8 emerging technologies that could revolutionize the life sciences – Medium

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Google Ventures managing partner’s fascinating view on the next wave of innovations in life sciences

Bill Marris is a key influencer to follow in the life sciences industry, but only on Google+… On Twitter, it’s better to follow Google Ventures. Anyway… There is no need to present him.

He is a visionary for new technologies, new business models and he’s very smart when it comes to spot the next breakthrough innovation in life sciences. In this context, he wrote a captivating article on the 8 emerging technologies that could revolutionize the life sciences.

I propose a summary below but I agree it is a pure pleasure to read the entire article, so do it!

Many of the technologies that will transform healthcare already exist but have not yet been expoited at their full potential. Here is the list:

1. Artificial intelligence in healthcare – Machine learning and computer power will help drive better diagnosis and improved data analysis in order to support medical decision-making.

2. Understanding the brain – Decoding the brain is the key to find a cure for brain diseases as well as spinal cord injuries. With recent discoveries, we are at the start of a new era! Check here too!

3. Reinventing antibiotics – Widespread use as well as misuse are at the origins of the emergence of resistant bacteria. We have to really focus on this emerging threat by limiting the use of antibiotics and promoting research of new molecules. Have a look here for more!

4. Battling cancer – Amazing progress has been done over the last years and it is not finished yet! There is more to come. Additionally a real innovation will also be to make these treatments affordable for every patient.

5. Genetic repair – CRISPR, the gene-editing technique, allows the replacement and/or repair of any genetic mutation. Wow!

6. Understanding the microbiome – The 2.5kg of bacteria living on us are a treasure trove! The microbiome is an organ in itself, responsible for our health and wellbeing as well as our diseases and bad moods…

7. Organ generation – 3D cell culture and 3D bioprinting could be the solution to our ageing bodies… Spare parts…!

8. Stem cells – How to maintain the regenerative power of stem cells into adulthood?

All these fields are promising and could give hope to thousands of people in the world. More technology into healthcare for increased value is unavoidable. Let’s hope health and quality of life won’t become unaffordable.

 

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New Business Models for Antibiotics. What Can We Learn from Other Industries? – OHE

New solutions could emerge from incentivization models applied in other industries

ChangeThe Office of Health Economics held a workshop last year with companies that presented their business and incentivization models: BAE Systems (defence), Allianz (insurance), Barclays Bank (finance), EDF Energy (energy), Dun & Bradstreet (corporate information) and Knowledge Unlatched (academic publishing). These models were then explored further for their applicability to antibiotics R&D.

Key points & recommendations from the workshop:

– There is a need for consolidated and focused research of antibiotic R&D. “There is a need for a an entity that pools resources, science and compounds; one that is sustainable and independent with focus on the research and early development of antibiotics in line with predefined public health-need profiles. This entity should find a way to open up the science to all working in this area.”

– The creation of a global funding vehicle putting together the resources from multiple companies, academic institutions and public bodies, in order to fund the appropriate research, early development and good stewardship of antibiotics.

– The implementation of new commercial business model for antibiotics delinked from price/volume.

Find out more: New Business Models for Antibiotics

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Antibiotic Resistance From Unexpected Sources – Herbicides, Dust And Metals – Forbes

New sources of bacterial antibiotic resistance discovered by researchers

crops3 new sources:

1. Herbicide: as described in the article, “while a bacteria alone might have been killed by an antibiotic, when exposed to an herbicide, a resistance gene is turned on, in effect “‘immunizing’ the bacteria to the antibiotic.””

2. Dust: “antibiotic-resistant bacteria are being spread from cattle yards through dust laden with excrement. Given the winds and droughts in some areas, dust bowls could spread the resistant bugs for hundreds of miles.”

3. Heavy metals: “heavy metals, added to feed as growth promoters, can also select for antibiotic resistance. Pollution with heavy metals—even at  very low levels— can promote bacteria with multiresistance plasmids (small bits of extrachromosomal DNA)”.

Additionally, some emerging markets are the home of companies without environmental consideration. It is known that some India-based drug companies are dumping waste in water. Without proper sanitation, it is a huge health concern for the population.

This Forbes article is informative and insightful about what might cause antibiotic resistance and how we could modify our behaviors in order to control this issue.

Forbes Article

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Antibiotic Resistance Could Kill Us All: Here’s How To Stop It – Fast Company

BlisteredPillsThe war between new drugs and mutated bacteria – who will win in the future?

Antibiotics have saved countless lives in the last 80 years, but they’re not as effective as they once were. We use too many of them, and so bacteria are developing resistance more quickly than we can come up with new drugs. Why are we using too many of them? Because they are too cheap. We even use antibiotics to make cattle grow faster… The price of the new antibiotics should be much higher to discourage their use in farms and protect human health.

Fast Company Article

Follow your gut – Rob Knight – TED Talks

How our microbes make us who we are

waterRob Knight is a pioneer in studying human microbes, the community of tiny single-cell organisms living inside our bodies that have a huge — and largely unexplored — role in our health. “The three pounds of microbes that you carry around with you might be more important than every single gene you carry around in your genome,” he says. Find out why. Human microbiota (Wikipedia entry)   Rob Knight’s Lab

How to Develop New Antibiotics – New York Times

Why is it key to rethink antibiotics development?

EHEC Outbreak Claims 11 LivesHere’s a very compelling article written by about it.

THE bacteria are winning. Every year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, at least two million people are infected with bacteria that can’t be wiped out with antibiotics, and as a result, 23,000 people die. Direct health care costs from these illnesses are estimated to be as high as $20 billion annually. Read more