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Cytokinetics, Becton, Dickinson, The Technion Research & Development Foundation, and Research & Diagnostic Systems Awarded US Patents

Cytokinetics has been awarded US Patent 7,269,278, “Extracting shape information contained in cell images.”
The inventors listed on the patent are Ge Cong and Eugeni Vaisberg.
The patent discusses methods and apparatus for the analysis of cellular images and the extraction of biologically significant, shape-related features from the images, according to its abstract. The extracted features may be correlated with particular conditions induced by biologically-active agents with which the cells have been treated, thereby enabling the automated analysis of cells based on cell shape parameters. In particular, the invention provides methods for the segmentation of cells in an image using a combination of reference component image data and cell shape-indicative marker image data in a watershed technique. The invention also provides a skeletonization and skeleton analysis technique for extracting biologically-relevant features from cell shapes, the abstract said.

Becton, Dickinson has been awarded US Patent 7,267,983, “Peptides for use in culture media.”
Inventors listed on the patent are Perry Haaland, Douglas Sherman, Robert Campbell, Walter Stewart, Sheila Lloyd, and Ann Erickson.
The abstract said that the patent provides peptide libraries that are useful for the rapid identification of biologically active compounds. The peptides provided include cell growth-affecting peptides and peptides that enhance or inhibit the production of cellular proteins. Many of the peptides of the invention may be produced in large quantity by recombinant techniques and formulated in culture medium to produce the desired effect on cultured cells and tissues. Certain of the libraries of the invention and the peptides identified in them are particularly useful in concatemer-based recombinant expression methods.

The Technion Research & Development Foundation has been awarded US Patent 7,267,981, “Human foreskin fibroblasts for culturing ES cells.”
Inventors listed on the patent are Michal Amit and Joseph Itskovitz-Eldor.
The patent describes a cell culture method comprising human foreskin cells, which are capable of maintaining stem cells in an undifferentiated state when the two cell types are co-cultured, the abstract said.

Research & Diagnostic Systems has been awarded US Patent 7,267,980, “Stabilizing solution for cells and tissues.”
The inventors listed on the patent are Frank Mortari, Paige Pulvermacher, and Alan Johnson.
According to the abstract, the patent discusses methods and compositions for stabilizing tissues, cells, and cell components, such that desired antigenic sites, light scatter properties, and cellular morphology are preserved for a useful period of time. The abstract stated that the stabilizing solution includes glycine, lysine and formaldehyde.

The Scan

Booster for At-Risk

The New York Times reports that the US Food and Drug Administration has authorized a third dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech SARS-CoV-2 vaccine for people over 65 or at increased risk.

Preprints OK to Mention Again

Nature News reports the Australian Research Council has changed its new policy and now allows preprints to be cited in grant applications.

Hundreds of Millions More to Share

The US plans to purchase and donate 500 million additional SARS-CoV-2 vaccine doses, according to the Washington Post.

Nature Papers Examine Molecular Program Differences Influencing Neural Cells, Population History of Polynesia

In Nature this week: changes in molecular program during embryonic development leads to different neural cell types, and more.