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Genoptix, Human Genome Sciences, Cytokinetics, Stanford Win Patents


Genoptix has received US Patent No. 6,744,038, “Methods of separating particles using an optical gradient.” According to the abstract, the patent describes apparatus and methods “for interacting light with particles, including but not limited to biological matter such as cells, in unique and highly useful ways.”

Called optophoresis, the technology consists of subjecting particles to various optical forces, especially optical gradient forces, and more particularly moving optical gradient forces, so as to obtain useful results, the abstract states. In biology, the technology represents a practical approach to probing the inner workings of a living cell, preferably without any dyes, labels, or other markers.

In addition, the invention includes methods for separating particles in a medium where the particles have differing dielectric constants by providing a medium having a dielectric constant between the dielectric constants of the particles, subjecting the particles in the medium to an optical gradient field, and separating the particles, according to the abstract.

Human Genome Sciences has received US Patent No. 6,743,625, “Death domain containing receptor 5.” The invention relates to novel death domain-containing receptor-5 (DR5) proteins which are members of the tumor necrosis factor (TNF) receptor family, and have now been shown to bind TRAIL, the patent abstract states. In particular, isolated nucleic acid molecules are provided encoding the human DR5 proteins. DR5 polypeptides are also provided as are vectors, host cells and recombinant methods for producing the same. The invention further relates to screening methods for identifying agonists and antagonists of DR5 activity, the abstract states.

Cytokinetics has received US Patent No. 6,743,599, “Compositions and assays utilizing ADP or phosphate for detecting protein modulators.” The patent describes methods which identify candidate agents as binding to a protein or as a modulator of the binding characteristics or biological activity of a protein, its abstract states. Generally, the methods involve the use of ADP or phosphate. The assays can be used in a high-throughput system to obviate the cumbersome steps of using gels or radioactive materials, the abstract states.

The Board of Trustees of Stanford University has received US Patent No. 6,743,583, “Identification of drugs and drug targets by detection of the stress response.”

According to the patent’s abstract, the invention features methods of high-throughput screening of candidate drug agents and rapid identification of drug targets by examining induction of the stress response in a host cell, e.g., the stress response in wild-type host cells and/or in host cells that differ in target gene product dosage (e.g., host cells that have two copies of a drug target gene product-encoding sequence to one copy).

In general, induction of the stress response in wild-type host cells indicates that a candidate agent has activity of the drug, the abstract states, and induction of a relatively lower or undetectable stress response in a host cell comprising an alteration in gene product dosage indicates that the host cell is drug-sensitive and is altered in a gene product that plays a role in resistance to the drug.

The Scan

WHO Seeks Booster Pause

According to CNN, the World Health Organization is calling for a moratorium on administering SARS-CoV-2 vaccine boosters until more of the world has received initial doses.

For Those Long Legs

With its genome sequence and subsequent RNAi analyses, researchers have examined the genes that give long legs to daddy longlegs, New Scientist says.

September Plans

The New York Times reports that the US Food and Drug Administration is aiming for early September for full approval of the Pfizer-BioNTech SARS-CoV-2 vaccine.

Nucleic Acids Research Papers on Targeting DNA Damage Response, TSMiner, VarSAn

In Nucleic Acids Research this week: genetic changes affecting DNA damage response inhibitor response, "time-series miner" approach, and more.