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University of Kentucky Research Foundation, Gamida Cell, and Axis-Shield

The University of Kentucky Research Foundation has been awarded US Patent 7,345,160, “Aequorin and obelin mutants with differing wavelengths and bioluminescence.”
The inventors listed on the patent include Sylvia Daunert, Sapna Kamlakar Deo, Emre Dikici, and Laura Rowe.
According to its abstract, the patent relates to aequorin and obelin mutants whose emission is shifted with respect to wild type. The shift in emission is accomplished using a combination of mutations of amino acids within aequorin or obelin that affect bioluminescence; use of different types of chromophores, such as coelenterazines with variable emission characteristics; and modifications of the photoprotein with fluorophores that will allow for emission of light at longer wavelengths as a result of energy transfer. The patent also describes an assay using aequorin mutants to test for HIV-1 protease inhibitors, its abstract said.

Gamida Cell has been awarded US Patent 7,344,881, “Methods of expanding stem and progenitor cells and expanded cell populations obtained thereby.”
The inventors listed on the patent are Tony Peled, Avi Treves, and Oren Rosen.
The patent describes ex vivo and in vivo methods of expanding a population of stem and/or progenitor cells, while simultaneously reversibly inhibiting differentiation of these cells by providing them with an effective amount of at least one copper chelate, its abstract said.

Axis-Shield has been awarded US Patent 7,344,849, “Assay.”
The inventors listed on the patent are Erling Sundrehagen and Lars Orning.

According to the abstract, the patent discusses assay methods for the determination of cobalamin or vitamin B12 in a body fluid. The patent particularly focuses on assay methods for the metabolically active pool of cobalamin. Such assays comprise contacting a cell-free sample of a body fluid with an immobilized or immobilizable specific binding ligand for TC II or holo TC II, separating a ligand-bound fraction from a non-ligand-bound fraction, and then measuring the holo-TC II or TC-II bound cobalamin content.

The Scan

Study Finds Sorghum Genetic Loci Influencing Composition, Function of Human Gut Microbes

Focusing on microbes found in the human gut microbiome, researchers in Nature Communications identified 10 sorghum loci that appear to influence the microbial taxa or microbial metabolite features.

Treatment Costs May Not Coincide With R&D Investment, Study Suggests

Researchers in JAMA Network Open did not find an association between ultimate treatment costs and investments in a drug when they analyzed available data on 60 approved drugs.

Sleep-Related Variants Show Low Penetrance in Large Population Analysis

A limited number of variants had documented sleep effects in an investigation in PLOS Genetics of 10 genes with reported sleep ties in nearly 192,000 participants in four population studies.

Researchers Develop Polygenic Risk Scores for Dozens of Disease-Related Exposures

With genetic data from two large population cohorts and summary statistics from prior genome-wide association studies, researchers came up with 27 exposure polygenic risk scores in the American Journal of Human Genetics.