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A growing list of top biotech startup ideas

Image credit: Faria Anzum / unsplash.com

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Darko Savic
Darko Savic Aug 19, 2020
24
Creative contributions

Fully automated and autonomous mouse lab

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Dragan Otasevic
Dragan Otasevic Aug 22, 2020

Plant tissue culture kits for growing medicinal, nutraceutical, and endangered plants at home

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FK
Felix Krengel Aug 29, 2020

Apply Bacteria to the Scalp for Hair Regeneration

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Jamila
Jamila Aug 31, 2020
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Darko Savic
Darko Savic6 months ago
Also, engineer one of the bacterial species usually found in the scalp microbiota to secrete something beneficial to the scalp.

Upcycle organic waste into food supplements

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LA
Loukik Arora Sep 12, 2020

Mass culturing the most potent nematodes for pest control

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Subash Chapagain
Subash Chapagain Nov 25, 2020

[1]Kaya H.K., Gaugler R. 1993. Entomopathogenic nematodes. Annual Review of Entomology, 38: 181–206.

[2]Boemare N.E., Laumond C., Mauleon H. 1996. The entomopathogenic nematode-bacterium complex: biology, life cycle and vertebrate safety. Biocontrol Science Technology, 6: 333–346.

[3]Griffin C.T., Downes M.J., Block W. 1990. Test of Antarctic soils for insect parasitic nematodes. Antarctic Science, 2: 221–222.

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Manel Lladó Santaeularia
Manel Lladó Santaeularia3 months ago
Would there be a risk of the nematodes expanding outside of the area where they are supposed to work, and potentially damaging the wildlife insect populations? Could there be a way to avoid that, maybe by engineering those nematodes to be sterile?
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Subash Chapagain
Subash Chapagain3 months ago
Manel Lladó Santaeularia Thanks for this thoughtful comment. In my knowledge, there is always a risk of spilling into the natural world. However, this could be handled if we could apply genetic tools to design the nematodes that specifically target the pest insects and not the others. We could look into the biomarkers specific to the pests for this. Also, the application needs to be controlled and closely monitored so as to keep the nematodes contained in the agricultural field.
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Manel Lladó Santaeularia
Manel Lladó Santaeularia3 months ago
Subash Chapagain That makes a lot of sense. The other thing I thought about would be making nematodes that are dependant on a non-toxic substance. This way, we could use that substance on the crops, so nematodes stay alive there, but when they leave the culture area they can't survive. This would be the opposite of using a pesticide, we would be using a non-toxic substance that, when removed, could eliminate the nematodes. What do you think of this idea?

A novel endometriosis blood test

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Jamila
Jamila Feb 02, 2021

Cure for allergies by eliminating the memory cells that produce the antibodies

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Darko Savic
Darko Savic Aug 19, 2020

Gene therapies to remove latent viruses

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Darko Savic
Darko Savic Aug 19, 2020

Cell Cleansing Therapy

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Jamila
Jamila Aug 20, 2020
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Darko Savic
Darko Savic6 months ago
I would sign up for such therapy on a yearly basis:)
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Jamila
Jamila 6 months ago
I would too! It would be amazing!

Self-replicating biodegradable utensils (growing spoons)

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Dragan Otasevic
Dragan Otasevic Aug 21, 2020

Mouth microbiota modification therapy to protect your teeth better than tooth paste

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Darko Savic
Darko Savic Aug 21, 2020

Finding a way to induce suspended animation in humans

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Jamila
Jamila Aug 24, 2020
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Shubhankar Kulkarni
Shubhankar Kulkarni6 months ago
This will be useful for trips into space!
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Darko Savic
Darko Savic6 months ago
I'm trying to imagine a company offering this as a service. Who would their end customers be? Some things that come to mind: long-duration travel (trips that take more than several hours), people who are terminally ill or in serious pain while waiting for the cure which is still some time away, people in prison - although suitable candidates would probably not be eligible:)
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Jamila
Jamila 6 months ago
Oh yes! It could benefit various people. It would be great for long-distance travel like in space!

Microbial strain bank for antibiotic producing microbes

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Subash Chapagain
Subash Chapagain Sep 02, 2020

[1]Dhakar, K., & Pandey, A. (2020). Microbial Ecology from the Himalayan Cryosphere Perspective. Microorganisms, 8(2), 257. https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms8020257

[2]Sapkota, A., Thapa, A., Budhathoki, A., Sainju, M., Shrestha, P., & Aryal, S. (2020). Isolation, Characterization, and Screening of Antimicrobial-Producing Actinomycetes from Soil Samples. International journal of microbiology, 2020, 2716584. https://doi.org/10.1155/2020/2716584

Sugar Plastic

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Daniel -
Daniel - Sep 02, 2020
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Darko Savic
Darko Savic6 months ago
This is definitely an area worth pursuing. Some big players have entered this market already. For example DuPont with their polyester-based polymer called Poly-Trimethylene Terephthalate (or PTT, under the commercial name SORONA). For a new startup entering the field the parameters to try to improve are: cost, properties, and degradability.

A DIY phytochemical (essential oil) extraction kit

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Subash Chapagain
Subash Chapagain Sep 19, 2020

Designer microbiome

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Darko Savic
Darko Savic Sep 21, 2020
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Darko Savic
Darko Savic5 months ago
This came up:) https://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=90014997&t=1600706282780

Company that stores your data in the DNA

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Shubhankar Kulkarni
Shubhankar Kulkarni Nov 02, 2020

Supplying foods with specific bacteria (probiotics)

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Shubhankar Kulkarni
Shubhankar Kulkarni Nov 23, 2020
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Darko Savic
Darko Savic3 months ago
David Sinclair spoke highly of Bravo probiotic yogurt. It contains 30ish species if I remember correctly. You get them in powder form and create your own yogurt at home. I made several batches. It tastes ok. Other than that, I have no noticeable results to report from it.

There was something that did bother me in the manufacturer's instructions. They said to mix it with honey. But honey kills all live bacteria on contact (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7FlzHiURdTs). It's an easy experiment to try. Any good enough microscope will do. I was surprised the yogurt manufacturer didn't know or failed to account for that.
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Shubhankar Kulkarni
Shubhankar Kulkarni3 months ago
Darko Savic Right. I am also a bit repulsive towards consuming bacterial species that come in the form of powders. The bacterial viability is greatly hampered (https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0023643816301566). The use of different preservatives further affects viability. The reference cited in the previous sentence shows that the viability can be maintained with microencapsulation using Ca-alginate biopolymer. But I think it may further increase the cost of the powder.

Remodeling adipose tissue to achieve weight loss

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Manel Lladó Santaeularia
Manel Lladó Santaeularia Nov 23, 2020

[1]Kuryłowicz, Alina, and Monika Puzianowska-Kuźnicka. “Induction of Adipose Tissue Browning as a Strategy to Combat Obesity.” International journal of molecular sciences vol. 21,17 6241. 28 Aug. 2020, doi:10.3390/ijms21176241

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Shubhankar Kulkarni
Shubhankar Kulkarni3 months ago
The treatment may need to be genetic since you want to "teach" the WAT to burn fat or teach the BAT to burn more fat. Also, burning more fat may lead to heat accumulation that may or may not have an outlet. I don't know whether simply burning fat without it being accompanied by physical exertion and the increase in the heart rate can stimulate sweating. Also, since liposuction has greatly advanced and is now minimally invasive, do we need to go through the pain of modifying the DNA (with all its side-effects) to have a similar effect?
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Manel Lladó Santaeularia
Manel Lladó Santaeularia3 months ago
Shubhankar KulkarniAll of them are very valid points. However, browning of adipose tissue can also be achieved by natural methods, like cold exposure, diet, exercise and microbiota changes. Maybe this could be supplemented with a local treatment that could help fasten this process. There is no need for gene editing (which I agree has far too many risks right now), but conventional gene therapy, microRNA delivery and other pharmacological approaches could achieve browning of adipose tissue. The deal with this is finding the best option and the best way of delivering it to the areas that we want to see an effect in.

For heat accumulation there shouldn't be a big problem, since our organism is great at termoregulating, and the loss of insulation from the white adiposte tissue would probably compensate for that.

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Shubhankar Kulkarni
Shubhankar Kulkarni3 months ago
Manel Lladó Santaeularia Thank you for the response! I think natural methods that you have suggested will be more time-, cost, and energy-friendly and safe. Regarding conversion to WAT, I think BAT is not as wide-spread in the body as WAT. BAT is highly localized to specific places and, therefore, may not be able to compensate for the insulation, or other functions performed locally by WAT. What do you think?

Plants that notify when they encounter specific chemicals in the groundwater

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Shubhankar Kulkarni
Shubhankar Kulkarni Feb 04, 2021

[1]Wong, M., Giraldo, J., Kwak, SY. et al. Nitroaromatic detection and infrared communication from wild-type plants using plant nanobionics. Nature Mater 16, 264–272 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1038/nmat4771

Cancer cell sponge

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Muhammad M Rahman
Muhammad M Rahman Feb 19, 2021

One protocol to rule them all

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CS
christos stefanis Aug 29, 2020
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Shubhankar Kulkarni
Shubhankar Kulkarni4 months ago
Great idea! Even different labs perform different assays differently. They use different reagents, and they claim that their results might have something to do with the reagents they used and the protocols they followed. So, here is an idea (https://brainstorming.com/ideas/order-lab-reagents-using-study-protocols/47) for an online repository that lists the different reagents (their make and batch) a particular lab has used for the experiments. They also attach their protocols for others to reproduce the results.

Gene therapy to induce tooth re-growth

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Darko Savic
Darko Savic Oct 05, 2020

[1]Takahashi, K., Kiso, H., Murashima-Suginami, A. et al. Development of tooth regenerative medicine strategies by controlling the number of teeth using targeted molecular therapy. Inflamm Regener 40, 21 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1186/s41232-020-00130-x

A database of super-genes and plasmid delivery service

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Darko Savic
Darko Savic Oct 15, 2020

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General comments

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Darko Savic
Darko Savic6 months ago
A good video describing the process of finding and validating biotech startup ideas - https://youtu.be/kmPJzABPwT4