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Ocimum Biosolutions, Geron Awarded US Patents

Ocimum Biosolutions has been awarded US Patent 7,415,358, “Molecular toxicology modeling.”
The inventors listed on the patent are Donna Mendrick, Mark Porter, Kory Johnson, Brandon Higgs, Arthur Castle, and Michael Elashoff.
As stated in the abstract, the premise of the patent is the elucidation of the global changes in gene expression and the identification of toxicity markers in tissues or cells exposed to a known renal toxin. The genes may be used as toxicity markers in drug screening and toxicity assays. The invention includes a database of genes characterized by toxin-induced differential expression that is designed for use with microarrays and other solid-phase probes.

Geron has been awarded US Patent 7,413,904, “Human embryonic stem cells having genetic modifications.”
The inventors listed on the patents are Joseph Gold, Melissa Carpenter, Margaret Inokuma, and Chunhui Xu.
The patent provides a system for obtaining genetically altered primate pluripotent stem (pPS) cells, according to its abstract. The role of the feeder cells is replaced by supporting the culture on an extracellular matrix, and culturing the cells in a conditioned medium. The cells can be genetically altered with a viral vector or DNA/lipid complex, and then selected for successful transfection by drug-resistant phenotype in the transfected cells. The system allows for bulk proliferation of genetically altered pPS cells for use in human therapy or drug screening.

The Scan

Dropped Charges

The US Justice Department has dropped visa fraud charges against five Chinese researchers, according to the Wall Street Journal.

More Kids

The Associated Press says Moderna is expanding its SARS-CoV-2 vaccine study to included additional children and may include even younger children.

PNAS Papers on Rat Clues to Human Migration, Thyroid Cancer, PolyG-DS

In PNAS this week: ancient rat genome analysis gives hints to human migrations, WDR77 gene mutations in thyroid cancer, and more.

Purnell Choppin Dies

Purnell Choppin, a virologist who led the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, has died at 91, according to the Washington Post.