Biased DNA Crime Scenes - 2021.01.29

Plus: Industry updates in synthetic biology.

☀️ Good morning.

I've spent more time than many will believe [making microscopic observations], but I've done them with joy, and I've taken no notice those who have said why take so much trouble and what good is it? - Antonie van Leeuwenhoek

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📰 Bioengineering in the News

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BIASED GENETIC GENEALOGIES: An investigation by The Atlantic found that, out of more than 100 homicide cases solved using genetic genealogy—which helped identify the Golden State Killer—only four involved a Black victim. The Atlantic. Link

THE FUTURE IS BACON: A last-minute deal by the Trump administration may speed up the approval of gene-edited animals. Future Human. Link

AND MORE BACON: Atlast Food Co., based in Albany, New York, is using mycelium to create faux pork. Forbes. Link

DELETED DNA DATA REAPPEARS: ‘A technical snafu’ on the popular DNA database site, GEDmatch, caused data that had been deleted to reappear for about two days. Future Human. Link

RECYCLED FASHION: Companies like Bolt Threads, Evrnu and Werewool featured in article on recycling technologies for clothes. The New York Times. Link

GOVERNMENT vs. BIOTHREATS: The Commission on Biodefense released recommendations for detecting and stopping pandemics, both natural and man-made. Axios. Link

TALEN vs. CRISPR: TALENs are up to five times better than CRISPR-Cas9 when it comes to editing DNA inside of densely-packed heterochromatin, according to a study from researchers at the University of Illinois. Press Release. Link

FOOD ALLERGIES: Ukko, an Israeli food biotech company, recently raised $40M in a Series B round. The company is developing food proteins that avoid triggering allergic reactions. Forbes. Link

LOOK TO THE FUTURE: Ronit Langer, a Scoville Fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, imagines how young people will alter the future of biotechnology. Bioeconomy.XYZ. Link

CHEAPER GENE THERAPIES: Cell and gene therapies are currently expensive, but new technology could bring down costs. Link

SINGLE CELLS: Take an in-depth look at single-cell sequencing technologies in this explainer article. Link

💳Industry Updates

Synthetic biology companies raised about $7.8 billion in 2020, according to a market report. SynBioBeta. Link

Solugen, a Houston, Tx. based developer of biomanufactured chemicals, skipped out on a round of funding, last year, that would have valued the company at more than $1 billion. That’s according to a report from Tech Crunch. Link

Arcadia Biosciences, based in Davis, Ca., announced a $25.1 million private stock placement. The company develops crops and food ingredients with enhanced nutritional properties. Press Release. Link

Verve Therapeutics, based in Cambridge, Ma., raised $94M in a Series B round of financing. The company develops gene-editing medicines for cardiovascular disease. Press Release. Link

Mammoth Biosciences, the San Francisco, Ca. based CRISPR company, announced a partnership with Agilent Technologies to develop a CRISPR-based diagnostic test for COVID-19. Fierce Biotech. Link

Droplet Genomics, Lithuanian biotech startup, raised €1 million to commercialize their droplet-based microfluidics platform. The funding was led by Practica Capital. SynBioBeta. Link

Until Monday,

— Niko

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Thanks for reading Cell Crunch, part of Bioeconomy.XYZ. If you enjoy this newsletter, please share it with a friend or colleague. A version of these newsletters is also posted on Medium. Reach me with tips and feedback on Twitter @NikoMcCarty or via email.