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Planning, Precision, and Profit Margins

Holly at From Bench to Business highlights four questions any scientist-entrepreneur should ask themselves before beginning their own bio-business. First and foremost, she writes, those looking to make their science profitable should be prepared for the possibility of failure; sure, scientists are used to "little failures" on a day-to-day basis at the bench, but "I am asking how you would react to something you worked for a year on, for 14 hours a day, seven days a week?" Second, how would you handle a shift in focus away from science? "Many scientists I know are research purists," Holly writes, adding "if the project has to be changed in the name of profit, some would feel like they are 'selling out.'" Next, bio-business entrepreneurs must be willing to "create everything from scratch," including a flexible business plan covering all bases from human resources to sales to accounting, management, and customer service. Finally, scientists looking to break into business must be reasonable about their expectations: "The average business takes five years to become profitable," she notes.

The Scan

Positive Framing of Genetic Studies Can Spark Mistrust Among Underrepresented Groups

Researchers in Human Genetics and Genomics Advances report that how researchers describe genomic studies may alienate potential participants.

Small Study of Gene Editing to Treat Sickle Cell Disease

In a Novartis-sponsored study in the New England Journal of Medicine, researchers found that a CRISPR-Cas9-based treatment targeting promoters of genes encoding fetal hemoglobin could reduce disease symptoms.

Gut Microbiome Changes Appear in Infants Before They Develop Eczema, Study Finds

Researchers report in mSystems that infants experienced an enrichment in Clostridium sensu stricto 1 and Finegoldia and a depletion of Bacteroides before developing eczema.

Acute Myeloid Leukemia Treatment Specificity Enhanced With Stem Cell Editing

A study in Nature suggests epitope editing in donor stem cells prior to bone marrow transplants can stave off toxicity when targeting acute myeloid leukemia with immunotherapy.