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Clontech Laboratories, National Research Council of Canada, Stanford University, Stem Cells, Hewlett-Packard, Applera

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Clontech Laboratories of Mountain View, Calif, has been awarded US Patent 7,217,789, “Fluorescent timer proteins and methods for their use.”
 
Inventors listed on the patent are Arcady Fradkov and Alexey Terskikh.
 
The patent describes fluorescent timer proteins, which undergo a spectral shift over time after synthesis, as well as nucleic acid compositions encoding the same. According to the patent abstract, “Also provided are fragments of the subject proteins and nucleic acids encoding the same, as well as antibodies to the subject proteins and transgenic cells and organisms including the subject nucleic acid molecules. The subject protein and nucleic acid compositions find use in a variety of different applications. Finally, kits for use in such applications that include the subject nucleic acid compositions are provided.”
 

 
The National Research Council of Canada in Ottawa has been awarded US Patent 7,217,693, “Human G protein-coupled receptor expressed in the dorsal root ganglia.”
 
Inventors listed on the patent are Sultan Ahmad, Denis Banville, Yves Fortin, Paola Lembo, Dajan O'Donnell, and Shi-Hsiang Shen.
 
The patent is directed to novel G protein-coupled receptors that are found predominantly in the dorsal root ganglia. According to the abstract, the invention “encompasses both the receptor proteins as well as nucleic acids encoding the proteins. In addition, the present invention is directed to methods and compositions which utilize the receptors.”
 

 
The Board of Trustees of Stanford University has been awarded US Patent 7,217,568, “Methods of identifying and isolating stem cells and cancer stem cells.”
 
Inventors listed on the patent are Catriona Jamieson, Laurie Elizabeth Ailles, Tannishtha Reya, and Irving Weissman.
 
The patent provides methods and compositions for the identification of stem cells and cancer stem cells. According to the patent abstract, “β-catenin is also identified as a target for the development of therapeutic moieties against hematopoietic tumors, i.e. leukemia and lymphoma cells, which may include screening assays directed at β-catenin, or members of the β-catenin signaling pathway. Cellular proliferation in hematopoietic cells can be altered by introducing stabilized β-catenin into a hematopoietic cell that is altered in its ability to undergo apoptosis but which is not fully transformed. The immortalized cells are useful in screening assays, and in the analysis of pathways by which hematopoietic cells undergo transformation.”
 

 
Stem Cells of Palo Alto, Calif, has been awarded US Patent 7,217,565, “Enriched central nervous system stem cell and progenitor cell populations, and methods for identifying, isolating, and enriching for such populations.”
 
Inventors listed on the patent are David Buck, Nobuko Uchida, and Irving Weissman.
 
According to the patent abstract, “Enriched neural stem and progenitor cell populations, and methods for identifying, isolating, and enriching for neural stem cells using reagent that bind to cell surface markers.”
 

 
Hewlett-Packard Development Company has been awarded US Patent 7,217,542, “Microfluidic system for analyzing nucleic acids.”
 
Inventors listed on the patent are David Tyvoll and Winthrop Childers.
 
The patent describes a system, including methods and apparatus, for microfluidic analysis of a nucleic acid target in a nucleic acid mixture. “The system includes a method to preselect the target from the mixture before amplification. Preselection enriches the mixture for the target by retaining the target on a target-selective receptor and then removing unretained non-target nucleic acids,” according to the patent’s abstract. In addition, “The preselected target then may be amplified from the enriched mixture and assayed. Devices configured to carry out the method are also disclosed.”
 

 
Applera has been awarded US Patent 7,217,518, “Fluorescence polarization assay.”
 
Inventors listed on the patent are Michael Sekar and Lawrence Greenfield.
 
The patent discusses “Methods for detecting the presence of one or more analytes of interest in a sample by measuring changes in fluorescence anisotropy as a result of binding of the analytes to specific aptamers. The aptamers are immobilized on a solid support and may be in the form of an array.”

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