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Athersys Files Patents For 10,000-Plus Genes, Collaborates with Acorda



LEVELAND--Athersys, a genomics company based here, has filed US patent applications covering more than 10,000 novel gene sequences identified using the company’s Random Activation of Gene Expression for Gene Discovery technology. The company believes that many of these genes encode novel G-coupled protein receptors, secreted proteins, ion channels, protein kinases, proteases, and other potential drug targets and therapeutic candidates, based on bioinformatics and expression analysis. The RAGE-GD technology enables the activation and expression of any gene in the human genome, including those that are ordinarily silent in most tissues, without requiring the cloning of cDNA or genomic DNA sequences that encode specific genes, said Athersys.

In other news, Athersys has formed a functional genomics collaboration with Acorda Therapeutics of New York, to discover validated drug targets to treat certain central nervous system disorders, including spinal cord injuries and multiple sclerosis.

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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.