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MIT, Packard, Agilent, Applera Among Recent US Patent Winners

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Massachusetts Institute of Technology has been awarded US Patent No. 6,790,628, “Method for screening analogs of G-CSF.”

Inventors listed on the patent are: Casim Sarkar and Douglas Lauffenburger.

According to its abstract, the patent covers an invention relating to granulocyte colony stimulating factor (G-CSF) polypeptide analog compositions. The patent describes methods for screening G-CSF analogs, designed with one or more substitutions to amino acids, and selecting analogs for use as G-CSF replacements or antagonists, the abstract states. The methods described may be generalizable beyond G-CSF analogs, as well. In addition, the patent describes pharmaceutical compositions and methods of use for analogs so selected.


Packard Instruments has been awarded US Patent No. 6,795,189, “Universal microplate analyzer.”

Inventors listed on the patent are: David Booker, Robert Fischer, Michael Newell, David Kappel, Scott Moritz, and Jerome Oleksy.

According to its abstract, the patent covers a universal microplate analyzer that is capable of carrying out measurements on samples contained in the wells of microplates by fluorescence, absorbance, or luminescence, and employs at least two light sources and optical fiber channels for directing excitation light to the sample wells. Flexibility of operation is provided by arrays of mirrors, apertures, and polarizers, which can be positioned as required for the analysis to be carried out, the abstract states.


Agilent Technologies has been awarded US Patent No. 6,794,424, “Devices for calibrating optical scanners and methods of using the same.”

Inventors listed on the patent are: Nelson Holcomb, Russell Parker, and Steven Lefkowitz.

According to its abstract, the patent describes calibration devices for optical scanners and methods for their use. The subject devices are characterized by having a polymeric coating with at least one fluorescent agent, where the devices have minimal local and global nonuniformities, the abstract states. The device may also include one or more photobleached regions. In using the calibration devices, a surface is illuminated with at least one light source, fluorescence data is obtained from the surface, and the optical system is calibrated based upon the obtained fluorescence data. The invention finds use in a variety of optical scanners, including biopolymeric array optical scanners, the abstract states.


Applera Corporation has been awarded US Patent No. 6,794,156, “Cell growth, induction, and lysis in an antibody-coated microplate for use in an ELISA.”

Anthony Chiulli is the inventor listed on the patent.

According to its abstract, the patent describes a competitive assay to determine the presence and concentration of an intracellular analyte (e.g., cAMP) in a sample. All of the steps of the assay can be performed on the same assay plate, thereby eliminating the need to transfer the cells from a tissue culture plate on which the cells are grown, induced and lysed to a separate assay plate, the abstract states. The assay procedure includes combining, in a reaction chamber provided with a capture antibody, an antibody for the analyte, the sample to be assayed, and a conjugate of the analyte and an enzyme such as alkaline phosphatase. The mixture is incubated and washed and an enzyme labile substrate (e.g., a chemiluminescent, fluorescent, or calorimetric substrate) is added. The assay can also be performed with a tagged analyte (e.g., an analyte having a radioactive or fluorescent tag) instead of an enzyme conjugate, the abstract states.

The Scan

More Boosters for US

Following US Food and Drug Administration authorization, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has endorsed booster doses of the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson SARS-CoV-2 vaccines, the Washington Post writes.

From a Pig

A genetically modified pig kidney was transplanted into a human without triggering an immune response, Reuters reports.

For Privacy's Sake

Wired reports that more US states are passing genetic privacy laws.

Science Paper on How Poaching Drove Evolution in African Elephants

In Science this week: poaching has led to the rapid evolution of tuskless African elephants.