The News Net

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It’s time once again for your weekend reading. In this week’s News Net, we start small and work our way up—from the emergence of DIY biotech, to a startup in an out-of-the-way corner of Canada, and finally to a green biotech that’s found funding success.

  • Last month’s TEDGlobal conference in Edinburgh showcased the fast-growing trend of DIY molecular biology. Ellen Jorgensen, co-founder of Genspace, the world’s first community biotech lab says the possibilities are endless. “It’s impossible for me, as a mainstream scientist, to imagine what an artist, an architect or even a lawyer may come up with when they get their hands on this technology.” Read the Guardian article.
  • The Vancouver Sun profiles Soricimed, founded in 2005 in Sackville, New Brunswick, to exploit the pain relief and cancer-fighting potential of soricidin, a paralytic peptide found in the venom of the northern short-tailed shrew. Founder Jack Stewart says small biotech companies like his are filling the void left by Canadian big pharma’s retreat from early R&D. Read more here.
  • Finally, Mumbai-based Hanjer Biotech Energies, which transforms municipal solid waste into green products (though its website isn’t clear on exactly how), has raised $40 million from European funds, including German investment and development company DEG and France’s Proparco. Hanjer plans to set up multiple municipal solid waste processing plants with a capacity of 5,000 tons per day. India’s Economic Times reports