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Hamamatsu, Johns Hopkins, Osaka University, and Clarient Awarded US Patents

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Hamamatsu Photonics of Shizuoka, Japan, has been awarded US Patent No. 7,132,241, “Method for selectively separating live cells expressing a specific gene.”
 
Inventors listed on the patent are Kaname Ishibashi and Akihiko Tsuji.
 
According to its abstract, the patent protects a method for selectively separating live cells that have expressed a specific mRNA. The method comprises introducing a marker that labels mRNA into a group of live cells expressing a specific mRNA; labeling said mRNA with said marker to obtain a group of live cells with the labeled mRNA; detecting the labeled mRNA to identify the live cells with the labeled mRNA; and separating the identified live cells selectively from the live cell group.
 

 
Johns Hopkins University has been awarded US Patent No. 7,132,275, “Multifunctional magnetic nanowires.”
 
Inventors listed on the patent are Daniel Reich, Gerald Meyer, Chia-Ling Chien, Christopher Chen, and Peter Searson.
 
According to its abstract, the patent protects multisegmented, multifunctional magnetic nanowires for probing and manipulating molecules at the cellular and subcellular levels. The different segments of the nanowire may have differing properties, including a variety of magnetic, non-magnetic, and luminescent behaviors, the abstract states. Differences in surface chemistry allow different segments of a single nanowire to be functionalized with different multiple functional groups and/or ligands, giving the wire chemical multifunctionality.
 

 
Osaka University of Japan has been awarded US Patent No. 7,132,289, “Method for introducing foreign matters into living cells.”
 
Inventors listed on the patent are Akio Kobayashi, Kiichi Fukui, Satoshi Harajima, Eiichiro Fukusaki, Shinichiro Kajiyama, Shinya Okuda, and Takeshi Shoji.
 
According to its abstract, the patent protects a method for introducing a foreign matter into a cell. The method includes the steps of placing a small particle carrying a foreign matter at a part of a cell surface of a living cell, boring a hole in a cell wall and/or a cell membrane by irradiating and treating said part of the cell surface with a laser beam, and introducing the foreign matter into the living cell, the abstract states.
 

 
Clarient has been awarded US Patent No. 7,133,545, “Method and apparatus for automated image analysis of biological specimens.”
 
Inventors listed on the patent are James Douglass, Thomas Riding, and James Ring.
 
According to its abstract, the patent protects a method and apparatus for automated cell analysis of biological specimens. The method automatically scans specimens at a low magnification to acquire images that are analyzed to determine candidate cell objects of interest. The low-magnification images are converted from a first color space to a second color space. The color space-converted image is then low-pass filtered and compared to a threshold to remove artifacts and background objects from the object of interest pixels of the color-converted image. The object of interest pixels are morphologically processed into groups, which are compared to blob parameters to identify objects of interest that correspond to cells or other structures relevant to medical diagnosis of the biological specimen. The location coordinates of the objects of interest are stored and additional images of the candidate cell objects are acquired at high magnification. The high-magnification images are analyzed in the same manner as the low-magnification images to confirm the objects of interest. A high-magnification image of each confirmed object of interest is stored for later review and evaluation by a pathologist, the abstract states.

The Scan

Comfort of Home

The Guardian reports that AstraZeneca is to run more clinical trials from people's homes with the aim of increasing participant diversity.

Keep Under Control

Genetic technologies are among the tools suggested to manage invasive species and feral animals in Australia, Newsweek says.

Just Make It

The New York Times writes that there is increased interest in applying gene synthesis to even more applications.

Nucleic Acids Research Papers on OncoDB, mBodyMap, Genomicus

In Nucleic Acids Research this week: database to analyze large cancer datasets, human body microbe database, and more.