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Yale, Clarient, Vanderbilt, Mount Sinai, and UWash Win Cell-Based Assay-Related Patents

Yale University of New Haven, Conn., has been awarded US Patent No. 7,176,287, “Methods of detecting interactions between proteins, peptides, or libraries thereof using fusion proteins.”
Inventors listed on the patent are Andrew Hamilton, Indraneel Ghosh, and Lynne Regan.
According to its abstract, the patent protects a method for identifying a polypeptide that interacts with a known protein using fusion proteins with GFP fragments.

Clarient of Aliso Viejo, Calif., has been awarded US Patent No. 7,177,454, “Automated detection of objects in a biological sample.”
Inventors listed on the patent are Gina McLaren, Robert Ellis, James Douglass, Thomas Riding, and James Ring.
According to its abstract, the patent protects a method, system, and apparatus for automated light microscopic detection of proteins associated with cell proliferative disorders.

Vanderbilt University of Nashville, Tenn., has been awarded US Patent No. 7,179,613, “Methods of screening for a candidate modulator of glucokinase.”
Inventors listed on the patent are Mark Rizzo and David Piston.
According to its abstract, the patent protects methods of screening for modulators of glucokinase activity, expression, translocation, conformation, nitrosylation, and interaction with other molecules as a useful target for pharmacological manipulation in the treatment of diabetes and other glycemic disorders. Specifically, the method involves providing an insulin-responsive cell expressing a GK molecule; contacting said cell with a candidate substance; and measuring translocation of said GK molecule into the cytoplasm of the cell, wherein a change in the translocation of GK into the cytoplasm, as compared to that seen in a similar cell not treated with the candidate substance, indicates that the substance modulates the GK molecule.

Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York and the University of Washington in Seattle have been awarded US Patent No. 7,179,614, “Screening methods to identify compounds that modulate type I phosphodiesterase activity.”
Inventors listed on the patent are Robert Margolskee and Joseph Beavo.
According to its abstract, the patent protects novel methods of signal transduction in cells. In particular, the invention relates to signal transduction via a class of enzymes known as phosphodiesterase enzymes (PDE). The invention also relates to G-coupled protein receptors and G-proteins. The patent describes novel methods to screen for and identify G-proteins and other compounds which modulate signaling by these two classes of proteins. In particular, the invention relates to assays that identify compounds that modulate binding between a PDE polypeptide and an effector activation domain of a G-protein, the abstract states.

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.