GeneOnline’s Weekly News Highlights: Oct 30-Nov 3

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GeneOnline’s editorial team has compiled a digest of top international biotechnology and healthcare news of the week to help readers keep abreast of global biomedical industry updates.

Related article: Japan’s Red Biotechnology and International Business Partnering Take Spotlight on BioJapan 2023 

President Biden Issues Executive Order on New Standards for Artificial Intelligence

President Biden signed an executive order on October 30 that seeks to streamline the government’s use and regulation of AI with some implications for the healthcare industry. The executive order addresses a range of topics, including privacy and tracking the safety of the use of AI in healthcare practices. Before the signing, Biden lauded the executive order and urged Congress to take action to enact AI regulations. The Executive Order, which forms part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s comprehensive strategy for responsible innovation, builds on previous actions the President has taken, including establishing a voluntary commitment from 15 leading companies to promote AI development that is safe, secure, and trustworthy.

Stanford Medicine’s Discoveries Break New Ground in Oncology Research

Published on November 1 in Nature, a series of groundbreaking discoveries by researchers of Stanford Medicine demonstrate that certain brain cancers not only grow blood vessels, but also wire themselves into the nervous system, forming working electrical connections with nearby nerves, then use the nerves’ electrical signals for their own purposes. These tumors can even hijack the biological machinery of brain plasticity — which enables learning — to drive their own growth. Stanford Medicine’s discoveries have opened a novel field of medicine called cancer neuroscience, which offers new opportunities to target some of the deadliest forms of cancer, including brain tumors that are almost always lethal.

Study Suggests At Least One in Seven Americans Has Suffered from Long COVID 

Published on November 2 in PLOS ONE, a large-scale investigation of long COVID and symptom prevalence by researchers at University College London (UCL) and Dartmouth College suggests that approximately 14% of people in the U.S. reported having had long COVID by the end of 2022. The study also states that long COVID is associated with anxiety and low mood, as well as an increased likelihood of continued physical mobility problems and challenges with memory, concentration or understanding.

Victoria Offers Grants to Accelerate mRNA-Based Therapeutics Research

With almost 60% of Australia’s pharmaceutical exports coming from Victoria, it represents the state’s highest-value advanced manufactured export, supporting more than 100,000 jobs in the biotech sector. Recently, biotech manufacturing startups and research teams in Victoria have the opportunity to advance their research thanks to the mRNA Victoria Research Acceleration Fund. Minister for Economic Growth Tim Pallas launched the third round of this initiative, announcing substantial funding to support the development of RNA and mRNA-based therapeutics. 

Moderna Launches mRNA Platform Incubator Network to Boost Australian mRNA Research

Moderna has recently taken a significant step in advancing mRNA research by introducing the mRNA Platform Incubator Network in Australia. Its Regional Research Centre in Melbourne, inaugurated in August, will serve as the headquarters for this network of excellence, which brings together prominent Australian organizations with strong expertise in translational and pharmaceutical science, early-phase clinical trials, and regulatory science. Participating research institutions include Monash University, the Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences (MIPS), the Peter Doherty Institute, and The Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, with the aim of overcoming specific clinical platform challenges and enhancing mRNA therapeutics.

Australia’s Biggest Week in Life Sciences For Biotechnology Advancement

Australia’s annual “Biggest Week in Biotechnology” came to a triumphant conclusion last week. Following the success of AusBioInvest 2023, Australia’s premier life sciences investment conference held in Melbourne on October 30, AusBiotech 2023 was grandly held in Brisbane from November 1 to 3 as the week’s flagship event. This national conference attracted a record-breaking number of delegates, with over 1,200 registered delegates from 22 different nations attending. Running for more than 37 years, AusBiotech 2023 featured an industry-led programme with more than 170 speakers across 50 sessions developed to inform, educate, celebrate, and inspire the life science community.

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