Shop Tools at Biohub
The emphasis on deploying cutting-edge technology in our labs reflects the fact that our leaders are part of a new generation of medical researchers who are seamlessly integrating biology into engineering, mathematics, physics and computer science. They have demonstrated an ability to build new tools that are producing fresh insights into the fundamental biology of diseases.
And their work is already having a profound impact on the entire field of biomedical research, even though some of their innovations have only been around for a few years.
Part of the mission of Biohub is to ensure that the larger community of medical researchers—at the three participating institutions, and ultimately scientists around the world—have access to advanced research tools and can use them to inform their work, even if they are not technology experts.
Technologies at Biohub
Below, read about the technologies we’ve already developed. Soon, researchers from our partner organizations will be invited to use these, and more, to aid their own research.
Scientists at Biohub are closely connected to a new wave of bioengineering, focused on developing the biological equivalent of a computer’s integrated circuit. These are microchips or “biochips” embedded with human cells that use miniature plumbing systems to analyze patient samples and drug compounds. Biochips allow scientists to produce meaningful data, which previously took weeks to generate, in just a few hours.
CRISPR Gene Editing
CRISPR, which is revolutionizing our ability to edit and change genomes, is a tool that will be used in Biohub’s Cell Atlas project to test laboratory cell cultures and to discover whether turning particular genes on or off affects the basic functions of a cell. This enables researchers to study which genes are essential for survival and explore what happens to different types cells when they lose the function of specific genes–thereby creating important disease models.
Medical researchers today are often limited by a lack of powerful computing capabilities to process their data. Innovations that can decode the DNA of individual cells, biochips that can instantly analyze tissue samples and drug compounds and an assortment of new imaging innovations are overloading conventional computing capabilities with a deluge of data. In partnership with Chan Zuckerberg Science, we plan to make targeted investments to develop computational technology which will apply advances in artificial intelligence and machine learning capabilities to address the data processing needs of biomedical researchers.