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AdVec, Molecular Probes, and Amnis Among Recent US Patent Winners

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The Japan Science and Technology Corporation has been awarded US Patent No. 6,974,668, "Development of method for screening physiologically active pyrrole imidazole derivative."

Inventors listed on the abstract are Hiroshi Sugiyama, Isao Saito, and Hirokazu Iida.

According to its abstract, the patent protects a method for screening the effect of a segment A (chemical species A) on a substance (for example, a cell) containing DNA or RNA by using artificial chemical species. Namely, the patent protects a method of detecting or identifying the function of a chemical species A on a substance containing DNA or RNA by using one or more chemical species represented by the following general formula (I) which are capable of recognizing a DNA base sequence; a kit therefor; and a plate to be used therein: B-L-A, (I) wherein "B" represents a chemical structure containing an non-natural base capable of recognizing a DNA base sequence; "A" represents a chemical structure having an interaction with DNA; and "L" represents a linker whereby the chemical structures A and B can be linked together, the abstract states.


AdVec has been awarded US Patent No. 6,974,694, "Adenoviruses for control of gene expression."

Inventors listed on the patent are Frank Graham, Martina Anton, Silvia Bacchetti, Ping Wang, Michael Rudnicki, and William Muller.

According to its abstract, the patent protects a class of adenovirus vectors for delivering recombinases to a large number of cells of different origins, and methods for regulating the expression of a gene in transfected mammalian cells in culture and in cells of transgenic animals. The method comprises infecting said cells with an adenoviral vector encoding a recombinase whose target site is present at or adjacent to the gene, wherein the action of the recombinase regulates the expression of said gene, the abstract states.


The US Department of Health and Human Services has been awarded US Patent No. 6,974,698, "Methods for delivering biologically active molecules into cells."

Inventors listed on the patent are Jeffery Miller, Urszula Wojda, and Paul Goldsmith.

According to its abstract, the patent protects methods for delivering a biologically active molecule into a cell by linking a molecule to the cell surface, wherein the molecule can act as a surface receptor, then complexing the biologically active molecule with a ligand for the surface receptor, and finally contacting the biologically active molecule-ligand complex with the cell surface. Delivery of any biologically active molecule, e.g. proteins, enzymes, nucleic acids, hormones, nucleic acids, and oligonucleotides, is contemplated. The patent discloses the use of biotin or biotinylated antibodies as the surface receptor. The patent also discloses the use of PEI and PEI-avidin conjugates complexed with oligonucleotides for delivery into a directly or indirectly biotinylated cell surface, along with the PEI-avidin-nucleic acid compositions. Lastly, the patent discloses primary and cultured cells with a covalently linked surface receptor molecule, such as biotin, on their surfaces.


Molecular Probes has been awarded US Patent No. 6,974,873, "Modified carbocyanine dyes and their conjugates."

Inventors listed on the patent are Wai-Yee Leung, Ching-Ying Cheung, and Stephen Yue.

According to its abstract, the patent protects chemically reactive carbocyanine dyes incorporating an indolium ring moiety that is substituted at the 3-position by a reactive group or by a conjugated substance, and uses for the dyes. Conjugation through this position results in spectral properties that are uniformly superior to those of conjugates of spectrally similar dyes wherein attachment is at a different position. The invention includes derivative compounds having one or more benzo nitrogens, the abstract states.


Tibotec BVBA has been awarded US Patent No. 6,974,938, "Microscope having a stable autofocusing apparatus."

Inventors listed on the patent are Marc Jean Rene Leblans and Philip Van Donink.

According to its abstract, the patent protects the apparatus for automatically focusing an image in a microscope. The apparatus includes an optical system configured to form an optical image of a sample plane to be observed, an autofocusing detection system, and a focus correction system. The autofocusing system includes an autofocusing light beam source for generating autofocusing light beams. The autofocusing system further includes a detection system lens for directing autofocusing light beams to an autofocusing detection device, and an autofocusing detection device for determining the amount of displacement of the image of the object plane from a desired focused reference plane. The focusing correction system includes a feedback controller and focus adjusting device for automatically adjusting the distance between an objective lens and the sample plane in order to properly focus the image in the optical system. A related method of automatically focusing an image of an object plane in a microscope is also provided, the abstract states.


Amnis has been awarded US Patent No. 6,975,400, "Imaging and analyzing parameters of small moving objects such as cells."

Inventors listed on the patent are William Ortyn and David Basiji.

According to its abstract, the patent protects a method in which light from an object such as a cell moving through an imaging system is collected and dispersed so that it is imaged onto a plurality of separate detectors. The light is spectrally dispersed by a plurality of spaced-apart dichroic reflectors, each detector receiving light from a different one of the dichroic reflectors. Each dichroic filter reflects light of a different predefined color, passing light of other colors. The output signal from each detector is indicative of a different characteristic of the object. In one configuration, each detector is provided with a separate imaging lens. In another configuration, the detectors are spaced at varying distances from the corresponding dichroic reflectors, so that separate imaging lenses are not required, the abstract states.

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