While it sometimes seems as if humanity is doing its best to destroy our planet, another non-human threat is creeping back up on us: bacterial infection. The advent of antibiotics heralded a golden age for humanity, gifting us the ability to treat and control the spread of infectious disease, saving millions of lives. But bacteria evolve rapidly and, through over-prescription, misuse in patients and negligent overuse in agriculture, strains of bacteria resistant to many of the most common antibiotics have already emerged. While this aspect of the problem can and must be addressed by implementing educational changes and stricter legislation, one seemingly obvious solution is the development of novel antibiotics.Read More
I sat down with John Cassidy, CEO of Cambridge Cancer Genomics (CCG.ai), to talk about his journey. I heard about CCG.ai a while ago but really started to pay attention when they hit the Forbes ‘30 under 30’ list for Europe. They’re an exciting startup building a Precision Oncology platform using AI and Machine Learning that can be integrated into clinical workflow. With this, they can precisely map tumour evolution and tailor cancer therapies in accordance with the stage of evolution. Tumours are incredibly heterogeneous, genetically unstable and genetically change in response to therapy - hence CCG.ai's ambition to map their evolution. By carrying out DNA and RNA sequencing they unpick the tumours' biology and then correlate it with the therapeutics most likely to be effective. Finally, they take liquid biopsies to measure treatment response and predict the patients’ response to treatment going forward.Read More
Over the past few decades there has been a new wave of cancer therapeutics - immunotherapies that are capable of activating the immune system to recognise and fight malignant cells. CAR (Chimeric Antigen Receptor) T cells are one the emerging therapies from this space, and are beginning to enter the clinic. Here we explore CAR T cell therapy and one of the pioneering companies in the field.Read More
Seafood is beloved by many and there is an ever-growing market for it. However, our hunger for fish is exhausting marine ecosystems, with more than 70 percent of the world’s fisheries being either significantly depleted, over exploited, or fully exploited.
One alternative to common fishing and a response to a growing world-wide demand is fish farming, also known as aquaculture. However, this brings with it an enormously detrimental environmental impact, due to the large amount of fish meal needed to feed the mass of cultured fish, which is sourced from the ocean, and the waste produced by these farms, and natural habitats being replaced by such farms. Due the huge number of fish confined in small farms, diseases and parasites spread rapidly. Not only that, but increasing ocean pollution and fish farms bring with them unwanted contaminants such as microplastic, mercury and antibiotics, which end up on our plates.Read More