Building Connecticut’s Microbiome Valley

Issues & Policies

Ask anyone in Connecticut where “the valley” is, and they’ll point to the Connecticut, Farmington, or Naugatuck River valleys.
Get ready to add one more: the Microbiome Valley.
When we look back at technological advances, it’s clear there are certain junctures and moments when research reaches a critical mass, profound scientific insights occur, and technological improvements begin their advance.
Work at Bell labs in the 1930s and 1940s led to the invention of the semiconductor.
These circuit chips were much smaller, and far more reliable and energy efficient, than the vacuum tubes they replaced. Over the ensuing decades, semiconductors became smaller still—by exponential factors—and even more reliable and efficient.
The industry that grew out of the research that led to semiconductors, in turn, spawned an array of related industries, from software to software applications design—the apps on your smart phone—to artificial intelligence.
In fact, the semiconductor created much of California’s Silicon Valley—including the innovation and vast number of companies and jobs created
In the biomedical sphere, there are just as many examples of breakthrough, disruptive research. For example, research and development that led to vaccines, antibiotics, and immunotherapy.
The latest cutting edge research field involves the microbiome—the trove of data from the combined genetic material of all the microorganisms living on and within each of us.

As Important as Semiconductors

Microbiome research will likely be viewed as important scientifically and economically as the invention of the semiconductor.
And the place where microbiome research becomes rooted will reap the powerful entrepreneurial economic development that will follow—much like Silicon Valley.
Legislators have an opportunity to position our state as a hub for this important new field through SB 1056, which establishes a working group to build a Microbiome Valley in Connecticut.
The bill leverages the microbiome research and DNA decoding expertise ongoing at Yale, UConn, Jackson Labs and Mt. Sinai Branford, and strengthens our economy and jobs base for decades ahead.
CBIA supports it.

Legislators have an opportunity to position our state as a hub for this important new field through SB 1056.

It's difficult to overstate the importance of the microbiome. Microbes cover the inside and outside of our bodies. Up to 100 trillion microbes live in and on each of us. Their number exceeds the number of cells in a human body 10 to one.
People are diverse in the many ways our DNA varies from person to person. The variations among each of us as a result of our individual, unique microbiomes results in an even richer, far more complex diversity.
The microbiome make-up of an individual accounts for many health outcomes—positive and negative. In the years ahead, a great many therapies and cures will come from microbiome research and development.
Already microbiome research has led to the discovery of probiotics—the introduction of good bacteria into the stomach to promote digestive health and combat deadly infections.
Researchers believe variations in the microbiome may be the triggers that cause obesity, diabetes, and cancer.

For more information, contact Connecticut Bioscience Growth Council executive director Paul Pescatello (860.244.1938) | @CTBio


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