Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

BASF, US Department of Health, MSKCC, UCal, and GE Healthcare Among Recent US Patent Winners

Premium
BASF of Germany and the US Department of Health have been awarded US Patent No. 7,094,593, “Method for improving the function of heterologous G protein-coupled receptors.”
 
Inventors listed on the patent are Mark Pausch and Jurgen Wess.
 
According to its abstract, the patent relates to mutant G protein-coupled receptors with improved G-protein coupling and receptor response, yeast cells expressing such receptors, vectors useful for making such cells, and methods of making and using the same.
 

 
Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center has been awarded US Patent No. 7,094,888, “Hybrid molecules and their use for optically detecting changes in cellular microenvironments.”
 
Inventors listed on the patent are Gero Miesenbock, Dino DeAngelis, and James Rothman.
 
According to its abstract, the patent relates to methods and compositions that utilize the emission of light to monitor changes in microenvironments involving cells. The invention is especially useful for monitoring exocytotic activity such as detecting quantal release of synaptic vesicles. Fusion proteins of Cypridina luciferase and synaptotagmin-I or VAMP/synaptobrevin-2 are targeted to synaptic vesicles and, upon exocytosis, form light-emitting complexes with luciferin present in the extracellular medium. Photon emissions in the presence of a depolarizing stimulus can subsequently be observed. The patent also describes pH-sensitive mutants of green fluorescent protein, which are useful for visualizing exocytosis and for imaging and measuring the pH of intracellular compartments, the abstract states.
 

 
Astellas Pharma of Japan has been awarded US Patent No. 7,097,990, “Method of screening cell death inhibitor.”
 
Inventors listed on the patent are Yorikata Sano, Kohei Inamura, Akira Miyake, Hiromichi Yokoi, Katsura Nozawa, and Shinobu Mochizuki.
 
According to its abstract, the patent protects a method of screening for substances that inhibit PARP-induced cell death. In particular, the method can be used to screen for substances that are useful as a therapeutic and/or preventive agent for rheumatoid arthritis; neuronal death at the time of cerebral ischemia; cell death of the heart after myocardial infarction reperfusion; autoimmune destruction of β-cells of pancreatic islets of Langerhans; cell death after shock; or inflammatory reaction by immunocyte death. The screening method comprises: contacting a test substance with a cell expressing a rat or mouse LTRPC2 protein, under conditions such that the LTRPC2 protein can be activated; and analyzing inhibition of LTRPC2 protein activation.
 

 
Neurospheres Holdings has been awarded US Patent No. 7,101,709, “Methods of screening biological agents.”
 
Inventors listed on the patent are Samuel Weiss, Brent Reynolds, Joseph Hammang, and Edward Baetge.
 
According to its abstract, the patent protects methods of proliferation and differentiation of multipotent neural stem cells. The patent also describes methods of making cDNA libraries and methods of screening biological agents that affect proliferation, differentiation, survival, phenotype, or function of CNS cells, the abstract states.
 

 
The University of California has been awarded US Patent No. 7,101,718, “Organo luminescent semiconductor nanocrystal probes for biological applications, and process for making and using such probes.”
 
Inventors listed on the patent are Shimon Weiss, Marcel Bruchez, and Paul Alivisatos.
 
According to its abstract, the patent describes a semiconductor nanocrystal compound capable of linking to an affinity molecule. The compound comprises (1) a semiconductor nanocrystal capable of emitting electromagnetic radiation and/or absorbing energy, and/or scattering or diffracting electromagnetic radiation, when excited by an electromagnetic radiation source or a particle beam; and (2) at least one linking agent, having a first portion linked to the semiconductor nanocrystal and a second portion capable of linking to an affinity molecule. The compound is linked to an affinity molecule to form a semiconductor nanocrystal probe capable of bonding with a detectable substance. Subsequent exposure to excitation energy will excite the semiconductor nanocrystal in the probe causing electromagnetic radiation emission. The patent further describes processes for making the luminescent semiconductor nanocrystal compound; making the semiconductor nanocrystal probe; and using the probe to determine the presence of a detectable substance in a material, the abstract states.
 

 
GE Healthcare has been awarded US Patent No. 7,101,719, “Support and method for cell-based assays.”
 
Inventors listed on the patent are Gerard O’Beirne, Rahman Ismail, and Nicholas Thomas.
 
According to its abstract, the patent protects a method for measuring a cellular process, or for measuring the effect of a test compound on a cellular process, in one or more different populations of cells. The method comprises providing separate samples of one or more different populations of cells adhering to support particles composed of a scintillant substance and adapted for cell growth. In one embodiment of the invention, different samples of cells are introduced into separate reaction vessels in a fluid medium, together with a radioisotope-labeled reagent, in the presence or the absence of a test compound, under conditions that cause a portion of the radiolabeled reagent to become associated with the cells. In another embodiment, multiparameter analysis may be performed to determine the effect of a test compound on a cellular process using two or more different cell populations present in the same well. Measurement of the cellular process, or the effect of a test compound on a cellular process, may be made by detecting light emission from the scintillant particles caused by radioactive decay of the radioisotope, the abstract states.

The Scan

Fertility Fraud Found

Consumer genetic testing has uncovered cases of fertility fraud that are leading to lawsuits, according to USA Today.

Ties Between Vigorous Exercise, ALS in Genetically At-Risk People

Regular strenuous exercise could contribute to motor neuron disease development among those already at genetic risk, Sky News reports.

Test Warning

The Guardian writes that the US regulators have warned against using a rapid COVID-19 test that is a key part of mass testing in the UK.

Science Papers Examine Feedback Mechanism Affecting Xist, Continuous Health Monitoring for Precision Medicine

In Science this week: analysis of cis confinement of the X-inactive specific transcript, and more.