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Rutgers University, Public Health Research Institute, Atto Bioscience, and Xention Discovery Awarded US Patents

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Rutgers University has been awarded US Patent 7,385,103, “Animal model, cells, and treatment for malignant melanoma.”
 
The inventor listed on the patent is Suzie Chen.
 
The patent provides transgenic animal models and cell lines that express a metabotropic glutamate receptor 1 in a melanocyte-specific manner and, as a result, exhibit a predisposition to the development of melanoma, according to its abstract. The patent also describes methods of using the transgenic animals and cell lines to identify therapeutic agents. Diagnostic methods for detecting a melanoma are also provided.
 

 
The Public Health Research Institute has been awarded US Patent 7,385,043, “Homogeneous multiplex screening assays and kits.”
 
The inventor listed on the patent is Fred Kramer.
 
As stated in its abstract, the patent describes highly multiplexed, homogeneous in vitro screening assays for numerous possible nucleic acid targets, any of which might be present in a sample. These assays use fluorescent hybridization probes that are combinatorially coded from a panel of fluorophores by subdividing each probe into portions and differently labeling each portion so that, when portions are combined, each probe has a unique code. The assays may include target amplification and real-time detection. Probe sets and kits containing additional assay reagents may be used to perform the screening assays.
 

 
Atto Bioscience has been awarded US Patent 7,384,755, “Cell-based assay for G protein-coupled receptor-mediated activity employing a mutated cyclic nucleotide-gated ion channel and a membrane potential dye.”
 
The inventors listed on the patent are Yong Yao and Liang Cao.
 
The patent provides compositions and methods for cell-based assays used to identify G protein-coupled receptors, ligands, and compounds that modulate the activities of G protein-coupled receptors. The compositions and methods employ cyclic nucleotide-gated channels and fluorescence dyes to detect changes of intracellular cAMP levels in response to the stimulation of G protein-coupled receptors. Activation of the G protein-coupled receptors can be detected in a variety of assays, including cell-based imaging assays with fluorescence microscopes and high throughput assays with multi-well plates and fluorescence plate readers.
 

 
Xention Discovery has been awarded US Patent 7,384,733, “Interface patch clamping.”
 
The inventors listed on the patent are Nicholas Byrne and David Owen.
 
As stated in its abstract, the patent provides for one or more cells to be suspended in a liquid medium at a liquid/air interface, whereby the cell or cells are accessible at the interface to a microstructure electrode (such as a pipette tip). The cell or cells can attach to the electrode to form an electrical seal, for the purpose of whole-cell voltage clamp recording.
 
According to the patent, the electrode can be made to form a high resistance electrical seal with a cell suspended in the liquid at the liquid/air interface without the need to press the cell against a solid support surface. The patent also provides apparatus for carrying out the interface patch clamp technique and control logic for operating a computer to carry out the interface patch clamp technique.

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