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Tech Spotlight: Indiana University

Following are several notable biotechnology- and life sciences-related patents or patent applications available for licensing from Indiana University (source: IU Emerging Technologies Center and US Patent and Trademark Office patent database):
Technology: Methods for screening for substances that bind opioid receptors
IP status: US patent no. 7,097,988 issued  
Inventor: Lei Yu
Description: According to its abstract, the patent relates generally to compositions of and methods for obtaining mu opioid receptor polypeptides. The invention also relates to polynucleotides encoding mu opioid receptor polypeptides, recombinant vectors carrying those sequences, recombinant host cells including the sequences or vectors, recombinant opioid receptor polypeptides, and antibodies immunoreactive with mu opioid receptors. Furthermore, the invention includes methods for using the isolated, recombinant receptor polypeptide in assays designed to select and improve substances capable of interacting with mu opioid receptor polypeptides for use in diagnostic, drug design, and therapeutic applications, the patent’s abstract states.

Technology: Fluorescent in situ RT-PCR
IP status: US patent no. 7,186,507 issued
Inventors: Robert Bacallao and Rajesh Kher
Description: According to its abstract, the patent describes an in situ reverse transcriptase PCR method in which the background fluorescence is greatly reduced as compared to traditional in situ PCR.

Technology: Pharmacotherapeutic process and composition for central nervous system disorders
IP status: US patent no. 7,229,635 issued
Inventor: Michael Kubek
Description: According to its abstract, the patent is related to a method of modulating the release of at least one endogenous compound in vivo. The method comprises delivering intranasally at least one micro-construct comprising an agonist and a pharmaceutically acceptable carrier to a locus comprising an agonist receptor and a heterologous receptor that is coupled to at least one common signaling molecule. The micro-construct provides sustained release of the agonist provided by erosion of an exterior surface defined by the micro-construct. Once released, the agonist effectively up- or down-regulates at least one signaling molecule common to both the agonist receptor and the heterologous receptor, thereby potentiating or desensitizing the heterologous receptor in order to modulate release of at least one endogenous compound under the control of the heterologous receptor, the abstract states.

Technology: Methods of preparing multicolor quantum dot-tagged beads and conjugates thereof
IP status: US patent application 20070161043 and 20030148544 pending
Inventors: Shuming Nie, Xiaohu Gao, and Mingyong Han
Description: The patent application describes a method of preparing a multicolor quantum dot-tagged bead, a conjugate thereof, and a composition comprising such a bead or conjugate. Additionally, the application describes a method of making a conjugate thereof and methods of using a conjugate for multiplexed analysis of target molecules.

The Scan

Interfering With Invasive Mussels

The Chicago Tribune reports that researchers are studying whether RNA interference- or CRISPR-based approaches can combat invasive freshwater mussels.

Participation Analysis

A new study finds that women tend to participate less at scientific meetings but that some changes can lead to increased involvement, the Guardian reports.

Right Whales' Decline

A research study plans to use genetic analysis to gain insight into population decline among North American right whales, according to CBC.

Science Papers Tie Rare Mutations to Short Stature, Immunodeficiency; Present Single-Cell Transcriptomics Map

In Science this week: pair of mutations in one gene uncovered in brothers with short stature and immunodeficiency, and more.