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Cellomics, Atto Bioscience, Union Biometrica

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Cellomics has been awarded US Patent No. 7,117,098, “Machine-readable storage medium for analyzing distribution of macromolecules between the cell membrane and the cell cytoplasm.”
 
Inventors listed on the patent are Terry Dunlay, Lansing Taylor, Albert Gough, and Kenneth Giuliano.
 
According to the patent, the invention “provides systems, methods, and screens for an optical system analysis of cells to rapidly determine the distribution, environment, or activity of fluorescently labeled reporter molecules in cells for the purpose of screening large numbers of compounds for those that specifically affect particular biological functions.”
 
It involves “providing cells containing fluorescent reporter molecules in an array of locations and scanning numerous cells in each location with a high magnification fluorescence optical system, converting the optical information into digital data, and utilizing the digital data to determine the distribution, environment or activity of the fluorescently labeled reporter molecules in the cells,” according to the abstract.
 

 
Atto Bioscience has been awarded US Patent No. 7,115,377, “Cell-based assays for G-protein-coupled receptor-mediated activities.”
 
Inventors listed on the patent are Yong Yao and Liang Cao.
 
According to its abstract, the patent covers “compositions and methods for their use, such as in identifying G-protein-coupled receptors, ligands, and compounds that modulate the activities of G-protein-coupled receptors. The compositions and methods employ cyclic nucleotide-gated channels and fluorescence dyes in detecting changes of intracellular cAMP levels in response to the stimulation of G-protein-coupled receptors.”
 
The abstract says “activation of the G-protein-coupled receptors can be detected in a variety of assays, including cell-based imaging assays with fluorescence microscopes and high throughput assays with multi-well plates and fluorescence plate readers.”
 

 
Union Biometrica has been awarded US Patent No. 7,116,407, “System for axial pattern analysis of multicellular organisms.”
 
Inventors listed on the patent are Peter Hansen, Anthony Ferrante, Russell Gershman, Petra Krauledat, and Donald Perrault, Jr.
 
The patent covers “a method of using elongate multicellular organisms in conjunction with a specialized flow cytometer for drug discovery and compound screening,” according to the patent’s abstract. “A stable, optically detectable linear marker pattern on each organism is used to construct a longitudinal map of each organism as it passes through the analysis region of the flow cytometer.”
 
The abstract says that “this pattern is used to limit complex data analysis to particular regions of each organism thereby simplifying and speeding analysis. The longitudinal marker pattern can be used to alter signal detection modes at known regions of the organism to enhance sensitivity and overall detection effectiveness. A repeating pattern can also be used to add a synchronous element to data analysis. The marker patterns are established using known methods of molecular biology to express various indicator molecules. Inherent features of the organism can be rendered detectable to serve as marker patterns.”

The Scan

Study Finds Sorghum Genetic Loci Influencing Composition, Function of Human Gut Microbes

Focusing on microbes found in the human gut microbiome, researchers in Nature Communications identified 10 sorghum loci that appear to influence the microbial taxa or microbial metabolite features.

Treatment Costs May Not Coincide With R&D Investment, Study Suggests

Researchers in JAMA Network Open did not find an association between ultimate treatment costs and investments in a drug when they analyzed available data on 60 approved drugs.

Sleep-Related Variants Show Low Penetrance in Large Population Analysis

A limited number of variants had documented sleep effects in an investigation in PLOS Genetics of 10 genes with reported sleep ties in nearly 192,000 participants in four population studies.

Researchers Develop Polygenic Risk Scores for Dozens of Disease-Related Exposures

With genetic data from two large population cohorts and summary statistics from prior genome-wide association studies, researchers came up with 27 exposure polygenic risk scores in the American Journal of Human Genetics.