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GE Healthcare UK Awarded US Patent

GE Healthcare UK has been awarded US patent 7,300,762, “Fluorescent proteins and methods of using same.”
The inventors listed on the patent are Simon Stubbs, Anne Jones, Nigel Michael, and Nicholas Thomas.

The patent provides novel engineered derivatives of green fluorescent protein that have an amino acid sequence that is modified by amino acid substitution compared with the amino acid sequence of wild-type green fluorescent  protein (SEQ ID NO: 2), its abstract said. The modified GFPs exhibit enhanced fluorescence relative to wild-type GFP when expressed in non-homologous cells at temperatures above 30° C, and when excited at about 490 nm. According to the patent abstract, the modified GFPs provide a means for detecting GFP reporters in mammalian cells at lower levels of expression and/or increased sensitivity relative to wild-type GFP. This greatly improves the usefulness of fluorescent proteins in studying cellular functions in living cells, according to the inventors.

The Scan

Should've Been Spotted Sooner

Scientists tell the Guardian that SARS-CoV-2 testing issues at a UK lab should have been noticed earlier.

For Martian Fuel

Researchers have outlined a plan to produce rocket fuel on Mars that uses a combination of sunlight, carbon dioxide, frozen water, cyanobacteria, and engineered E. coli, according to Gizmodo.

To Boost Rapid Testing

The Washington Post writes that new US programs aim to boost the availability of rapid at-home SARS-CoV-2 tests.

PNAS Papers on Strawberry Evolution, Cell Cycle Regulators, False-Positive Triplex Gene Editing

In PNAS this week: strawberry pan-genome, cell cycle-related roles for MDM2 and MDMX, and more.