Category Archives: Science

DNA Script picks up $38.5 million to make DNA production faster and simpler

DNA Script has raised $38.5 million in new financing to commercialize a process that it claims is the first big leap forward in manufacturing genetic material. The revolution in synthetic biology that’s reshaping industries from medicine to agriculture rests on three, equally important pillars. They include: analytics — the ability to map the genome and understand the function of different genes; synthesis — the ability to manufacture DNA to achieve certain functions; and gene editing — the CRISPR-based technologies that allow for the addition or subtraction of […]

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The new new web

Over the last five years, almost everything about web development has changed. Oh, the old tech still works, your WordPress and Ruby On Rails sites still function just fine — but they’re increasingly being supplanted by radical new approaches. The contents of your browser are being sliced, diced, rendered, and processed in wholly new ways nowadays, and the state of art is currently in serious flux. What follows is a brief tour of what I like to call the New New Web: Table of Contents Single-Page Apps […]

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Talk all things robotics and AI with TechCrunch writers

This Thursday, we’ll be hosting our third annual Robotics + AI TechCrunch Sessions event at UC Berkeley’s Zellerbach Hall. The day is packed start-to-finish with intimate discussions on the state of robotics and deep learning with key founders, investors, researchers and technologists. The event will dig into recent developments in robotics and AI, which startups and companies are driving the market’s growth and how the evolution of these technologies may ultimately play out. In preparation for our event, TechCrunch’s Brian Heater spent time over the last several […]

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Innovation Endeavors debuts Deep Life, an incubator focused on the intersection of life science and computer science

Innovation Endeavors, the fund backed by Google’s Eric Schmidt, has for years now been taking a novel approach to working on difficult and still-evolving problems, like cybersecurity and food shortages: it sets up incubators that bring together different stakeholders to identify, develop and fund ways of tackling these issues. Today, Innovation unveiled the latest of these: a new project called Deep Life, which aims to identify tricky problems in the world of life sciences, and figure out how to use computer science — specifically innovations in areas […]

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A startup trying to detect endometriosis through ‘smart tampons’ just landed $9 million in Series A funding

There’s no shortage of so-called femtech startups raising money right now, and little wonder why. Aside from the growing market opportunity — the global fertility services market is expected to reach $31 billion by 2023, says the consultancy Allied Market Research, nearly double where it stood in 2016 — more women are clamoring for information about their reproductive health, and 15-minute doctor visits aren’t doing the trick. The newest recipient of venture dollars: NextGen Jane, a 4.5-year-old, Oakland, Calif.-based company that’s hoping to use blood wrung from […]

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Ocean drone startup merger spawns Sofar, the DJI of the sea

What lies beneath the murky depths? SolarCity co-founder Peter Rive wants to help you and the scientific community find out. He’s just led a $7 million Series A for Sofar Ocean Technologies, a new startup formed from a merger he orchestrated between underwater drone maker OpenROV and sea sensor developer Spoondrift. Together, they’re teaming up their 1080p Trident drone and solar-powered Spotter sensor to let you collect data above and below the surface. They can help you shoot awesome video footage, track waves and weather, spot fishing […]

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Ubiquitilink advance means every phone is now a satellite phone

Last month I wrote about Ubiquitilink, which promised, through undisclosed means, it was on the verge of providing a sort of global satellite-based roaming service. But how, I asked? (Wait, they told me.) Turns out our phones are capable of a lot more than we think: they can reach satellites acting as cell towers in orbit just fine, and the company just proved it. Utilizing a constellation of satellites in low Earth orbit, Ubiquitilink claimed during a briefing at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona that pretty much […]

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Driving down the cost of preserving genetic material, Acorn Biolabs raises $3.3 million

Acorn Biolabs wants consumers to pay them to store genetic material in a bet that the increasing advances in targeted genetic therapies will yield better healthcare results down the line. The company’s pitch is to “Save young cells today, live a longer, better, tomorrow.” It’s a gamble on the frontiers of healthcare technology that has managed to net the company $3.3 million in seed financing from some of Canada’s busiest investors. For the Toronto-based company, the pitch isn’t just around banking genetic material — a practice that’s been […]

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That night, a forest flew: DroneSeed is planting trees from the air

Wildfires are consuming our forests and grasslands faster than we can replace them. It’s a vicious cycle of destruction and inadequate restoration rooted, so to speak, in decades of neglect of the institutions and technologies needed to keep these environments healthy. DroneSeed is a Seattle-based startup that aims to combat this growing problem with a modern toolkit that scales: drones, artificial intelligence and biological engineering. And it’s even more complicated than it sounds. Trees in decline A bit of background first. The problem of disappearing forests is […]

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Watch biotech startups pitch at IndieBio’s demo day today

IndieBio, the biotech startup accelerator that’s produced heaps of notable companies (including several that have graced the Startup Battlefield), is holding its twice-annual demo day today at 3PM Pacific Time. An even dozen young companies will be pitching their work, from AI-informed research to artificial meat, and you can watch them present live right here. The IndieBio program is a four-month one that takes companies at the seed stage, often researchers straight out of graduate programs or university research groups, and gets them into shape for a […]

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