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IP Update: May 20, 2011

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Recent Patents in Bioinformatics, April — May 2011

US Patent 7,945,392. Methods and systems for drug screening and computational modeling based on biologically realistic neurons. Inventors: Peter Siekmeier, Steven Matthysse. Assignee: McLean Hospital Corporation.

The patent describes a method for screening a test drug for potential efficacy in treating schizophrenia. The abstract states that the approach includes "a computer model" that represents "a volume of disease-afflicted neural tissue comprising biologically realistic neurons" that are exposed to the potential drug for a period of time. The outcome of the exposure indicates whether the drug is a likely candidate for treating the disease.


US Patent 7,945,389. Information processing system using nucleotide sequence-related information. Inventors: Takamasa Kato, Takeo Morimoto. Assignee: Hitachi.

Describes a method for processing information on nucleotide sequences. The system will provide positional information on nucleotide sequences as well as associated semantic information.


US Patent 7,941,278. MicroRNA motifs. Inventors: Yu-Ching Chang, Yu-Yu Lin, Shiu-Chieh Lan, Cheng-Tao Wu, Chung-Cheng Liu. Assignee: Industrial Technology Research Institute.

The patent describes the development of computational methods for predicting microRNA motifs for a target gene or a set of target genes.


The Scan

Call to Look Again

More than a dozen researchers penned a letter in Science saying a previous investigation into the origin of SARS-CoV-2 did not give theories equal consideration.

Not Always Trusted

In a new poll, slightly more than half of US adults have a great deal or quite a lot of trust in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Hill reports.

Identified Decades Later

A genetic genealogy approach has identified "Christy Crystal Creek," the New York Times reports.

Science Papers Report on Splicing Enhancer, Point of Care Test for Sexual Transmitted Disease

In Science this week: a novel RNA structural element that acts as a splicing enhancer, and more.