Applied DNA Announces Linear DNA Orders from New Contract Research Customers for Use in RNA Vaccine and Adeno-Associated Virus Applications

– Company also Secures Follow-on Order from Existing Contract Research Customer for Adoptive Cell Therapy (CAR T) Application –

Applied DNA Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ: APDN) (“Applied DNA” or the “Company”), a leader in Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR)-based DNA manufacturing, announced that it received orders for its linear DNA to be evaluated in an RNA vaccine and Adeno-Associated Virus (AAV) production from two new contract research customers, respectively. The Company also received a follow-on order for linear DNA from an existing contract research customer for a preclinical CAR T therapy. The follow-on order marks the third order from the existing customer for use across multiple applications. All orders are to be shipped by the end of calendar 2020.

Applied DNA’s unique large-scale PCR production of linear DNA is made capable by its LinearDNA™ platform, a proprietary process that enables large, gram-scale production of single- or double-stranded DNA for diagnostics; therapeutics, such as CAR T; vaccines, such as those made of RNA and DNA; and improves the agility of virus production, such as AAV. Some COVID-19 vaccines utilize AAV as the vector for delivery of a synthetic gene that causes the transfected cell to release antigens that promote immunity to SARS-CoV-2. The Company announced in August 2020 that it filed a new U.S. patent application for the manufacture of AAV via its LinearDNA™ platform.

“Our LinearDNA manufacturing platform is paving a new path for nucleic acid-based drug development that, to date, is largely reliant on plasmid-based production that is lengthy, prone to toxin contamination, promulgating antibiotic resistance, accidental inclusion of non-target DNA, and genomic integration. To our knowledge, we are the only company to pursue the commercialization of linear DNA for diagnostic and therapeutic applications via large-scale PCR. We believe this makes us applicable to every preclinical or clinical nucleic acid-based drug production program being pursued by the industry’s leading companies. The addition of new development customers and repeat orders for linear DNA, we believe, suggests a growing appetite for a market-ready alternative to plasmids,” stated Dr. James A. Hayward, president and CEO, Applied DNA.

About Applied DNA Sciences

Applied DNA is a provider of molecular technologies that enable supply chain security, anti-counterfeiting and anti-theft technology, product genotyping, and pre-clinical nucleic acid-based therapeutic drug candidates.

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The Company’s common stock is listed on NASDAQ under ticker symbol ‘APDN’, and its publicly traded warrants are listed on OTC under ticker symbol ‘APPDW’.

Applied DNA is a member of the Russell Microcap® Index.

Forward-Looking Statements

The statements made by Applied DNA in this press release may be “forward-looking” in nature within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements describe Applied DNA’s future plans, projections, strategies and expectations, and are based on assumptions and involve a number of risks and uncertainties, many of which are

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Scientists Use DNA To Store Digital Data

In my previous article, I have written about the proliferation and abundance of data in our world, and the need for novel computing mechanisms, as our current computers may not be able to effectively handle such an influx data coming from the increasing use of digital technologies. This being the case, scientists are coming up with creative and cutting edge solutions to harness these large volumes of data in their quest to forge ahead with innovation. However, in order to do so we must either have novel and more efficient computers, or better ways of working and storing the data. One such breakthrough in data storage was recently developed at Harvard University by a team of researchers that used DNA as the storage material for digital data. 

DNA is the building block of life, carrying the genetic material of all life on this planet. Thus, DNA is an exceptionally powerful storage material which has been optimized to store a large volume of information over a span of thousands of years. What if we could leverage it store own digital data in DNA? This is precisely the question researchers lead by a pioneer in the field, George Church, have been gripping with for several years. Using DNA as a storage for digital data may sound like science fiction but with the resent work published in Nature Communications shows that it is not, rather it is reality. In this recently published research scientists have shown that they have figured out a way to encode music from the popular Super Mario Brothers game into 12 synthetics strands of DNA and play it back on the computer. 

In order to do this, the researchers used an ingenious trick of using a well known method from the computer chip manufacturing industry and adapting it to DNA sequencing. The method is known as the photolithographic approach, which uses light to induce a chemical change thereby transferring images onto a substrate, or the surface of a material. It is much akin to the working with film in the dark room, where a photographer uses light to expose image. In this case we can think of an image as information captured on film. The advantage of this method is its high precision as the light can be controlled, thereby allowing information encoding at the level of nucleotide base, or the building blocks of DNA. This process can be repeated many times over, which in turn enables the creation of custom made DNA sequencing with high precision. In other words, if we think about the DNA as composed of legos, we can then imagine the infinite possibility of what can be stored in using this method. 

This research has the potential to revolutionize computing through interweaving nature with computing. It also sheds light to the high complexity and elegance of nature, which

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Ancient Dog DNA Shows Early Spread Around the Globe

Among the other findings, Dr. Larson said he found it particularly intriguing that once dogs had become domesticated, and even while they were sometimes breeding with wolves, no new wolf DNA entered their genomes.

By contrast, pigs, for example, were brought to Europe by farmers from Anatolia. But the genes of those first domesticated pigs have been completely lost, replaced by the genes of wild European boars, even though the pigs stayed domesticated animals.

While dogs do interbreed, no new wolf genes survive over the years. One possibility, Dr. Larson said, is that “wolfiness” just doesn’t fit with an animal as close to people as a dog. Pigs can be a little wild but “if you’re a dog and you’ve got a little bit of wolf in you, that’s not a good thing and those things get knocked on the head very quickly or run away or disappear but they don’t get integrated into the dog population.”

Dr. Skoglund said another intriguing and unexplained finding from the genome data was how fast dogs spread around the globe, and diversified, so that by 11,000 years ago, not only were there five distinct lineages, but some fossil DNA also showed that those lineages had begun to recombine.

“How did that happen?” he said. “In ancient humans, we don’t really know of any human expansion that would have facilitated this, on the order of 15 to 30,000 years ago.”

In the past 11,000 years, he said, the dog genomes showed the evidence similar to that in human genomes of Anatolian farmers moving into Europe. But then there was the sudden loss of diversity in dogs starting around 4,000 years ago.

Also migrations from the steppes changed human genomes in Europe, but had almost no effect on dog genomes. Conversely, migrations from the steppes eastward left an imprint on dog genomic history, but not on humans.

Source Article

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Real-time DNA Sequencing On Your SmartWatch? The Tech Is Not Far Away

Will the Apple Watch Series 10 or 12 offer handy real-time DNA sequencing? It’s not beyond the realm of possibility, thanks to a series of scientific breakthroughs. And it could revolutionize personalized medicine, especially for super-malignant cancers.

Sequencing a genome used to be science fiction.

That changed when the Human Genome project kicked off in October of 1990. But it wasn’t until 13 long years had passed that the project actually completed in April of 2003. Today, sequencing a genome takes between two to four days: a massive improvement, but still not just something you check like the time on your smartwatch.

Now scientists at IMEC, an international innovation hub, have open-sourced software to bring that down to between 10 minutes and a few hours.

“The latest version … can now do a 50X coverage whole genome — that’s one that’s quite often used — we can now do that in under 10 minutes for roughly speaking $1,” Dr. Roel Wuyts told me in a recent TechFirst podcast.

That’s up to 16 times faster than current best-of-breed solutions.

Part of the challenge is that sequencing a genome is a two-part process. There’s the actual physical data-gathering aspect, and there’s the analysis of the resulting data. While today’s DNA-testing machines that a major hospital might have can run through perhaps 9,000 genomes in a year, analyzing the data so doctors and scientists can work with it would take 18 months.

Wuyts and his team at KU Leuven, a research university in Belgium that works with IMEC, have built elPrep5, a software platform for DNA analysis. The goal: getting the software to catch up to the hardware.

Listen to the interview behind this story on TechFirst:

“Finally, we can run the entire DNA analysis pipeline with a single software platform solution, and faster than ever,” another IMEC researcher, Dr. Charlotte Herzeel, says. “For the medical sector, this allows massive efficiency gains because the time between sampling and diagnosis dramatically decreases and doctors can run analyses overnight.”

elPrep5 is that software platform, and IMEC is releasing it as open source for anyone to use. They picked the AGPL license, which means that the code is freely available, but you have to contribute improvements and extensions back to the project. But it’s also available via a commercial license so companies that want to use it and not contribute back code can instead contribute cash, essentially, to help improve the overall quality.

The new process isn’t just a time saver and a major cost saver.

It’s also, potentially, a life saver.

DNA-tailored medication just for you has the potential to be a complete game-changer in health, because you’re getting medication that is customized to exactly how your body works. But there’s a problem.

“If you want to go to tailored medicine, then you need to have quite

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Scimitar-Toothed Cats Hunted Prey to Exhaustion, DNA Study Suggests

Artist’s depiction of scimitar-toothed cats chasing down an ancient horse.

Artist’s depiction of scimitar-toothed cats chasing down an ancient horse.
Illustration: Velizar Simeonovski/University of Copenhagen

Scientists have mapped the entire nuclear genome of a saber-toothed cat species known as Homotherium latidens, also called the scimitar-toothed cat. The resulting DNA analysis suggests these Pleistocene predators were fearsome pack hunters capable of running for long distances as they chased their prey to exhaustion.

Smilodon, with its impossibly long fangs, is probably the most famous saber-toothed cat, but new research published today in Current Biology suggests another saber-toothed cat, a species known as Homotherium latidens, is equally worthy of our attention.

Oh, in case you’re wondering, “saber-toothed cats” is a kind of colloquial catch-all term used to describe extinct predatory felids with long canines that protruded from their mouths even when their jaws were closed. The more technical term for this group is Machairodontinae, a now-extinct subfamily of Felidae. And no, we don’t call them “saber-toothed tigers” anymore, because they weren’t actually tigers.

Homotherium, also known as the scimitar-toothed cat, may not have sprouted maxillary canines on the scale of Smilodon, but these predators had a lot going for them. They were built for long-distance running and were more slender than Smilodon and modern lions. Homotherium’s limb proportions are reminiscent of those seen on modern hyenas, as they featured longer forelimbs relative to their hindlimbs, according to Michael Westbury, the lead author of the new study and a geneticist at the University of Copenhagen.

Reconstruction of Homotherium latidens.

Reconstruction of Homotherium latidens.
Image: R. Barnett et al., 2020/Current Biology

Sitting comfortably atop the food web, Homotherium preyed on large Pleistocene herd animals, such as giant ground sloths and mammoths. They used their long incisors and lower canines for puncturing and gripping, as well as picking up and relocating dead prey.

These traits and behaviors were primarily inferred from fossil evidence, but many questions about Homotherium remained unanswered, such as the specific genetic adaptations that allowed them to thrive and survive and whether these animals interbred with other saber-toothed cat species.

To learn more about scimitar-toothed cats, Westbury and his colleagues recovered and analyzed DNA from a Homotherium latidens specimen found in Canada’s Yukon Territory. The specimen, pulled from frozen sediment, was too old for radiocarbon dating, so it’s at least 47,500 years old, according to the new study. The researchers mapped its entire nuclear genome—a first for a saber-toothed cat—and compared it to those of modern cats, like lions and tigers.

“The quality of this data allowed us to do a lot of interesting analyses that are normally limited to high-quality genomes from living species,” explained Westbury in an email, saying he was surprised to obtain such good quality DNA from a specimen so old.

The scientists found no less than 31 genes in Homotherium that were subject to positive selection. Of note, the genetic makeup of their nervous system points to complex social behaviors, which meshes nicely with our understanding

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