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The University of Texas System Board of Regents, Onyvax, Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft zur Forderung der Angewandten Forschung, and Caliper Life Sciences Awarded US Patents

The University of Texas System Board of Regents has been awarded US Patent 7,304,168, “Photo-caged fluorescent molecules.”
The inventors listed on the patent are Wen-Hong Li and YuRui Zhao.
The patent describes a class of photo-caged and cell permeable fluorescent molecules having high uncaging cross sections, robust fluorescence enhancement, and flexible chemistry for bioconjugation, its abstract said. According to the abstract, some of the photo-caged fluorescent molecules are derived from 6-chloro-7-hydroxy-coumarin 3-carboxamide. The fluorescent molecules are useful for cellular imaging applications and particularly for tracing the molecular transfer between cellular gap junctions. The abstract stated that fluorescent molecules also have an emission wavelength that spectrally complements with the emission wavelength of other fluorophores, enabling simultaneous multi-color imaging.

Onyvax has been awarded US Patent 7,303,911, “Prostate cell lines.”
The inventors listed on the patent are Peter Thraves and Andrew Sutton.
The patent discusses a derived cell line selected from a group consisting of the clones ONYCAP 1 and ONYCAP23. The cell lines are characterized as being prostate epithelial in origin, according to the abstract. It has historically been difficult to raise and maintain immortalized prostate cell lines in culture, the inventors said.

Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft zur Forderung der Angewandten Forschung has been awarded US Patent 7,303,885, “Screening method for candidate drugs.”
The inventors listed on the patent are Herwig Brunner, Ju Bernhagen, Robert Kleemann, Ralf Mischke, and Afroditi Kapurniotu.
The patent relates to methods for screening molecules and methods to detect protein-protein interactions, the abstract said. Specifically, the invention relates to methods for screening candidate drugs for treating or detecting MIF (macrophage migration inhibitor factor)-related diseases. To a certain extent, the invention involves detecting MIF/Jab1 (c-Jun activation domain binding protein) interactions as a basis for modulating cellular regulatory pathways and for identifying candidate drugs for MIF-related diseases. The patent also provides methods for the identification of molecules that dissociate or prevent interaction or binding between MIF and Jab1.

Caliper Life Sciences has been awarded US Patent 7,303,727, “Microfluidic sample delivery devices, systems, and methods.”
Inventors listed on the patent are Robert Dubrow; Michael Greenstein, Luc Bousse, and Khushroo Gandhi.
The patents provide methods and apparatus for delivering fluidic materials to sample destinations, including mass spectrometers for analysis, according to the abstract. Ideally, sample aliquots are electrosprayed from tapered spray tips of capillary elements into the orifices of mass spectrometric inlet systems, the abstract said. Sometimes, fluidic samples are orthogonally sprayed from capillary elements or other fluid conduits. Yet in other situations, the abstract stated, samples are sprayed after devices are rotated or otherwise translocated from sample sources to sample destinations. Samples can also be sprayed from flexed or deflected capillary elements at selected sample destinations.

The Scan

Pig Organ Transplants Considered

The Wall Street Journal reports that the US Food and Drug Administration may soon allow clinical trials that involve transplanting pig organs into humans.

'Poo-Bank' Proposal

Harvard Medical School researchers suggest people should bank stool samples when they are young to transplant when they later develop age-related diseases.

Spurred to Develop Again

New Scientist reports that researchers may have uncovered why about 60 percent of in vitro fertilization embryos stop developing.

Science Papers Examine Breast Milk Cell Populations, Cerebral Cortex Cellular Diversity, Micronesia Population History

In Science this week: unique cell populations found within breast milk, 100 transcriptionally distinct cell populations uncovered in the cerebral cortex, and more.