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Editorial

A blueprint for biotech's blues p675

doi:10.1038/nbt0809-675

The strategy outlined in the UK's Life Sciences Blueprint is unlikely to address the British biotech sector's woes or help it regain prominence and success.


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News

Brand biologics grab 12 years' exclusivity, for now pp677 - 678

Randy Osborne

doi:10.1038/nbt0809-677


Awards bridge 'valley of death' p678

Emma Dorey

doi:10.1038/nbt0809-678


J&J's billion dollar punt on anti-amyloid antibody pp679 - 681

Cormac Sheridan

doi:10.1038/nbt0809-679


Virus stalls Genzyme plant p681

Victor Bethencourt

doi:10.1038/nbt0809-681a


Stem cell funding widens p681

James Netterwald

doi:10.1038/nbt0809-681b


Bye-bye WilBio p682

Nazlie Latefi

doi:10.1038/nbt0809-682a


GM fish ice cream p682

Anna Meldolesi

doi:10.1038/nbt0809-682b


Novo awaits green light for diabetes drug pp682 - 685

Mike May

doi:10.1038/nbt0809-682c


Cellulosic at the pump p684

Brady Huggett

doi:10.1038/nbt0809-684a


Plasma firms denied merger p684

Brady Huggett

doi:10.1038/nbt0809-684b


Genzyme's Lumizyme clears bioequivalence hurdles p685

Mark Ratner

doi:10.1038/nbt0809-685a


Peru embraces biotech p685

Veronica Guerrero

doi:10.1038/nbt0809-685b


Illumina's cut-price genome scan p685

Malorye Allison

doi:10.1038/nbt0809-685c


Data Page

Signs of life in Q2 p686

Walter Yang

doi:10.1038/nbt0809-686


News Features

Immunology's quiet upheaval pp687 - 689

Ken Garber

doi:10.1038/nbt0809-687

Several drug programs aim to restore the balance between regulatory T cells and T helper 17 (Th17) cells in autoimmune disease. But as therapies advance in the clinic, new discoveries are challenging the fundamental principle that T-cell lineages, once established, don't change. Ken Garber reports.


The cold rush pp690 - 692

Hannah Hoag

doi:10.1038/nbt0809-690

More than 40 companies are now engaged in bioprospecting in the Arctic. Hannah Hoag gauges the biotech potential buried beneath the ice and snow.


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Bioentrepreneur

Building a business

Building today's platform company pp693 - 695

Guido Lanza

doi:10.1038/bioe.2009.6


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Opinion and Comment

Correspondence

And then there were two: use of hESC lines pp696 - 697

Christopher Thomas Scott, Jennifer B McCormick & Jason Owen-Smith

doi:10.1038/nbt0809-696


BARDA's budget pp698 - 699

Lynn C Klotz & Alan Pearson

doi:10.1038/nbt0809-698


Reply to BARDA's budget p699

doi:10.1038/nbt0809-699


Detection of genetically modified organisms—closing the gaps pp700 - 701

Dany Morisset, Tina Dems caronar, Kristina Gruden, Jana Vojvoda, Dejan S carontebih & Jana Z caronel

doi:10.1038/nbt0809-700


The contraction of agbiotech product quality innovation pp702 - 704

Gregory D Graff, David Zilberman & Alan B Bennett

doi:10.1038/nbt0809-702


Commentary

Beyond the biotech IPO: a brave new world pp705 - 709

Bruce L Booth

doi:10.1038/nbt0809-705

After a decade of significant challenges, biotech's long-term sustainability depends on making fundamental changes to its traditional business model.


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Features

Public biotech 2008—the numbers pp710 - 721

Brady Huggett, John Hodgson & Riku Lähteenmäki

doi:10.1038/nbt0809-710

The sour global economy has left many small public firms gasping for air.


Patents

Stem cell patents: a landscape analysis pp722 - 726

Antoinette F Konski & Doris J F Spielthenner

doi:10.1038/nbt0809-722

An evaluation of the development of innovation in stem cell technologies by network analysis of stem cell patent filings.


Recent patent applications in biomarkers p727

doi:10.1038/nbt0809-727


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News and Views

Synthetic metabolic pipelines pp728 - 729

Matthew P DeLisa & Robert J Conrado

doi:10.1038/nbt0809-728

Controlling the spatial organization of sequential metabolic enzymes may provide a general strategy for increasing the production of valuable compounds.

See also: Research by Dueber et al.


Metabolic engineering without plasmids pp729 - 731

Aashiq H Kachroo, Makkuni Jayaram & Paul A Rowley

doi:10.1038/nbt0809-729

Tandem gene duplication is harnessed to genetically engineer Escherichia coli, enabling sustained expression of metabolic products.

See also: Research by Tyo et al.


Universal cell-free protein synthesis pp731 - 732

James R Swartz

doi:10.1038/nbt0809-731

Unstructured translation-initiation sequences enable protein synthesis in cell extracts from multiple organisms.

See also: Research by Mureev et al.


Next-generation quantum dots pp732 - 733

Andrew M Smith & Shuming Nie

doi:10.1038/nbt0809-732

Quantum dots that are small and non-blinking offer new opportunities for dynamic single-molecule imaging in live cells.


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Research Highlights

Research highlights p734

Laura De Francesco, Markus Elsner, Peter Hare & Craig Mak

doi:10.1038/nbt0809-734


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Computational Biology

Perspective

The Systems Biology Graphical Notation pp735 - 741

Nicolas Le Novère, Michael Hucka, Huaiyu Mi, Stuart Moodie, Falk Schreiber, Anatoly Sorokin, Emek Demir, Katja Wegner, Mirit I Aladjem, Sarala M Wimalaratne, Frank T Bergman, Ralph Gauges, Peter Ghazal, Hideya Kawaji, Lu Li, Yukiko Matsuoka, Alice Villéger, Sarah E Boyd, Laurence Calzone, Melanie Courtot, Ugur Dogrusoz, Tom C Freeman, Akira Funahashi, Samik Ghosh, Akiya Jouraku, Sohyoung Kim, Fedor Kolpakov, Augustin Luna, Sven Sahle, Esther Schmidt, Steven Watterson, Guanming Wu, Igor Goryanin, Douglas B Kell, Chris Sander, Herbert Sauro, Jacky L Snoep, Kurt Kohn & Hiroaki Kitano

doi:10.1038/nbt.1558

A group of scientists in the systems biology community propose visual conventions for drawing biological diagrams.


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Research

Brief Communications

Variation in the safety of induced pluripotent stem cell lines pp743 - 745

Kyoko Miura, Yohei Okada, Takashi Aoi, Aki Okada, Kazutoshi Takahashi, Keisuke Okita, Masato Nakagawa, Michiyo Koyanagi, Koji Tanabe, Mari Ohnuki, Daisuke Ogawa, Eiji Ikeda, Hideyuki Okano & Shinya Yamanaka

doi:10.1038/nbt.1554

The safety of induced pluripotent stem cells seems to depend on how they were generated. Miura et al. examine the effects of the c-myc transgene, tissue of origin and selection method on the tumor-forming propensity of iPS-cell derivatives.


Articles

Species-independent translational leaders facilitate cell-free expression pp747 - 752

Sergei Mureev, Oleksiy Kovtun, Uyen T T Nguyen & Kirill Alexandrov

doi:10.1038/nbt.1556

Initiation of translation is an obstacle in the development of eukaryotic systems for cell-free protein synthesis. Mureev et al. describe a translational leader sequence that efficiently drives protein production in cell lysates from several eukaryotes and prokaryotes and use this sequence to develop a cell-free system based on Leishmania tarentolae.

See also: News and Views by Swartz


Synthetic protein scaffolds provide modular control over metabolic flux pp753 - 759

John E Dueber, Gabriel C Wu, G Reza Malmirchegini, Tae Seok Moon, Christopher J Petzold, Adeeti V Ullal, Kristala L J Prather & Jay D Keasling

doi:10.1038/nbt.1557

Engineered metabolic pathways are usually devoid of the regulatory mechanisms characteristic of natural metabolism. Using pathways not normally found in E. coli, Dueber et al. show that synthetic scaffolds built using protein-protein interaction domains can boost yields of mevalonate and glucaric acid.

See also: News and Views by DeLisa & Conrado


Stabilized gene duplication enables long-term selection-free heterologous pathway expression pp760 - 765

Keith E J Tyo, Parayil Kumaran Ajikumar & Gregory Stephanopoulos

doi:10.1038/nbt.1555

Although new metabolic pathways are generally introduced into bacteria on plasmids, this approach is limited by declining productivity after several generations. Tyo et al. describe a method for chromosome engineering that enables sustained production of a biopolymer or a nutraceutical.

See also: News and Views by Kachroo et al.


Letter

Therapeutic IgG4 antibodies engage in Fab-arm exchange with endogenous human IgG4 in vivo pp767 - 771

Aran F Labrijn, Antonio Ortiz Buijsse, Ewald T J van den Bremer, Annemiek Y W Verwilligen, Wim K Bleeker, Susan J Thorpe, Joep Killestein, Chris H Polman, Rob C Aalberse, Janine Schuurman, Jan G J van de Winkel & Paul W H I Parren

doi:10.1038/nbt.1553

Although never demonstrated in humans, exchange of the antigen-binding regions of IgG4 antibodies with different specificities could complicate certain antibody therapies. Labrijn et al. show that Fab-arm exchange occurs in patients and propose that a single mutation can inhibit the process.


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Careers and Recruitment

Seeding a skilled workforce pp773 - 775

Gayatri Saberwal

doi:10.1038/nbt0809-773

How might the Indian government spur the development of a biotech workforce with a broader set of skills?


People

People p776

doi:10.1038/nbt0809-776


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