A new study has shown that employment within the US bioscience industry has increased for the past four years.

The report shows a growth in employment in the sector of nearly 10% since 2001, making it the best performing of the country’s technology sectors. The report, The Value of Bioscience Innovation in Growing Jobs and Improving Quality of Life 2016, launched as part of the BIO International Convention in San Francisco, found that US bioscience firms employ 1.66 million people, including nearly 147,000 high-paying jobs created since 2001.

The average annual wage for a US bioscience worker reached $94,543 in 2014, earnings that are $43,000 greater, on average, than the overall US private sector wage of $51,148. The report further shows that since 2012, the bioscience industry has grown by 2.2% with four of its five major subsectors contributing to this overall job gain.

Two of the subsectors—research, testing, and medical labs and drugs and pharmaceuticals—led growth during the two-year period with both increasing employment by more than 3%. The survey is the seventh in a biennial series developed in partnership by TEConomy and the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO).

Jim Greenwood, President and CEO of the BIO, said: “This report highlights the long-term expansion of our industry and the significant impact of the high-paying jobs that come with developing the innovative technologies that are helping to heal, fuel and feed the world.”

Ryan Helwig, Principal and Project Director with TEConomy Partners, said: “The bioscience industry continues to prove its economic value by driving US economic growth through innovation but beyond this economic value the industry is contributing value to patients every day through improvements to their quality of life.”

Scientific advance

Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute in the United States have taken a big step toward the laboratory re-creation of the “RNA world,” which is believed to have preceded modern life forms based on DNA and proteins. The results show that the scientists have succeeded in creating a ribozyme that can serve to amplify genetic information and generate functional molecules.

Ebola development

Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) in the United States have developed a high-resolution view of how the experimental therapy ZMapp targets the Ebola virus. The study is the first to show how an antibody in the ZMapp drug cocktail targets a second Ebola virus protein, called sGP, whose vulnerable spots had previously been unknown.

TSRI Professor Erica Ollmann Saphire, who co-led the study with TSRI Associate Professor Andrew Ward, said: “This is the roadmap we need to target the right molecules in infection.”

Study confirms healthy eating benefits

An American study has confirmed that consuming higher amounts of unsaturated fats is associated with lower mortality.

The study by Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, which followed people for more than three decades, found that higher consumption of saturated and trans fats was linked with higher mortality compared with the same number of calories from carbohydrates. Replacing saturated fats with unsaturated fats brought about substantial health benefits.