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Evrogen, Phylonix Pharmaceuticals, Agilent Technologies

Evrogen of Moscow has received US Patent No. 7,435,794, “Methods and compositions for selectively cleaving DNA containing duplex nucleic acids in a complex nucleic acid mixture, and nuclease compositions for use in practicing the same.” The patent claims methods of selectively cleaving DNA containing duplex nucleic acids in a complex nucleic acid mixture, as well as nuclease-containing compositions. In the methods, a nuclease or composition is employed to provide for selective cleavage of DNA-containing duplex nucleic acids in a complex nucleic acid mixture. Also provided are novel duplex-stranded specific nucleases, where the subject nucleases are enzymes that cleave deoxyribonucleic acid molecules in perfectly matched nucleic acid duplexes as compared to non-perfectly matched nucleic acid duplexes of the same length or single-stranded nucleic acids. According to the patent, the methods can be used in a variety of different applications, including nucleic acid analyte-detection applications, gene-expression profiling applications, detection of nucleic acid variants including single nucleotide polymorphisms applications, and preparation of subtracted and normalized nucleic acid libraries. Kits for practicing the methods are also provided.

Phylonix Pharmaceuticals of Cambridge, Mass., has received US Patent No. 7,435,870, “Methods of screening agents for activity using teleosts.” The patent provides a method for screening an agent for toxic activity in vivo by administering the agent to a teleost in vivo and detecting a change in level of a plurality of mRNAs in at least one cell, tissue or organ of the teleost in response to the agent relative to a control teleost not treated with the agent indicating toxic activity in the at least one cell, tissue or organ of the teleost using a cDNA microarray.

Agilent Technologies has received US Patent No. 7,437,249, “Methods and systems for detrending signal intensity data from chemical arrays.” The patent claims methods, systems, and computer readable media for removing trends in signal intensity values from features on a chemical array. Inputted signal values from features on the array are surface fitted to calculate a surface approximation. The surface approximation is normalized and used to de-trend the signal intensity values from the features.

The Scan

Pig Organ Transplants Considered

The Wall Street Journal reports that the US Food and Drug Administration may soon allow clinical trials that involve transplanting pig organs into humans.

'Poo-Bank' Proposal

Harvard Medical School researchers suggest people should bank stool samples when they are young to transplant when they later develop age-related diseases.

Spurred to Develop Again

New Scientist reports that researchers may have uncovered why about 60 percent of in vitro fertilization embryos stop developing.

Science Papers Examine Breast Milk Cell Populations, Cerebral Cortex Cellular Diversity, Micronesia Population History

In Science this week: unique cell populations found within breast milk, 100 transcriptionally distinct cell populations uncovered in the cerebral cortex, and more.