Our Top 5 Benchtalk Stories of 2020

Iris Fung

The life sciences had a particularly momentous year in 2020. We've kept up by providing insights, interviews, and resources to keep our readers informed and up to date both on the latest COVID-19 developments as well as broader industry trends. Join us as we reflect back on some of our favorite posts from 2020!

Adapting To The New Normal: A Conversation with Dr. Aaron Sato, CSO of Twist Biopharma


We had the unique opportunity to sit down with Dr. Aaron Sato, CSO of Twist Biopharma, for an in-depth Q&A. Part one focused on how Twist is adapting to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, part two covered his approach to running a life science R&D business, and part three discussed Twist Bioscience's unique approach to antibody discovery.

In March 2020, Twist rapidly launched two products to support the fight against the novel coronavirus. The first is a synthetic RNA positive control, which is a safe and robust control to confirm that a positive test is truly positive. The use of synthetic RNA replaces the need for live virus in RT-PCR and NGS testing protocols. The second product is an NGS target enrichment panel for SARS-CoV-2, the disease which causes COVID-19. This panel is exceptionally useful for environmental monitoring and surveillance testing as well as for tracking and monitoring the disease as it has evolved.

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Benchling & TurtleTree Labs: A Data Foundation to Rapidly Scale Clean Milk Production


TurtleTree Labs' mission is to shape the future for dairy milk and infant nutrition production by creating milk in the lab. The company uses a proprietary, cell-based biotechnology method to reproduce milk components, which is too complex to do through traditional fermentation-based techniques. With enough scale, TurtleTree will be able to achieve resource efficiency and increase access to healthier, safer, reliable, and higher quality dairy products for consumers around the world.

We had the chance to speak with TurtleTree Labs' CEO, Fengru Lin, and Chief Strategist, Max Rye, and share the story of why TurtleTree Lab chose to invest in Benchling from the very beginning. Read more to learn about the impact of TurtleTree Lab's solid data foundation and healthy data hygiene.

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The Top 6 Questions R&D Organizations Struggle to Answer with Legacy Data Management


The life science industry is shifting to a new model to support the next generation of therapeutic development. R&D has become more specialized and more collaborative, and produces vast amounts of highly complex data. In order to stay competitive, life science companies need data systems that help address a new set of challenges.

  • Teams are more distributed and specialized than ever before,yet they need to collaborate closely.

  • For organizations to make informed business decisions, they need to be able to centralize, interlink, and analyze a larger quantity of complex data.

  • Scientific platforms are rapidly evolving, so processes need to be able to adapt to capture relevant data.

We spoke with scientists and R&D leaders throughout the industry and developed a whitepaper where we discuss the six questions that emerged as common themes, as well as suggestions for how you can address them in your own R&D organization.

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Building a Strong Data Foundation to Get Machine Learning and Automation Right


Given the world that artificial intelligence promises, our customers are interested in how advanced data analysis and machine learning techniques can up-level their R&D efforts: from discovery, to lead optimization, process development, pre-clinical, and even IND filings. There’s no lack of enthusiasm to leverage these tools, so how do we get to that world?

Many companies have embarked on a digitalization journey, convinced that their notebook entries, DNA and protein designs, samples used in experiments, and experimental conditions should all be tracked and stored in software. If we go down this path and digitalize everything scientists are doing, we should be well on our way to leveraging all those insights data science can provide.

However, there are challenges with this approach. First, your users are scientists, who are extremely well trained but not software specialists. Second, their workflows are complex, evolving, and in a deep domain area. It’s not easy to build high quality software in these conditions. We actually have an example of a similar industry that underwent a digital transformation with mixed results.

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Protect Your R&D with Lock and Key: Data Security and Compliance in the Digital Age


Life sciences companies are undergoing a digital transformation to ensure the development of more targeted therapies, significantly reduce the cost of drug development, and accelerate time to market. It has become more important than ever for companies to manage and protect their data as a strategic asset. Benchling’s commitment to data security is central to our company. Our success depends on earning and keeping your trust, and we take that very seriously. Benchling protects your data with the most advanced security, infrastructure, encryption, authentication, and business continuity measures.

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To catch up on all our content from 2020, and to stay up to date with new content of 2021, visit Benchtalk, where we post our latests stories, product launches, case studies, and more.

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