Carnival of Biotechnology

Welcome to this edition of the Carnival of Biotechnology. If you’re interested in hosting the Carnival, drop an email to Next week’s host is the Biotech Blog.

Colorado Life Sciences Deal Flow reports that Tapestry Pharmaceuticals, Inc. has closed on the sale of 12.75 million shares of its common stock at a price of $2.00 per share, for gross proceeds of $25.5 million, with nine institutional investors. And that the closing of this financing gives Tapestry the resources necessary to aggressively advance their lead oncology compound, TPI 287, into multiple Phase II clinical studies. TPI 287, a proprietary third generation taxane, is Tapestry’s lead clinical compound. This compound was designed to overcome multi-drug resistance in solid tumors that have become resistant to taxane therapy.

Plasmid: Science and bio-tech research blog reports that scientists from the University of Pittsburgh, the University of Missouri and Massachusetts General Hospital made the switch to see if it was possible to create pork that contained the same omega-3 fatty acids as those in the cod-liver oil grandma used to give you. The scientists took a gene called fat-1 from a nematode and inserted it into fetal pig cells, The cells were then used to create transgenic pigs through cloning methods. The fat-1 gene makes an enzyme useful in converting omega-6 fatty acids into omega-3s, the type found in salmon, tuna and other fatty fish. The resulting pigs had a higher ratio of omega-3s. But how do they taste? And are they really good for you? The research continues…

Salata ponders that new-age old question “Profitable Biotech?” Which to many is simply an oxymoron. But, no – a New York Times article that states that: “Publicly traded American biotechnology companies lost only $2.1 billion in 2005, down from $4.9 billion in 2004, according to the latest annual scorecard compiled by Ernst & Young, the accounting and consulting firm.”

In most certainly one of the more controversial and commented posts I have seen in an age, Corante and his audience engage in a heated and provocative series of posts over the soon-to-be-released book “Against Intellectual Monopoly” by Michele Boldrin and David Levine.”

Treehugger reports on farmers working with scientists from Oregon State University to make biodiesel from their own soybean, canola, rape and mustard seed crops. Using microtechnology, the scientists have developed a new, faster way to create biodiesel. Microtechnology produces biodiesel about 100 times faster than the classical method.

Our Technological Future details the 10 medical breakthroughs to watch out for in the next 10 years.

BioBOOM explains how a Texas biotech company aims to clone 100 horses per year with a gene bank of more than 75 champion horses. And these guys have cool t-shirts.

The Biotech Stock Blog asks if Big Pharma Stocks are really cheap or value traps? Well, their future seems secure given that the pharmaceutical industry spent more than $44 million on lobbying state governments in 2003 and 2004.

myDNA describes how researchers at Johns Hopkins have invented a cost-effective and highly efficient way of analyzing what many have termed “junk” DNA and identified regions critical for controlling gene function. And they have found that these control regions from different species don’t have to look alike to work alike.

How about pest-proof, no-mow, genetically engineered lawn of the future? Scarier is the fact that at nearly 50,000 square miles, irrigated grass covers three times more land in the US than irrigated corn does. It sounds more appealing than biotech bacon, though.

Paul Kedrosky at Infectious Greed reports that total biotech industry losses since a 1976 inception are more than $100-billion. On the upside, annual losses are down.

And, even though it may not be pure biotechnology, per se’, the Baristas still find inspiration from the ladies of Go Fug Yourself, where many of these posts are clearly some horrific mutation nightmare (otherwise known as GMW – genetically modified wardrobes).

New blogs to look for:

Life Science Communicants is providing information and real-time commentary on BIO2006 in Chicago.

Patent Circle deals exclusively with issues related to patents and other IP in India.

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