Scientists report wearable breakthrough in electric control of DNA


In what they believe is a wearable breakthrough, researchers stimulated engineered cells to control insulin expression in mice. [Illustration by Nathan Devery via Adobe Stock]

Researchers at ETH Zurich in Switzerland say they’ve made a wearable breakthrough, developing an electrogenetic interface to enable transgene expression in human cells.

They call their work DART, for direct current (DC)-actuated regulation technology. It uses power “to generate non-toxic levels of reactive oxygen species that act via a biosensor to reversibly fine-tune synthetic promoters,” they said in a paper published in Nature Metabolism.

“We designed an electrogenetic interface consisting of genetic components that render human cells responsive to DC-triggered electrostimulation and enable exclusive, DC-adjustable transgene expression,” the researcher said.

The researchers bel…

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Remote patient monitoring poised for further growth in clinical trials 

Remote patient monitoring technology from Biobeat can detect 14 cardio-pulmonary vital sign measurements. A number of pharma companies and contract research organizations are implementing the technology. Image courtesy of Biobeat.

Remote patient monitoring (RPM) is among the trends that will have the greatest impact on the pharma sector in 2021, according to the recent report, “The State of the Biopharmaceutical Industry, 2021 Edition,” from GlobalData. After a period of gradual uptake, RPM “witnessed a massive uptake in the life-sciences sector in 2020,” according to the GlobalData report.

The technology offers several advantages. It can help pharmaceutical companies continue making progress with clinical trials during a pandemic. The ability to gather data from patients remotely can also reduce the burden on medical staff while reducing gaps in clinical trial data. “One of the advantages when you have freq…

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