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Veeco Instruments, University of Pennsylvania, Millipore, Aruna Biomedical, The Automation Partnership, MDS, Molecular Devices

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UPenn’s Nano-Bio Interface Center Using Veeco’s BioScope II AFM
 
Veeco Instruments this week said that the University of Pennsylvania has been using the company’s new BioScope II atomic force microscope to help it in its advanced biophysics research.
 
The university's Nano-Bio Interface Center, based in Philadelphia, focuses on research “at the intersection of biology and nanotechnology,” Veeco said.
 
Financial terms were not disclosed.
 
Dennis Discher, a professor in the university's Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, was one of the first customers to receive the BioScope II when the instrument debuted last year. His group has been using it in their study of neurons.
 
The BioScope II mounts onto an inverted optical microscope, “so we were able to get high-resolution images of a neuron's growth cone using [the microscope] that complement and extend the information from fluorescence microscopy," Discher said in a statement.
 
"The marriage of high-resolution structural data with fluorescence immuno-staining that can identify the location of specific proteins of interest is opening new avenues of research in cell biology,” he added.
 
The BioScope II AFM, integrated with an inverted optical or confocal microscope, enables novel in situ techniques for measuring biological samples in three dimensions, Veeco said in the statement.
 
It can be used for spatial identification of protein molecules and cellular structures, investigations of cell response to mechanical stimulation and nano-manipulation, and in situ pharmacological studies of live cells, according to the company.
 

 
Millipore Licenses, Will Sell Neural Stem Cells Made by Aruna Biomedical
 
Millipore said this week it has licensed and will market and distribute neural progenitor cells and optimized media made by Aruna Biomedical.
 
Terms of the deal call for Millipore to acquire an exclusive worldwide license to distribute these neural progenitor cells, which are derived from human embryonic stem cells registered with the US National Institutes of Health.
 
Millipore said it will market the cells under the ENStem brand name and package them as a kit with optimized growth media and substrates. The cells can be used in various studies, including Alzheimer’s, spinal cord injury and depression, Millipore said.
 

 
Stem Cell Sciences Installs Automation Partnership’s Cell Culture System
 
The Automation Partnership this week said that Stem Cell Sciences has installed a Compact Select automated cell culture system at its new facility in Cambridge, UK.
 
SCS, which supplies stem cells worldwide, will use the Compact Select to culture several different human and mouse stem cell lines, which it will market to pharmaceutical companies.
 
Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
 

 
MDS Extends Offer to Buy Molecular Devices to Meet Foreign Regulations
 
MDS has extended to March 19 its offer to buy Molecular Devices in order to give it additional time to meet “certain foreign regulatory conditions,” MDS said this week.

The company still expects the deal to close within the next few weeks. It is in the process of meeting regulatory requirements, MDS spokesperson Catherine Melville told CBA News sister publication GenomeWeb News.  

In January, the companies agreed to a deal under which MDS would buy Molecular Devices for $615 million in cash, or $35.50 a share, for all of Molecular Devices’ common stock.

 

 
Leading Research Institutions Release 'Good Practice' Tech-Transfer Guidelines
 
Universities that want to license internally developed technology to the private sector should reserve the right to use their own inventions and strive to minimize the extent to which "future improvements” to these technologies are licensed, according to newly released tech-transfer guidelines.
 
These suggestions are part of a white paper released last week by a group of leading research universities and the Association of American Medical Colleges that aims to protect the public interest in cases when university-developed technologies are licensed to private parties.
 
The white paper, entitled “In the Public Interest: Nine Points to Consider in Licensing University Technology,” is designed to encourage groups to pen tech-transfer agreements in order to propagate university-generated technologies, according to a statement from Stanford University, one of the authoring institutions.
 
“It may very well be the first document that comes from the community that suggests a set of good practices for the rest of the community,” Katherine Ku, director of technology licensing at Stanford, said in a statement.
 
Stanford said that the white paper, which can be seen here, grew out of a meeting on its campus last July that brought together university research officers and technology licensing directors from leading US research institutions.
 
The paper suggests the following nine points: 
  • Universities should reserve the right to practice licensed inventions, and to allow other nonprofit and governmental organizations to do so;
  • Exclusive licenses should be structured in a manner that encourages technology development and use;
  • Strive to minimize the licensing of "future improvements;"
  • Universities should anticipate and help to manage tech-transfer-related conflicts of interest;
  • Ensure broad access to research tools;
  • Enforcement action should be carefully considered;
  • Be mindful of export regulations;
  • Be mindful of the implications of working with patent aggregators; and
  • Consider including provisions that address unmet needs, such as those of neglected patient populations or geographic areas, giving particular attention to improved therapeutics, diagnostics, and agricultural technologies for the developing world.
In addition to Stanford, the paper was signed by the California Institute of Technology; Cornell University; Harvard University; Massachusetts Institute of Technology; the University of California system; the University of Illinois, Chicago and UI-Urbana-Champaign; University of Washington; Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation; and Yale University; as well as the AAMC.
 

The Scan

US Booster Eligibility Decision

The US CDC director recommends that people at high risk of developing COVID-19 due to their jobs also be eligible for COVID-19 boosters, in addition to those 65 years old and older or with underlying medical conditions.

Arizona Bill Before Judge

The Arizona Daily Star reports that a judge weighing whether a new Arizona law restricting abortion due to genetic conditions is a ban or a restriction.

Additional Genes

Wales is rolling out new genetic testing service for cancer patients, according to BBC News.

Science Papers Examine State of Human Genomic Research, Single-Cell Protein Quantification

In Science this week: a number of editorials and policy reports discuss advances in human genomic research, and more.