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Patent Watch: Dec 19, 2008

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General Hospital Corporation has been awarded US Patent 7,465,848, “Zebrafish assay.”
 
The inventors listed on the patent are Calum Macrae, David Milan, C. Geoffrey Burns, Randall Peterson, and Travis Peterson.
 
According to its abstract, the invention describes a zebrafish assay for cardiac response.
 

 
Kazuko Matsumoto and Tokyo Chemical Industry Company have been awarded US Patent 7,465,747, “Fluorescent label compounds.”
 
The inventors listed on the patent are Kazuko Matsumoto, Jingli Yuan, Guilan Wang, and Mingqian Tan.
 
Its abstract stated that the patent provides novel labeling reagents characterized by having a group capable of binding to a substance to be labeled (for example, a biological substance or a physiologically active substance), and easily forming a complex together with a rare earth ion. The complex is stable in an aqueous solution, and has sufficient fluorescence intensity and a long fluorescence life time regardless of buffer types. The patent also claims complexes composed of the above labeling reagent with a rare earth ion, fluorescence labels containing the above complex, and a fluorescence assay method using the above fluorescent label — for example, labeling reagents comprising a compound having a 2,2':6',2''-tripyridine skeleton or a 2,6-dipyrazolopyridine skeleton, and having a group capable of binding to a biological or physiologically active substance to be labeled and a group capable of forming a complex together with a rare earth ion; complexes composed of the above labeling reagent with a rare earth ion; fluorescence labels containing the above complex; a fluorescence labeling method using the above complex as a label; and a fluorescence assay method using the above fluorescent label.
 

 
Bayer Healthcare has been awarded US Patent 7,465,548, “Methods of screening for potential therapeutics for diseases associated with G-protein coupled receptor HM74a."
 
Inventors on the patent include Stefan Golz, Ulf Bruggemeier, and Holger Summer.
 
According to its abstract, the patent provides a human HM74a which is associated with disorders of the peripheral and central nervous system, cardiovascular diseases, hematological diseases, cancer, inflammation, urological diseases, respiratory diseases, and gastroenterological diseases. The patent also provides assays for the identification of compounds useful in the treatment or prevention of these disorders. The patent features compounds which bind to, and/or activate, or inhibit the activity of HM74a, as well as pharmaceutical compositions comprising such compounds.

The Scan

Shape of Them All

According to BBC News, researchers have developed a protein structure database that includes much of the human proteome.

For Flu and More

The Wall Street Journal reports that several vaccine developers are working on mRNA-based vaccines for influenza.

To Boost Women

China's Ministry of Science and Technology aims to boost the number of female researchers through a new policy, reports the South China Morning Post.

Science Papers Describe Approach to Predict Chemotherapeutic Response, Role of Transcriptional Noise

In Science this week: neural network to predict chemotherapeutic response in cancer patients, and more.