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Nexcelom Bioscience, Matabolon, Cornell Research Foundation, and the Board of Regents of the University of Texas System Awarded US Patents

Nexcelom Bioscience has been awarded US Patent 7,329,537, “Micro-pattern embedded plastic optical film device for cell-based assays.”
The inventor listed on the patent is Jean Qiu.
The patent describes a micro-pattern embedded optical film for cell-based assays. According to the abstract, the optical film contains micro-patterns in the form of geometric shapes, such as lines and curves, and numbers and letters. The film also contains a coordinate system that allows identification of each location on the optical film for cell-based assays, including cell growth, identification, and measurements under an optical microscope. In addition, the patent describes an apparatus with the optical film and a supporting part for the apparatus. Methods for making the optical film and apparatus are disclosed and a method for performing cell-based assays using the optical film or apparatus is provided.

Matabolon and the Cornell Research Foundation have been awarded US Patent 7,329,489, “Methods for drug discovery, disease treatment, and diagnosis using metabolomics.”
The inventors listed on the patent are Rima Kaddurah-Daouk and Bruce Kristal.
As described in the abstract, the small-molecule profiles of cells are compared to identify small molecules that are modulated in altered states. Cellular small-molecule libraries, methods of identifying tissue sources, methods for treating genetic and non-genetic diseases, and methods for predicting the efficacy of drugs are also discussed.

The Board of Regents of the University of Texas System has been awarded US Patent 7,329,486, “High-throughput assay for virus entry and drug screening.”
The inventors listed on the patent are Robert Davey and Andrey Kolokoltsov.
The patent describes a rapid virus entry/binding detection assay, the abstract said. An enzyme such as luciferase was incorporated at the C-terminal end of viral envelope proteins that would deliver the enzyme into the viral particles upon viral assembly. Virus entry/binding can then be assayed by determining the enzymatic activities in infected cells. According to the abstract, this assay allows high-throughput non-radioactive detection of virus entry within 30 minutes after virus-cell contact. The assay also provides high signal-to-noise ratio and is useful for screening compounds that affect virus-cell binding and entry. In addition, the design permits packaging of potential therapeutic proteins into functional virus particles and their delivery to specific cellular targets.

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.