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Tibotec, Carnegie Mellon, and Becton Dickinson Are Awarded US Patents

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Tibotec BVBA of Mechelen, Belgium, has been awarded US Patent No. 7,129,036, “Reporter molecules and methods for assaying the lipidation status of a cell.”
 
Inventors listed on the patent are Koenraad Van Acker, Inge Dierynck, and Rudi Pauwels.
 
According to its abstract, the patent protects reporter molecules comprising at least one detection domain capable of emitting a signal, and at least one membrane-anchoring domain, which promotes the association of the reporter molecule with a membrane. The degree and rate of membrane association of the reporter molecule is approximated by the signal emitted by the detection domain, the abstract states. This signal provides a marker for the membrane-association status of the membrane-anchoring portion, or of the reporter molecule as a whole. Treatments or agents may be tested for their ability to alter membrane association or localization by observing or measuring the signal emitted by the detection domain. Thus, the invention provides means and methods for determining the capability of an agent to interfere at least in part with the distribution of a reporter molecule in a cell. These methods are useful for drug discovery; the phenotypic evaluation of cells, preferably patient cells; and for tailoring a therapeutic program for treating a patient, the abstract states.
 

 
Carnegie Mellon University has been awarded US Patent No. 7,129,079, “Cells engineered to contain genes of interest.”
 
Inventors listed on the abstract are Manuel Villa and Susan Henry.
 
According to its abstract, the patent protects methods and materials for stably introducing any gene into a specific locus in the genome of a microorganism such as yeast without the addition of any drug resistance genes. The patent specifically provides new genetically engineered inositol-overproducing Saccharomyces cerevisiae strains obtained by using a novel set of yeast integration plasmids that allow the safe, stable, and controlled introduction of homologous and/or heterologous genes into the host genome. In particular, specific loci of the S. cerevisiae yeast genome can be targeted with single or multiple copies of a specific gene that is desired to be expressed, or with a given set of specific genes that the host can use without the addition of any drug resistance genes. The principles of this new methodology can also be used for the construction of other recombinant yeast and bacterial strains as well as higher eukaryotic cells, the abstract states.
 

 
Becton Dickinson has been awarded US Patent No. 7,129,505, “Fluorescence detection instrument with reflective transfer legs for color decimation.”
 
Inventors listed on the patent are Clifford Oostman and Barry Blasenheim.
 
According to its abstract, the patent protects an optical instrument using a plurality of differently colored lasers with parallel, closely spaced beams to stimulate scattering and fluorescence from fluorescent biological particulate matter, including cells and large molecules. A large numerical aperture objective lens collects fluorescent light while maintaining spatial separation of light stimulated by the different sources, the abstract states. The collected light is imaged into a plurality of fibers, one fiber associated with each optical source, which conducts light to a plurality of arrays of detectors, with each array associated with light from one of the fibers and one of the lasers. A detector array has up to ten detectors arranged to separate and measure colors within relatively narrow bands by decimation of light arriving in a fiber. A large number of detectors is mounted in a compact polygonal arrangement by using reflective transfer legs from multiple beam splitters, where the transfer legs arise from a polygonal arrangement of beam splitters in a circumference within the circumferential arrangement of detectors, the abstract states.

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