra, will open new avenues for natural modulation of medicinal and crop plant metabolomes for better colour, flavour, fragrance, and antioxidant properties.

      PubDate: 2017-09-23T12:19:57Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.tibtech.2017.08.009
  • Deciphering Cell Intrinsic Properties: A Key Issue for Robust Organoid
    • Authors: Nathalie Picollet-D’hahan; Monika E. Dolega; Delphine Freida; Donald K. Martin; Xavier Gidrol
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 17 September 2017
      Source:Trends in Biotechnology
      Author(s): Nathalie Picollet-D’hahan, Monika E. Dolega, Delphine Freida, Donald K. Martin, Xavier Gidrol
      We highlight the disposition of various cell types to self-organize into complex organ-like structures without necessarily the support of any stromal cells, provided they are placed into permissive 3D culture conditions. The goal of generating organoids reproducibly and efficiently has been hampered by poor understanding of the exact nature of the intrinsic cell properties at the origin of organoid generation, and of the signaling pathways governing their differentiation. Using microtechnologies like microfluidics to engineer organoids would create opportunities for single-cell genomics and high-throughput functional genomics to exhaustively characterize cell intrinsic properties. A more complete understanding of the development of organoids would enhance their relevance as models to study organ morphology, function, and disease and would open new avenues in drug development and regenerative medicine.

      PubDate: 2017-09-23T12:19:57Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.tibtech.2017.08.003
  • Optical Imaging Paves the Way for Autophagy Research
    • Authors: Yimin Wang; Yu Li; Fujing Wei; Yixiang Duan
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 12 September 2017
      Source:Trends in Biotechnology
      Author(s): Yimin Wang, Yu Li, Fujing Wei, Yixiang Duan
      Autophagy is a degradation process in eukaryotic cells that recycles cellular components for nutrition supply under environmental stress and plays a double-edged role in development of major human diseases. Noninvasive optical imaging enables us to clearly visualize various classes of structures involved in autophagy at macroscopic and microscopic dynamic levels. In this review, we discuss important trends of emerging optical imaging technologies used to explore autophagy and provide insights into the mechanistic investigation and structural study of autophagy in mammalian cells. Some exciting new prospects and future research directions regarding optical imaging techniques in this field are also highlighted.

      PubDate: 2017-09-17T14:47:24Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.tibtech.2017.08.006
  • 3D Quantitative Chemical Imaging of Tissues by Spectromics
    • Authors: Cyril Petibois
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 8 September 2017
      Source:Trends in Biotechnology
      Author(s): Cyril Petibois
      Mid-infrared (IR), Raman, and X-ray fluorescence (XRF) spectroscopy methods, as well as mass spectrometry (MS), can be used for 3D chemical imaging. These techniques offer an invaluable opportunity to access chemical features of biological samples in a nonsupervised way. The global chemical information they provide enables the exploitation of a large array of chemical species or parameters, so-called ‘spectromics’. Extracting chemical data from spectra is critical for the high-quality chemical analysis of biosamples. Furthermore, these are the only currently available techniques that can quantitatively analyze tissue content (e.g., molecular concentrations) and substructures (e.g., cells or blood vessels). The development of chemical-derived biological metadata appears to be a new way to exploit spectral information with machine learning algorithms.

      PubDate: 2017-09-11T13:45:26Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.tibtech.2017.08.002
  • Genome Editing for Global Food Security
    • Authors: Xingliang Ma; Martin Mau; Timothy F. Sharbel
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 8 September 2017
      Source:Trends in Biotechnology
      Author(s): Xingliang Ma, Martin Mau, Timothy F. Sharbel
      Global food security is increasingly challenging in light of population increase, the impact of climate change on crop production, and limited land available for agricultural expansion. Here we outline how genome editing provides excellent and timely methods to optimize crop plants, and argue the urgency for societal acceptance and support.

      PubDate: 2017-09-11T13:45:26Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.tibtech.2017.08.004
  • Unlocking Marine Biotechnology in the Developing World
    • Authors: Cristiane C. Thompson; Ricardo H. Kruger; Fabiano L. Thompson
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 7 September 2017
      Source:Trends in Biotechnology
      Author(s): Cristiane C. Thompson, Ricardo H. Kruger, Fabiano L. Thompson
      Fulfilling the promise of marine biotechnology as a source for environmental and biomedical applications remains challenging. New technologies will be necessary to harness marine biodiversity, and collaboration across government, academic, and private sectors will be crucial to create mechanisms of technology transfer and promote the development of new marine biotechnology companies.

      PubDate: 2017-09-11T13:45:26Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.tibtech.2017.08.005
  • Frugal Biotech Applications of Low-Temperature Plasma
    • Authors: Zdenko Machala; David B. Graves
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 1 September 2017
      Source:Trends in Biotechnology
      Author(s): Zdenko Machala, David B. Graves
      Gas discharge low-temperature air plasma can be utilized for a variety of applications, including biomedical, at low cost. We term these applications ‘frugal plasma’ – an example of frugal innovation. We demonstrate how simple, robust, low-cost frugal plasma devices can be used to safely disinfect instruments, surfaces, and water.

      PubDate: 2017-09-05T22:45:13Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.tibtech.2017.07.013
  • Mechanistic Fermentation Models for Process Design, Monitoring, and
    • Authors: Lisa Mears; Stuart M. Stocks; Mads O. Albaek; Gürkan Sin; Krist V. Gernaey
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 30 August 2017
      Source:Trends in Biotechnology
      Author(s): Lisa Mears, Stuart M. Stocks, Mads O. Albaek, Gürkan Sin, Krist V. Gernaey
      Mechanistic models require a significant investment of time and resources, but their application to multiple stages of fermentation process development and operation can make this investment highly valuable. This Opinion article discusses how an established fermentation model may be adapted for application to different stages of fermentation process development: planning, process design, monitoring, and control. Although a longer development time is required for such modeling methods in comparison to purely data-based model techniques, the wide range of applications makes them a highly valuable tool for fermentation research and development. In addition, in a research environment, where collaboration is important, developing mechanistic models provides a platform for knowledge sharing and consolidation of existing process understanding.

      PubDate: 2017-08-31T08:53:45Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.tibtech.2017.07.002
  • Flashing LEDs for Microalgal Production
    • Authors: Peter S.C. Schulze; Rui Guerra; Hugo Pereira; Lisa M. Schüler; João C.S. Varela
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 30 August 2017
      Source:Trends in Biotechnology
      Author(s): Peter S.C. Schulze, Rui Guerra, Hugo Pereira, Lisa M. Schüler, João C.S. Varela
      Flashing lights are next-generation tools to mitigate light attenuation and increase the photosynthetic efficiency of microalgal cultivation systems illuminated by light-emitting diodes (LEDs). Optimal flashing light conditions depend on the reaction kinetics and properties of the linear electron transfer chain, energy dissipation, and storage mechanisms of a phototroph. In particular, extremely short and intense light flashes potentially mitigate light attenuation in photobioreactors without impairing photosynthesis. Intelligently controlling flashing light units and selecting electronic components can maximize light emission and energy efficiency. We discuss the biological, physical, and technical properties of flashing lights for algal production. We combine recent findings about photosynthetic pathways, self-shading in photobioreactors, and developments in solid-state technology towards the biotechnological application of LEDs to microalgal production.

      PubDate: 2017-08-31T08:53:45Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.tibtech.2017.07.011
  • Microbial Identification Using Electrochemical Detection of Metabolites
    • Authors: Edgar D. Goluch
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 30 August 2017
      Source:Trends in Biotechnology
      Author(s): Edgar D. Goluch
      Curbing antibiotic use requires the development of simple diagnostic tests that provide caregivers with reliable, immediately actionable information to identify whether there is a need to prescribe a specific antibiotic. This Forum article highlights advances in infection screening approaches that use electrochemistry to detect molecular biomarkers for distinct pathogenic infections.

      PubDate: 2017-08-31T08:53:45Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.tibtech.2017.08.001
  • Tracking the Penetration of Plasma Reactive Species in Tissue Models
    • Authors: Endre J. Szili; Sung-Ha Hong; Jun-Seok Oh; Nishtha Gaur; Robert D. Short
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 23 August 2017
      Source:Trends in Biotechnology
      Author(s): Endre J. Szili, Sung-Ha Hong, Jun-Seok Oh, Nishtha Gaur, Robert D. Short
      Electrically generated cold atmospheric plasma is being intensively researched for novel applications in biology and medicine. Significant attention is being given to reactive oxygen and nitrogen species (RONS), initially generated upon plasma–air interactions, and subsequently delivered to biological systems. Effects of plasma exposure are observed to millimeter depths within tissue. However, the exact nature of the initial plasma–tissue interactions remains unknown, including RONS speciation and delivery depth, or how plasma-derived RONS intervene in biological processes. Herein, we focus on current research using tissue and cell models to learn more about the plasma delivery of RONS into biological environments. We argue that this research is vital in underpinning the knowledge required to realize the full potential of plasma in biology and medicine.

      PubDate: 2017-08-31T08:53:45Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.tibtech.2017.07.012
  • Editors, Contents, Cover details
    • Abstract: Publication date: September 2017
      Source:Trends in Biotechnology, Volume 35, Issue 9

      PubDate: 2017-08-19T19:22:19Z
  • Limitations in Clinical Translation of Nanoparticle-Based Gene Therapy
    • Authors: Joanna K.L. Wong; Rashin Mohseni; Amir Ali Hamidieh; Robert E. MacLaren; Nagy Habib; Alexander M. Seifalian
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 17 August 2017
      Source:Trends in Biotechnology
      Author(s): Joanna K.L. Wong, Rashin Mohseni, Amir Ali Hamidieh, Robert E. MacLaren, Nagy Habib, Alexander M. Seifalian
      Organic nanoparticle-based (ONP) gene therapy is a potential strategy to cure human cancer. However, there are still many practical barriers before the promising results from in vitro and preclinical studies can be translated to clinical success. We discuss the reasons behind the hesitant uptake by the clinic.

      PubDate: 2017-08-19T19:22:19Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.tibtech.2017.07.009
  • Organic Nanoparticle-Based Combinatory Approaches for Gene Therapy
    • Authors: Brahma N. Singh; Prateeksha; Vijai K. Gupta; Jieyin Chen; Atanas G. Atanasov
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 14 August 2017
      Source:Trends in Biotechnology
      Author(s): Brahma N. Singh, Prateeksha, Vijai K. Gupta, Jieyin Chen, Atanas G. Atanasov
      Engineered organic nanoparticle (ONP)-mediated co-delivery of genes and therapeutic agents is emerging as a powerful tool in the treatment of several genetic and non-genetic disorders. The ONP-based combinatory approach provides a technological platform that delivers genes with chemo/radio/photo/immunotherapies for the prevention or treatment of disease progression.

      PubDate: 2017-08-19T19:22:19Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.tibtech.2017.07.010
  • Bioprinting and Cellular Therapies for Type 1 Diabetes
    • Authors: Dino J. Ravnic; Ashley N. Leberfinger; Ibrahim T. Ozbolat
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 5 August 2017
      Source:Trends in Biotechnology
      Author(s): Dino J. Ravnic, Ashley N. Leberfinger, Ibrahim T. Ozbolat
      Type 1 diabetes mellitus is a chronic autoimmune disease that results from the destruction of beta (β) cells in the pancreatic islets, leading to loss of insulin production and resultant hyperglycemia. Recent developments in stem cell biology have generated much excitement for β-cell replacement strategies; β cells are one of many cell types in the complex islet environment and pancreas. In this Opinion, we discuss recent successful attempts to generate β cells and how this can be coupled with bioprinting technologies in order to fabricate pancreas tissues, which holds great potential for type 1 diabetes. Possibilities of integrating vascularization and encapsulation in bioprinted tissues are expounded, and future prospects, such as pancreas-on-a-chip, are also presented.

      PubDate: 2017-08-08T13:59:43Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.tibtech.2017.07.006
  • Microfluidic-Mass Spectrometry Interfaces for Translational Proteomics
    • Authors: R. Daniel Pedde; Huiyan Li; Christoph H. Borchers; Mohsen Akbari
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 26 July 2017
      Source:Trends in Biotechnology
      Author(s): R. Daniel Pedde, Huiyan Li, Christoph H. Borchers, Mohsen Akbari
      Interfacing mass spectrometry (MS) with microfluidic chips (μchip-MS) holds considerable potential to transform a clinician’s toolbox, providing translatable methods for the early detection, diagnosis, monitoring, and treatment of noncommunicable diseases by streamlining and integrating laborious sample preparation workflows on high-throughput, user-friendly platforms. Overcoming the limitations of competitive immunoassays − currently the gold standard in clinical proteomics − μchip-MS can provide unprecedented access to complex proteomic assays having high sensitivity and specificity, but without the labor, costs, and complexities associated with conventional MS sample processing. This review surveys recent μchip-MS systems for clinical applications and examines their emerging role in streamlining the development and translation of MS-based proteomic assays by alleviating many of the challenges that currently inhibit widespread clinical adoption.

      PubDate: 2017-07-30T12:59:40Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.tibtech.2017.06.006
  • G-Quadruplexes: Prediction, Characterization, and Biological Application
    • Authors: Chun Kit Kwok; Catherine J. Merrick
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 26 July 2017
      Source:Trends in Biotechnology
      Author(s): Chun Kit Kwok, Catherine J. Merrick
      Guanine (G)-rich sequences in nucleic acids can assemble into G-quadruplex structures that involve G-quartets linked by loop nucleotides. The structural and topological diversity of G-quadruplexes have attracted great attention for decades. Recent methodological advances have advanced the identification and characterization of G-quadruplexes in vivo as well as in vitro, and at a much higher resolution and throughput, which has greatly expanded our current understanding of G-quadruplex structure and function. Accumulating knowledge about the structural properties of G-quadruplexes has helped to design and develop a repertoire of molecular and chemical tools for biological applications. This review highlights how these exciting methods and findings have opened new doors to investigate the potential functions and applications of G-quadruplexes in basic and applied biosciences.

      PubDate: 2017-07-30T12:59:40Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.tibtech.2017.06.012
  • Ethnophytotechnology: Harnessing the Power of Ethnobotany with
    • Authors: John de la Parra; Cassandra L. Quave
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 24 July 2017
      Source:Trends in Biotechnology
      Author(s): John de la Parra, Cassandra L. Quave
      Ethnobotany (the scientific study of traditional plant knowledge) has aided the discovery of important medicines. However, as single-molecule drugs or synergistic mixtures, these remedies have faced obstacles in production and analysis. Now, advances in bioreactor technology, metabolic engineering, and analytical instrumentation are improving the production, manipulation, and scientific understanding of such remedies.

      PubDate: 2017-07-30T12:59:40Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.tibtech.2017.07.003
  • Editors, Contents, Cover details
    • Abstract: Publication date: August 2017
      Source:Trends in Biotechnology, Volume 35, Issue 8

      PubDate: 2017-07-23T12:51:50Z
  • Beyond Native Cas9: Manipulating Genomic Information and Function
    • Authors: Hitoshi Mitsunobu; Jun Teramoto; Keiji Nishida; Akihiko Kondo
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 21 July 2017
      Source:Trends in Biotechnology
      Author(s): Hitoshi Mitsunobu, Jun Teramoto, Keiji Nishida, Akihiko Kondo
      Clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR)-mediated manipulation of genomic information is becoming more versatile by combining nuclease-deficient CRISPR systems with a wide variety of effectors including base-editing deaminases, transcriptional regulators, and epigenetic modifiers. The programmable binding ability of CRISPR systems is essential when the systems are employed as targeting domains to recruit the effectors to specific genomic loci. The discovery of a variety of Cas9 orthologs and engineered variants enables high-fidelity genome editing and a wider selection of genomic targets, and CRISPR-mediated deaminases enable more precise and predictable genome editing compared with CRISPR nuclease-based editing. Finally, combining transcriptional regulators with CRISPR systems can control expression of specific genes in a genome. Some applications and future challenges of CRISPR-derived tools are also discussed.

      PubDate: 2017-07-23T12:51:50Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.tibtech.2017.06.004
  • Sphingomonads in Microbe-Assisted Phytoremediation: Tackling Soil
    • Authors: Michael Gatheru Waigi; Kai Sun; Yanzheng Gao
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 20 July 2017
      Source:Trends in Biotechnology
      Author(s): Michael Gatheru Waigi, Kai Sun, Yanzheng Gao
      Soil pollution has become a major concern in various terrestrial ecosystems worldwide. One in situ soil bioremediation strategy that has gained popularity recently is microbe-assisted phytoremediation, which is promising for remediating pollutants. Sphingomonads, a versatile bacteria group comprising four well-known genera, are ubiquitous in vegetation grown in contaminated soils. These Gram-negative microbes have been investigated for their ability to induce innate plant growth-promoting (PGP) traits, including the formation of phytohormones, siderophores, and chelators, in addition to their evolutionary adaptations enabling biodegradation and microbe-assisted removal of contaminants. However, their capacity for bacterial-assisted phytoremediation has to date been undervalued. Here, we highlight the specific features, roles, advantages, and challenges associated with using sphingomonads in plant–microbe interactions, from the perspective of future phytotechnologies.

      PubDate: 2017-07-23T12:51:50Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.tibtech.2017.06.014
  • Next-Generation Insect-Resistant Plants: RNAi-Mediated Crop Protection
    • Authors: Jiang Zhang; Sher Afzal Khan; David G. Heckel; Ralph Bock
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 19 July 2017
      Source:Trends in Biotechnology
      Author(s): Jiang Zhang, Sher Afzal Khan, David G. Heckel, Ralph Bock
      Plant-mediated RNA interference (RNAi) shows great potential in crop protection. It relies on plants stably expressing double-stranded RNAs (dsRNAs) that target essential genes in pest insects. Practical application of this strategy is challenging because producing sufficient amounts of stable dsRNA in plants has proven to be difficult to achieve with conventional transgenesis. In addition, many insects do not respond to exogenously applied dsRNAs, either degrading them or failing to import them into the cytoplasm. We summarize recent progress in RNAi-mediated insect pest control and discuss factors determining its efficacy. Expressing dsRNA in chloroplasts overcomes many of the difficulties previously encountered. We also highlight remaining challenges and discuss the environmental and biosafety issues involved in the use of this technology in agriculture.

      PubDate: 2017-07-23T12:51:50Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.tibtech.2017.04.009
  • Respiratory Protection against Pandemic and Epidemic Diseases
    • Authors: Ilaria Rubino; Hyo-Jick Choi
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 18 July 2017
      Source:Trends in Biotechnology
      Author(s): Ilaria Rubino, Hyo-Jick Choi
      Respiratory protection against airborne pathogens is crucial for pandemic/epidemic preparedness in the context of personal protection, healthcare systems, and governance. We expect that the development of technologies that overcome the existing challenges in current respiratory protective devices will lead to a timely and effective response to the next outbreak.

      PubDate: 2017-07-23T12:51:50Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.tibtech.2017.06.005
  • Addressing the Digital Divide in Contemporary Biology: Lessons from
           Teaching UNIX
    • Authors: Serghei Mangul; Lana Martin Alexander Hoffmann Matteo Pellegrini Eleazar Eskin
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 15 July 2017
      Source:Trends in Biotechnology
      Author(s): Serghei Mangul, Lana S. Martin, Alexander Hoffmann, Matteo Pellegrini, Eleazar Eskin
      Life and medical science researchers increasingly rely on applications that lack a graphical interface. Scientists who are not trained in computer science face an enormous challenge analyzing high-throughput data. We present a training model for use of command-line tools when the learner has little to no prior knowledge of UNIX.

      PubDate: 2017-07-23T12:51:50Z
  • Biotechnological Advances for Restoring Degraded Land for Sustainable
    • Authors: Vishal Tripathi; Sheikh Adil Edrisi; Bin Chen; Vijai K. Gupta; Raivo Vilu; Nicholas Gathergood; P.C. Abhilash
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 12 June 2017
      Source:Trends in Biotechnology
      Author(s): Vishal Tripathi, Sheikh Adil Edrisi, Bin Chen, Vijai K. Gupta, Raivo Vilu, Nicholas Gathergood, P.C. Abhilash
      Global land resources are under severe threat due to pollution and unsustainable land use practices. Restoring degraded land is imperative for regaining ecosystem services, such as biodiversity maintenance and nutrient and water cycling, and to meet the food, feed, fuel, and fibre requirements of present and future generations. While bioremediation is acknowledged as a promising technology for restoring polluted and degraded lands, its field potential is limited for various reasons. However, recent biotechnological advancements, including producing efficient microbial consortia, applying enzymes with higher degrees of specificity, and designing plants with specific microbial partners, are opening new prospects in remediation technology. This review provides insights into such promising ways to harness biotechnology as ecofriendly methods for remediation and restoration.

      PubDate: 2017-06-12T15:43:12Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.tibtech.2017.05.001
  • Engineering ‘Posthumans’: To Be or Not to Be?
    • Authors: Marianna Karamanou; Theodore G. Papaioannou; Dimitrios Soulis; Dimitrios Tousoulis
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 15 May 2017
      Source:Trends in Biotechnology
      Author(s): Marianna Karamanou, Theodore G. Papaioannou, Dimitrios Soulis, Dimitrios Tousoulis
      Emerging technological innovations have transformed some science fiction ideas into reality, promising radical changes in human nature. New philosophical and intellectual movements such as ‘transhumanism’ and ‘posthumanism’ try to foretell and even direct the future of our existence while dealing with new and complex ethical, social, political issues and dilemmas.

      PubDate: 2017-05-18T04:52:52Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.tibtech.2017.04.011
  • Clusters in Industrial Biotechnology and Bioeconomy: The Roles of the
           Public Sector
    • Authors: Jim Philp; David E. Winickoff
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 6 May 2017
      Source:Trends in Biotechnology
      Author(s): Jim Philp, David E. Winickoff
      Government policies across the world seek to create clusters of companies and other stakeholders that specialise in a particular technology to build an ‘industrial ecosystem’. This article looks at some examples of clusters created specifically with industrial biotechnology in mind and examines measures for policymakers.

      PubDate: 2017-05-08T00:38:50Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.tibtech.2017.04.004
  • Designer Probiotics: Paving the Way to Living Therapeutics
    • Authors: Birbal Singh; Gorakh Mal; Francesco Marotta
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 5 May 2017
      Source:Trends in Biotechnology
      Author(s): Birbal Singh, Gorakh Mal, Francesco Marotta
      Enhancing the functional repertoire of probiotics is a promising approach to cope with the inexorable rise of antibiotic-resistant pathogens and the rather slow development of new antibiotics. Probiotics that deliver novel therapeutics efficiently and with site specificity are emerging living therapeutics that may transform existing paradigms of disease diagnosis and prevention.

      PubDate: 2017-05-08T00:38:50Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.tibtech.2017.04.001
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