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In Brief This Week: Labcyte Granted Japanese Patent; JGI's IMG 2.9; MultiCell Awarded US Patent

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Labcyte said that the Japanese patent office has granted patent 4,309,131 which covers the design of a system that can sort cells based upon acoustic or other properties and then eject them specifically from a mixed population. It is the company's second Japanese patent. The firm said that it now has a total of 48 patents in Japan, Europe, and the US.

The US Department of Energy's Joint Genome Institute has released an upgrade of its Integrated Microbial Genomes resource. IMG 2.9, available here, includes more than a million new genes, user interface improvements, and protein expression data from a recent Arthrobacter chlorophenolicus study.

MultiCell Technologies said that it has been granted US Patent 7,566,567, which covers its Fa2N-4 and Ea1C-35 immortalized human hepatocyte cell lines. The cell lines were derived from normal human liver cells, and are nontumorigenic, stable in culture, and produce therapeutic plasma proteins in cell culture.

MultiCell said that it has licensed several pharmaceutical companies rights to use the Fa2N-4 cell line for drug toxicity applications, including Pfizer, Bristol-Myers Squibb, and Eisai Pharmaceuticals. In addition, MultiCell has granted Corning the rights to sell the Fa2N-4 cell line and media within the drug discovery and life science research markets for drug toxicity applications and for drug adsorption, distribution, metabolism and excretion studies.

MultiCell retains worldwide exclusive ownership of the Fa2N-4 and Ea1C-35 cell lines for all applications other than ADME/tox, including drug target identification and use of the cell lines for the production of therapeutic plasma proteins.

The Scan

Study Reveals New Details About Genetics of Major Cause of Female Infertility

Researchers in Nature Medicine conducted a whole-exome sequencing study of mote than a thousand patients with premature ovarian insufficiency.

Circulating Tumor DNA Shows Potential as Biomarker in Rare Childhood Cancer

A study in the Journal of Clinical Oncology has found that circulating tumor DNA levels in rhabdomyosarcoma may serve as a biomarker for prognosis.

Study Recommends Cancer Screening for Dogs Beginning Age Seven, Depending on Breed

PetDx researchers report in PLOS One that annual cancer screening for dogs should begin by age seven.

White-Tailed Deer Harbor SARS-CoV-2 Variants No Longer Infecting Humans, Study Finds

A new study in PNAS has found that white-tailed deer could act as a reservoir of SARS-CoV-2 variants no longer found among humans.