Mammoth Biosciences adds the final piece of the CRISPR diagnostics puzzle to its toolkit


With the announcement today that Mammoth Biosciences has received the exclusive license from the University of California, Berkeley to the new CRISPR protein Cas14, the company now has the last piece of its diagnostics toolkit in place.

Cas14 is a newly discovered protein from the lab of Jennifer Doudna, a pioneer in gene-editing research and a member of the first research team to identify and unlock the power of CRISPR technology.

Doudna and Mammoth Biosciences co-founder Lucas Harrington were part of the team of researchers to identify the new Cas14 protein, which can identify single-stranded DNA. The journal Science published their findings in October 2018.

“With the addition of this protein that is DNA binding and target single strands, it really means we can target any nucleic acid,” says Mammoth chief executive Trevor Martin . “It’s an extension of the toolbox.”

Mammoth Biosciences lab

The licensing deal moves Mammoth one step closer toward its goal of low-cost, in-home molecular diagnostics for any illness. “The idea is we want to make this test so affordable that you can imagine going down to your CVS or Walgreens so you can bring this access to molecular level information [to questions like] if my kid has strep or flu before dropping them off to school.”

With the addition of the Cas14 protein to its portfolio, Mammoth can now run even more refined tests to assess multiple aspects of a virus or bacteria that may be present.

“When you run a single test [it’s about] how much information are you getting,” says Martin. “Are you learning that HPV is present or absent, or are you learning whether it’s a strain of HPV which has a risk of cervical cancer.”

The more granular Mammoth can be with its diagnostics, the better able the company is to determine a number of different conditions or factors that may influence treatment down the road.

Now, the company is shifting to product development and testing. The company has signed its first partnerships in the past few months with several undisclosed companies, Martin says.

Mammoth is one of the first companies to turn CRISPR’s gene editing technologies to tackle the diagnostics problem in medicine, rather than concentrate on therapies or drug development. “Even though CRISPR has taken the gene editing field by storm, we’re really at the beginning of what we’re doing.”

While applications for editing as a therapeutic tool have been tied up in patent litigation between the Berkeley lab and the Broad Institute, using CRISPR as a diagnostics tool is pretty clearly the purview of Cal. So Mammoth has fewer obstacles in its path as it works to develop its diagnostics product.

“Long term Cas14 is the most diverse protein,” says Martin, so the protein can perform more varied types of analysis. The other CRISPR proteins are limited in the types of DNA or RNA strands they can target, but the Cas14 is more flexible and can edit any sequence of proteins. 

from TechCrunch

Celebrate Pi Day by building epic robots with Raspberry Pi


Celebrate Pi Day by building epic robots with Raspberry Pi

Pi Day is finally here. The least imaginative celebrate by cooking pies, the academic indulge in a worldwide celebration of mathematics, and the stubborn insist that Pi Day doesn’t make sense because the equation is an infinite number and not 3.14. That last group never gets invited to any of the parties thrown by the first two. Oh, and if you think we’re joking: the first widespread celebration of Pi Day was in 1988, and in 2009 Congress supported the designation of March 14th as Pi Day. It’s a real holiday, not just a math joke.

As for us? We’re celebrating Pi Day with a bunch of deals on courses that will teach you to tinker with Raspberry Pi — a miniature computer that’s a great practice ground for programming your own electronics, robotics, and Internet of Things experiments. You can even use it to teach Amazon Alexa to do crazy things. 

Take an extra 14% off all these deals today with code 3POINT14.

If you’re brand new to the Raspberry World (and don’t actually own a Raspberry Pi), this is the best place to start. The included 55 lectures and four hours of hands-on instruction will explain the underlying Alexa ecosystem, discuss Alexa skills, and prepare your Raspberry Pi for building voice-automated projects. With the information provided, you can prepare your Raspberry Pi for building voice-automated projects, learn how to use the Amazon Developer Portal, and even build a skill to control an LED. And of course, it comes with an actual Raspberry Pi and all the sensors and tools you need to get started.

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If you want to go a little beyond the basics, this training bundle is your best bet. The Wireless Penetration Testing kit will help you beef up your security know-how, the Cluster Pi will teach you about parallel programming and linking different Raspberry Pi devices together into Beowulf clusters, and the PiBot class will teach you how to build hoards of robots. Ever wanted to say “Alexa, cover the earth in robopocalyptic darkness”? Now you can.

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Speaking of robots, this Raspberry Pi sensor kit comes with cards with the Raspbian system and Dragit programming language pre-installed, along with 37 newly-designed sensor modules. Not sure where to start? No problem: it also includes instructions for 35 projects, from auto-flash LEDs to rain detection.

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This kit actually includes everything you need to build a device that can surf the web, including an LCD touchscreen, WiFi adapter, and your very own Raspberry Pi 3B+ board.

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Once you’re comfortable with the starter kit, it’s time to conquer the Mastery Bundle, which will take you through tasks like automation, hardware, bitcoin mining, and a deep dive into The Internet of Things.

Normally $865, you can buy the Raspberry Pi Mastery Bundle in the Mashable Shop right now for just $29.24 with code 3POINT14.

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This is a $123.98 value reading list available right now in the Mashable Shop for just $17.19 with code 3POINT14.

from Mashable!