Regulation of Genome Editing

In this blog article I wanted to be intentionally imaginative about the good and bad possibilities of genome editing and add my voice to the chorus of those calling for strong ethical oversight of the field. First, let us talk about the wild possibilities of human genome editing. In past we have always held that the … Read more…

Concepts of Synthetic Virology

We define synthetic virology here as the self assembly of prefabricated components, which when combined mimic the physiology of natural viruses.  The most important components of viral physiology are their ability to package genetic information and their ability to place this information in a cell.  In this blog article I discuss the theoretical origins, ethics, … Read more…

The Genome Editing Boom

This blog article builds upon ideas from:  Science 29 February 2008: Vol. 319 no. 5867 pp. 1215-1220. Gene and genome editing has been hot in molecular biology since the combination of DNA restriction enzymes and DNA ligases in the late 1970s ushered in the recombinant DNA revolution.  Restriction enzymes reliably cut DNA in very specific … Read more…

Cryopreservation, Genes, and Space Travel

This blog article highlights some of the findings and extrapolates from the review paper written by John Larson (J Exp Biol. 2014 Apr 1;217(Pt 7):1024-39). Ever wondered about what is being done in the study of cryopreservation? Well, much of the work has focused on the systems of how animals are able to withstand zero … Read more…

Grants awarded to support Synthetic Virus Technologies Inc. Research Objectives

Synthetic Virus Technologies Inc. is pleased to announce successful grant funding for its collaborations with McMaster University researchers. These consist of an Ontario Centers of Excellence – ‘TalentEdge’ Industrial Postdoctoral Fellowship award and a Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada – ‘Engage Grant’ award with Prof. Todd Hoare. These grants awarded combine to … Read more…

Complexities of Human Lifespan Extension

Many of us would like to live longer if the quality of that extended life is high. Recently, there has been a movement among biotechs and wealthy individuals trying to capitalize on the advances of genomics and modern medicine to address this topic. Anyone attempting this should read this posting. Causing the cells of the … Read more…

Trends in smart drug delivery

Many point to the success of various delivery methods like engineered viruses or nanopolymer complexes as the techniques of the future. While these techniques have their advantages, it is clear that for a drug delivery vehicle to be truly useful it must: be easy to build and store be non-toxic be ethical be able to … Read more…

The smart drug delivery conundrum

One of the concerns these days about self-assembling nanotechnology is that it is so advanced beyond the current drug paradigm that it becomes problematic from a regulatory point of view. Let’s say, for example, that you have a patient admitted to an oncology ward.  The doctor decides to get a biopsy to assess the nature … Read more…

What’s the deal with engineered viruses and delivering genes?

There are some things that viruses do very well.  That is: get into cells and delivery their cargo! We at Synthetic Virus Technologies Inc. are using the same model that enveloped viruses use to get into cells without actually using these viruses. This is a big deal because using viruses to deliver genes can go … Read more…