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UAB Research Foundation, NeuroSearch, Diversa, ISS Win Patents


The University of Alabama Research Foundation has been awarded US Patent No. 6,797,462, “Cell-based assay for immunodeficiency virus infectivity and sensitivity.”

Inventors listed on the patent are: John Kappes and Xiaoyun Wu.

According to its abstract, the patent provides methods and reagents for the capture of primary HIV. A cell line expressing CCR5, CXCR4, and CD4 receptors binds and is infected by primary HIV, the abstract states. The cell line contains a marker gene sequence expressed in near-linear quantities over at least two orders of magnitude in response to HIV infection. Primary HIV is amplified to create a primary virus stock through insertion of an amplicon gene into the receptor-expressing cell line. HIV amplification occurs rapidly and is operative with noninfectious HIV through amplification in the presence of an infectivity complement. The present invention is useful in determining host HIV titer, drug sensitivity, HIV amplification, gene sequencing, and co-receptor utilization, the abstract states.

NeuroSearch A/S has been awarded US Patent No. 6,794,161, “Potassium channels and genes encoding these potassium channels.”

Thomas Jentsch is the inventor listed on the patent.

According to its abstract, the patent relates to novel potassium channels and genes encoding these channels. More specifically, the invention provides isolated polynucleotides encoding the KCNQ4 potassium channel, cells transformed with these polynucleotides, transgenic animals comprising genetic mutations, and the use of the transformed cells and the transgenic animals for the in vitro and in vivo screening of drugs affecting KCNQ4-containing potassium channels, the abstract states.

Diversa Corporation has been awarded US Patent No. 6,794,127, “Capillary array-based sample screening.”

Inventors listed on the patent are: Michael Lafferty, Jay Short, and Martin Keller.

According to its abstract, the patent provides methods of screening and identifying bioactivity and bioactive molecules of interest using a capillary array system. More specifically, the patent discloses methods of using optical detection and capillary array-based techniques for screening libraries and recovering bioactive molecules having a desired activity, or a nucleic acid sequence encoding such bioactive molecules, the abstract states.

ISS (USA) has been awarded US Patent No. 6,794,659, “Rapid high-throughput spectrometer and method.”

Inventors listed on the patent are: Beniamino Barbieri and Enrico Gratton.

According to its abstract, the patent describes a fluorescence spectrometer comprising a laser, and at least one beam splitter positioned to receive a light beam from the laser and to divide it into several first light beam portions. Dichroic mirrors are positioned to separately receive these portions and to reflect them at an angle to the incoming light beam portions, the abstract states. Transparent chambers are provided for holding the samples, and objective lens systems are respectively positioned in the path of the reflected beam portions to respectively focus each reflected beam portion to a point within one of the separate transparent chambers. Lenses are positioned to receive fluorescence from a sample for testing within the transparent chambers and to respectively focus the fluorescence at pin holes in opaque partitions, and back through the objective lens system and the dichroic mirror to light detectors. Electronics are provided to receive and process signals from each light detector. Structure is provided to permit high-speed data collection from a large number of samples in separate, transparent chambers, the abstract states.

The Scan

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A gene drive approach could be used to render mosquitos unable to spread malaria, researchers report in Science Advances.

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Researchers in Scientific Reports find that the makeup of brown bears' gut microbiomes allows them to reach similar sizes even when feasting on different foods.

Finding Safe Harbor in the Human Genome

In Genome Biology, researchers present a new approach to identify genomic safe harbors where transgenes can be expressed without affecting host cell function.

New Data Point to Nuanced Relationship Between Major Depression, Bipolar Disorder

Lund University researchers in JAMA Psychiatry uncover overlapping genetic liabilities for major depression and bipolar disorder.