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Animal Biotech Summit News

ARGUS LEADER– 09.13.16

SAB Biotherapeutics on Path to Human Clinical Trials

There are a few truly significant milestones in the life of a biomedical startup. One is gaining approval from the Food & Drug Administration, opening a path to market. But first comes another landmark moment: beginning human clinical trials. 

That’s where Sioux Falls-based SAB Biotherapeutics finds itself after almost two decades of work. The company has started a phase one clinical trial for its human ...

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THE LEDGER– 08.29.16

A Polk Perspective: Florida's families depend on a healthy attitude toward biotech

As the mother of two teenage daughters, there's plenty for me to worry about. One growing concern, based on what I've seen over my 26-year career in agriculture, is what kind of future they're going to have if activists block advances in the application of biotechnology. Florida needs this technology to fight diseases in agriculture like citrus greening or in humans like the deadly Zika virus.

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There’s No Panacea for the Zika Epidemic

Zika has hit Florida. At least 14 cases of infection with the mosquito-borne virus are now confirmed, with more certain to come, and federal health officials are warning against visiting the Miami neighborhood where transmission occurred. Meanwhile, top athletes in golf and cycling, citing reluctance to travel to a Zika-afflicted area, have opted out of the Rio Olympic Games that begin in Brazil on Friday.

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GMOs lead the fight against Zika, Ebola and the next unknown pandemic

The shadow of the Zika virus hangs over the Rio Olympic Games, with visitors and even high-profile athletes citing worries about Zika as a reason to stay away (even if the risk is probably quite low). The public’s concerns are a striking example of the need to rapidly combat emerging infectious diseases. In the fight against Zika, public health experts have turned to what may sound like an unlikely ally: genetically modified organisms, or GMOs.

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Biologist: Rabbits and Skunks Can Pass Bird Flu to Ducks

Much has been said about the genetically-engineered AquAdvantage® Salmon, and much of it has been wrong. In the interest of setting the record straight, the Alliance for Science interviewed Ron Stotish, chief executive officer of AquaBounty, at the recent BIO conference in San Francisco. In this video by Hannah Walker Smith, Stotish discusses the salmon’s safety, and how he got the first GE animal approved for human consumption. Stotish gives more detail on the regulatory process in this Q&A with Joan Conrow.

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ONE HEALTH COMMISSION – 07.13.16 | 11:00AM - 12:00PM EDT

Upcoming Webinar: Antimicrobial Resistance in the Environment (Part 2 of 2)

This presentation will discuss findings of widespread antibiotic resistance in the environment. Massive amounts of human and animal waste applied to agricultural fields alter the global “resistome.” Wildlife never exposed to antibiotics harbor antibiotic resistant bacteria in their feces. The Human Microbiome project has found that microbial cells outnumber human cells by an estimated 10-fold, fundamentally changing our perceptions about health and disease. Taken together, the findings of antibiotic resistance in external and internal environments suggest that human antibiotic use has altered global microbial populations in ways that we do not fully understand. We are fast approaching a post antibiotic era. This presents challenges and opportunities and will require a One Health approach to succeed. 

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ONE HEALTH COMMISSION – 07.06.16 | 11:00AM - 12:00PM EDT

Upcoming Webinar: One Health and the Politics of Antibiotic Resistance (Part 1 of 2)

The rise of antibiotic resistant bacteria has created a crisis in medicine and veterinary medicine. The use of antibiotics as growth promoting agents in livestock has been a highly political issue. Europe approved avoparcin, a growth-promoting antibiotic, in the 1970’s. Its widespread use led to the rise of vancomycin resistant Enterococcus faecium (VRE). In contrast, the US has requested that its livestock producers voluntarily stop using antibiotic growth promoting agents. Using a One Health approach by integrating the perspectives of medicine/public health and veterinary medicine/agriculture, this presentation briefly compares and contrasts the EU versus the US experience regarding antibiotic use, antibiotic resistance, and livestock production. 

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Genus and Caribou Biosciences Announce Exclusive Collaboration for Leading CRISPR-Cas9 Gene Editing Technology in Livestock Species

Genus plc (LSE: GNS) (“Genus”), a global pioneer in animal genetics, and Caribou Biosciences, Inc. (“Caribou”), a leader in the revolutionary field of CRISPR-Cas gene editing, are pleased to announce a multi-year strategic collaboration where Genus receives a worldwide, exclusive license to Caribou’s leading CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing technology platform in certain livestock species. This is a significant move for Genus and marks the largest technology-driven alliance that Genus has made to date. The partnership positions Caribou at the forefront of an emerging market for which CRISPR-Cas9 could have profound benefits to animal welfare and society.

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BIGSTORY.AP.ORG – 05.17.16

Biologist: Rabbits and Skunks Can Pass Bird Flu to Ducks

A government wildlife researcher has found that rabbits and skunks can become infected with the bird flu virus and shed it enough to infect ducks — offering scientists one more clue about how bird flu may move in the environment and spread between farms, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said.

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NATURE.COM – 05.03.16

Policy: Security Spending Must Cover Disease Outbreaks

The health emergency precipitated by the Zika virus is a salutary reminder: global preparedness for emerging pathogens with endemic or pandemic potential is crucial and needs an overhaul. These crises are not rare — Lassa fever, Ebola virus, Middle East respiratory syndrome, H1N1 influenza and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) have surfaced in head-spinning succession over the past 10–15 years. Each emergence proves how woefully unprepared the global community is to deal with worldwide health emergencies that have deep societal and economic impact.

Senator Franken’s Legislative Director Ali Nouri accepted the award on his behalf during the AAVMC’s recent 50th Anniversary Gala ceremonies in Washington, D.C.

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AAVMC.ORG - 04.13.2016

Senator Franken Honored with Charter “President’s Award for Meritorious Service"

The Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges (AAVMC) recently awarded its first “President’s Award for Meritorious Service” to Senator Al Franken (D-Minnesota) in recognition of the leadership role he has taken on Capitol Hill in advancing One Health. One Health is broadly viewed as multiple health disciplines working together to attain optimal health for people, animals and our environment.

Senator Franken’s Legislative Director Ali Nouri accepted the award on his behalf during the AAVMC’s recent 50th Anniversary Gala ceremonies in Washington, D.C.

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THE NEW YORK TIMES - 01.30.2016

New Weapon to Fight Zika: The Mosquito

Every weekday at 7 a.m., a van drives slowly through the southeastern Brazilian city of Piracicaba carrying a precious cargo — mosquitoes. More than 100,000 of them are dumped from plastic containers out the van’s window, and they fly off to find mates.

But these are not ordinary mosquitoes. They have been genetically engineered to pass a lethal gene to their offspring, which die before they can reach adulthood. In small tests, this approach has lowered mosquito populations by 80 percent or more.

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SCIENCE INSIDER - 12.18.2015

NAS Panel Tackles—and is Tackled by—Genome Editing in Animals

A 2-day National Academy of Sciences (NAS) workshop here last week exposed just how far scientists, ethicists, and regulators are from agreeing on the best way to move forward with genome editing in animals. Following on the heels of this month’s NAS summit on genome editing in humans, the workshop attracted much less attention, even though the work has more immediate regulatory and scientific implications. It also has the potential to shape how these technologies may one day be used in humans.

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THE NEW YORK TIMES - 11.19.2015

Genetically Engineered Salmon Approved for Consumption

Federal regulators on Thursday approved a genetically engineered salmon as fit for consumption, making it the first genetically altered animal to be cleared for American supermarkets and dinner tables.

The approval by the Food and Drug Administration caps a long struggle for AquaBounty Technologies, a small company that first approached the F.D.A. about approval in the 1990s. The agency made its initial determination that the fish would be safe to eat and for the environment more than five years ago.

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This Scientist Might End Animal Cruelty—Unless GMO Hardliners Stop Him

Maybe you've watched the undercover video: A farmer presses a hot iron into the scalp of a wide-eyed calf, burning away tissue that is beginning to turn into horns. She writhes, moaning pathetically, and collapses in the dirt.

When Scott Fahrenkrug saw that footage, released by Mercy for Animals in 2010, it made him sick to his stomach. Most of the roughly 9 million dairy cows in the United States have been dehorned—with an iron, clippers, or caustic paste—to protect handlers and other cows. Fahrenkrug, then a professor in the department of animal science at the University of Minnesota, decided to do something to stop it. "I started talking to producers, and it became real clear to me that it wasn't just me being touchy-feely," he says. Dairy farmers told him they hated dehorning calves, and they were under pressure from animal welfare groups and customers, like General Mills and Nestlé, to phase it out.

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POPULAR SCIENCE - 07.06.2015

Genetically Modified Mosquitoes Massively Reduce Dengue Fever Risk

 Dengue fever is so excruciating that it is often called the “bone breaker,” causing severe pain in the joints and abdomen, vomiting, and circulatory system failure. It’s nearly impossible to treat, so the only way to cut down on incidences of the disease is to decrease the number of mosquitoes that carry it. One startling effective way to do that: genetically modifying mosquitos so their offspring won't survive. A year-long trial with genetically modified mosquitoes in northeast Brazil has been the most successful yet, reducing the population of the disease-carrying insects by 95 percent, according to a study published last week in PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases.

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Gene Editing Will Change Everything—Just Not All at One Time

From the discovery in the late 1980s by researchers at Osaka University of strange repeat DNA sequences sitting beside a gene in a common bacterium, to the frenzied deals and financings over CRISPR technology today, gene editing has taken firm hold in the worlds of basic and applied life science. In fact, the variety of gene-editing technologies goes way beyond CRISPR, and its commercial applications go beyond human therapeutics to encompass agriculture, both plants and animals, and a broad array of high-margin industrial products. In short, gene editing holds the promise of transforming the way R&D is conducted and products developed across major sectors of the global life science economy.

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