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Affymetrix, Diversa, Millipore, Stanford and Harvard Among Recent US Patent Winners

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Affymetrix has been awarded statutory invention registration H2,136, "Nucleic acids encoding G protein-coupled receptors."

Inventors listed on the patent are David Kulp, Michael Siani-Rose, Alan Williams, and Cyrus Harmon.

According to its abstract, the invention registration is for novel GPCR polynucleotides, GPCR polypeptides, gene delivery vehicles comprising and/or expressing the GPCR polynucleotides, antibodies, and fragments capable of specifically binding to the GPCR polypeptides, and modulators of the GPCR. Also included in the invention registration are host cells and transgenic organisms, comprising the gene delivery vehicle of the present invention. Further provided are methods of using these compositions for diagnosis and treatment of GPCR associated diseases, the abstract states.


ChemoMetec has been awarded US Patent No. 6,970,246, "Method and apparatus for detecting fluorescence of a sample."

Frans Hansen is the lone inventor listed on the patent.

According to its abstract, the patent protects an apparatus and a method for detecting the fluorescence of a sample, wherein the apparatus comprises an excitation light source located on the same side of the sample as the detecting means. The apparatus may be constructed as a single-sided, as well as a double-sided system, wherein the double-sided system comprises a double-sided excitation system and/or double-sided detecting system. The double-sided system may also be a combination of a fluorescence system and conventional microscopy. The apparatus may be used for analysis of various types of biological material, liquid as well as solid material, and various other types of material suitable being analyzed through fluorescence studies, the abstract states.


Progenics Pharmaceuticals has been awarded US Patent No. 6,972,126, "Methods for using [a] resonance energy transfer-based assay of HIV-1 envelope glycoprotein-mediated membrane fusion, and kits for practicing [the] same."

Inventors listed on the patent are Graham Allaway, Virginia Litwin, and Paul Maddon.

According to its abstract, the patent protects agents determined to be capable of specifically inhibiting the fusion of a macrophage-tropic primary isolate of HIV-1 to a CD4+ cell, but not a T cell-tropic isolate of HIV-1 to a CD4+ cell; and agents determined to be capable of specifically inhibiting the fusion of a T cell-tropic isolate of HIV-1 to a CD4+ cell, but not a macrophage-tropic primary isolate of HIV-1 to a CD4+ cell. The patent also protects agents capable of specifically inhibiting the fusion of a macrophage tropic primary isolate of HIV-1 with a CD+ cell susceptible to infection by a macrophage-tropic primary isolate of HIV-1; and agents capable of specifically inhibiting the fusion of a T cell-tropic isolate of HIV-1 with a CD4+ cell susceptible to infection by a T cell-tropic isolate of HIV-1. The agents include but are not limited to antibodies, the abstract states.

The patent further protects methods of inhibiting fusion of a macrophage-tropic primary isolate of HIV-1 with a CD+ cell susceptible to infection by a macrophage-tropic primary isolate of HIV-1, which comprises contacting the CD4+ cell with an amount of an agent capable of specifically inhibiting such fusion so as to thereby inhibit such fusion; and methods of inhibiting fusion of a T cell-tropic isolate of HIV-1 with a CD4+ cell susceptible to infection by a T cell-tropic isolate of HIV-1, which comprises contacting the CD4+ cell with an amount of an agent capable of specifically inhibiting such fusions, the abstract states.


Diversa has been awarded US Patent No. 6,972,183, "Capillary array-based enzyme screening."

Inventors listed on the abstract are Michael Lafferty, Jay Short, and Martin Keller.

According to its abstract, the patent protects a process for screening an expression library to identify clones expressing enzymes having a desired activity. The process involves first generating from genomic DNA samples of one or more microorganisms an expression library comprising a plurality of recombinant cell clones, and then introducing into capillaries in a capillary array a substrate and at least a subset of the clones, either individually or as a mixture. Interaction of the substrate and a clone expressing an enzyme having the desired activity produces an optically detectable signal, which can then be spatially detected to identify capillaries containing clones producing such a signal. The signal-producing clones can then be recovered from the identified capillaries, the abstract states.


Millipore has been awarded US Patent No. 6,972,184, "Cell motility assay."

Lakshmi Kamath is the lone inventor listed on the patent.

According to its abstract, the patent protects an electro-optical method for quantifying the motility response of cells to external stimuli, wherein a target cell population (formed as a function of said response) is subsequently optically differentiated by the addition of an optical differentiation solution, and whereby the targeted cell population becomes more or less detectable to an electro-optical reading device. The method can be used to perform chemotactic assays. For such and other purposes, the method can be performed utilizing high-throughput robotic automation, the abstract states.



Stanford University and Harvard University have been jointly awarded US Patent No. 6,972,193, "Regulated transcription of targeted genes and other biological events."

Inventors listed on the patent are Gerald Crabtree, Stuart Schreiber, David Spencer, Thomas Wandless, Steffan Ho, and Peter Belshaw.

According to its abstract, the patent protects a general procedure for the regulated (inducible) dimerization or oligomerization of intracellular proteins. Dimerization and oligomerization of proteins are general biological control mechanisms that contribute to the activation of cell membrane receptors, transcription factors, vesicle fusion proteins, and other classes of intra- and extracellular proteins, the abstract states.

The Scan

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According to BBC News, researchers have developed a protein structure database that includes much of the human proteome.

For Flu and More

The Wall Street Journal reports that several vaccine developers are working on mRNA-based vaccines for influenza.

To Boost Women

China's Ministry of Science and Technology aims to boost the number of female researchers through a new policy, reports the South China Morning Post.

Science Papers Describe Approach to Predict Chemotherapeutic Response, Role of Transcriptional Noise

In Science this week: neural network to predict chemotherapeutic response in cancer patients, and more.