Skip to Content

Biotech Briefs

REGULATIONS

Danvers, MA–based Abiomed has sought approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to market its AbioCor artificial heart under a humanitarian-device exemption. Such an exemption would allow doctors to implant the heart, which has been tested on just 14 people so far, in not more that 4,000 patients suffering from end-stage heart failure.

MILESTONE

The European Commission has given the green light for farmers throughout the European Union to buy and plant 17 varieties of genetically modified corn – the first time biotech crops have received such EU-wide authorization. All food made with the corn varieties, which St. Louis agricultural-products company Monsanto engineered to resist a pest called the corn borer, will be labeled as genetically modified.

IPO

Seattle’s Corus Pharma has filed preliminary papers with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for an initial public offering. Backed in part by Cascade Investment, Bill Gates’s private fund, Corus is testing inhaled treatments for asthma and cystic fibrosis in humans.

ACQUISITION

Palo Alto, CA’s Agilent Technologies announced an agreement to acquire software firm Silicon Genetics of Redwood City, CA. The acquisition reflects an effort by Agilent – a leading maker of life-sciences and chemical-research equipment – to strengthen its position in bioinformatics.

ADVANCE

Researchers at King’s College London have created human embryonic stem cells that carry a mutation that causes cystic fibrosis. The cells could offer new opportunities for scientists to study the devastating genetic disorder and develop new treatments for it.

ETHICS

As genetics researchers continue to home in on genes that affect behavior and contribute to neurological conditions such as schizophrenia and autism, Stanford University is launching a center to study the ethical consequences of such research. One project planned for the new Center for Integration of Research on Genetics and Ethics: a Web-based ethics consultation service for geneticists.

Keep Reading

Most Popular

computation concept
computation concept

How AI is reinventing what computers are

Three key ways artificial intelligence is changing what it means to compute.

still from Embodied Intelligence video
still from Embodied Intelligence video

These weird virtual creatures evolve their bodies to solve problems

They show how intelligence and body plans are closely linked—and could unlock AI for robots.

conceptual illustration showing various women's faces being scanned
conceptual illustration showing various women's faces being scanned

A horrifying new AI app swaps women into porn videos with a click

Deepfake researchers have long feared the day this would arrive.

pig kidney transplant surgery
pig kidney transplant surgery

Surgeons have successfully tested a pig’s kidney in a human patient

The test, in a brain-dead patient, was very short but represents a milestone in the long quest to use animal organs in human transplants.

Stay connected

Illustration by Rose WongIllustration by Rose Wong

Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review

Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.

Thank you for submitting your email!

Explore more newsletters

It looks like something went wrong.

We’re having trouble saving your preferences. Try refreshing this page and updating them one more time. If you continue to get this message, reach out to us at customer-service@technologyreview.com with a list of newsletters you’d like to receive.