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The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Christer Owman, Bjorn Olde, Knut Kotarsky, Niclas Nilsson, Erik Flodgren, and the Regents of the University of California Awarded US Patents

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The Chinese University of Hong Kong has been awarded US Patent 7,335,488, “Fluorescent proteins.”
 
The inventors listed on the patent are David Chi-Cheong Wan and Denis Tsz-Ming Ip.
 
According to the abstract, the patent describes novel spontaneously fluorescent proteins having a unique chromophore formed from the amino acid sequence phenylalanine-R1-R2-R3-phenylalanine where R1 is glutamine or serine; R2 is tyrosine, tryptophan, phenylalanine, or histidine; and R3 is glycine, alanine, or serine. The patent also describes the expression of nucleic acids that encode these fluorescent proteins in a wide variety of engineered host cells, and the isolation of engineered proteins. In addition, the invention comprises methods of use, which generally include tagging a molecule or cell with the proteins of the invention by either chemical means or recombinant techniques.
 

 
Christer Owman, Bjorn Olde, Knut Kotarsky, Niclas Nilsson, and Erik Flodgren have been awarded US Patent 7,335,481, “Methods of identifying compounds that affect a fatty acid cell-surface receptor.”
 
The patent provides methods for screening and identifying compounds that affect the metabolism of fatty acids and fatty acid derivatives, its abstract said. Such compounds possess both anti-diabetic and anti-obesity properties, as well as the ability to affect levels of chylomicrons, triacylglycerols, cholesterols, and fatty acids. According to the abstract, kits and compositions for screening and identifying such compounds are also discussed in the patent.
 

 
The Regents of the University of California have been awarded US Patent 7,335,479, “Assays for sensory modulators using a sensory cell specific G-protein alpha subunit.”
 
The inventor listed on the patent is Charles Zuker.
 
Its abstract states that the patent identifies nucleic acid and amino acid sequences of G-protein alpha subunits that are specifically expressed in sensory cells such as taste cells, antibodies to such G-protein alpha subunits, methods of detecting such nucleic acids and subunits, and methods of screening for modulators of sensory cell specific G-protein alpha subunits.

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