October 2016 Notes from the Georgia Research Alliance
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Magazine: Georgia's bioscience industry is gathering momentum

Research labs at Georgia’s universities — and the startups they spawn — are an integral part of the state’s $15 billion bioscience landscape, Georgia Trend magazine reports this month. The feature article “Under the Microscope” examines assets such as nationally recognized research centers and strong collaboration that have led Georgia to an enviable position in bioscience. Says GRA President and CEO Mike Cassidy: “This is a direction in which we want to take the state because we know that these are the jobs of the future.” • A story worth reading >

UGA scientists discover how bacterium in gut can bring about gastric cancer

A leading cause of ulcers can also trigger the injection of a toxin into healthy cells to bring about gastric cancer, a GRA Eminent Scholar has discovered. Robert Maier (left), of the University of Georgia, and colleague Ge Wang found that H. pylori — a common bacterium that, over time, can cause ulcers in the stomach lining — uses hydrogen gas in the intestines to inject the cancer-causing toxin into cells. Approximately two-thirds of the world’s population has H. pylori, but most people experience no symptoms. • More on the discovery >

GSU's bioscience star continues its rapid rise

A downtown Atlanta plot of land that once housed a parking lot and police precinct now boasts one of the fastest-growing bioscience research complexes at a U.S. university. In October, Georgia State University opened its second research facility in six years on the site at Decatur Street and Piedmont Avenue — and announced plans for a third building to be added in the near future. The five-story $45 million Research Science Center, which was brought on line this month, houses the work of three GRA Eminent Scholars within the university's Institute of Biomedical Sciences. The institute has grown from one scientist to nearly 150 researchers in just five years. • More on the new facility >  • Georgia State’s plans for a third building >

Chicken embryos may hold key to solving
the mystery of Zika-related brain damage

University of Georgia scientists have found a potential way to identify a window in time when human embryos are susceptible to birth defects caused by Zika virus. Working with early-embryo chicks — which have been widely used as a model for human biology — the UGA team was able to demonstrate brain damage similar to that found in microcephaly, the birth defect linked to Zika. The research was conducted under UGA’s Regenerative Bioscience Center, and team leader Forrest Goodfellow worked under the mentorship of GRA Eminent Scholar Steve Stice, who heads the center. The early-stage chick embryos are also easy and affordable to obtain, making it possible to accelerate discovery. • Read about the research >

What's new in energy and sustainability?
Leaders find out at fourth Urjanet conference

Top decision-makers in the energy industry turned out for Urjanet’s fourth annual conference on energy and sustainability last month. Urjanet, a GRA Venture Fund, LLC portfolio company, staged Spark16 to give industry leaders deeper understanding of such topics as energy innovation, corporate sustainability and utility data. Launched out of Georgia Tech, Urjanet makes the world’s utility data easily accessible and usable. GRA Venture Fund Managing Director Michelle Jarrard moderated one of the panel discussions. • Browse the presentations from Spark16 >

Emory team: Antibodies in Ebola survivors shown to guard against virus

The blood of survivors of Ebola virus generates antibodies that can neutralize the virus in mice, Emory University scientists have discovered. At a meeting of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in October, an Emory team — joined by an official with biotech company Atreca — presented findings that showed the antibodies also protected from a lethal virus challenge. “This collaborative research has allowed us to broaden our understanding of Ebola as well as related viruses,” said GRA Eminent Scholar Rafi Ahmed, one of the presenters. • More on the Emory discovery >

Copyright © 2016 Georgia Research Alliance, All rights reserved.

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