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Large Scale Biology Corporation, University of California

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The US Patent and Trademark Office has awarded another patent to Large Scale Biology Corporation for its automated 2D gel analysis system. US Patent No. 6,451,189 covers an automated computer-controlled method for imaging an electrophoresis gel to select specific spots for excision, storing spot position and abundance data in a database, and comparing the data with a database of 2D gel images to identify the proteins.

The University of California has been awarded US Patent No. 6,448,087 for a method that uses a solubility reporter to measure a protein’s solubility in vivo or in vitro. The reporter can be used in a single living cell to generate a signal indicating whether the protein of interest in the sample is soluble. The method includes the use of random mutagenesis methods to generate mutants of a protein, and the use of the reporter to screen for more soluble versions of the protein. Mutated variants can also be recombined to yield variants with further-enhanced solubility. The inventor, Geoffrey Waldo, is a researcher at the Los Alamos National Laboratory, which is operated by the University of California.

The Scan

Booster for At-Risk

The New York Times reports that the US Food and Drug Administration has authorized a third dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech SARS-CoV-2 vaccine for people over 65 or at increased risk.

Preprints OK to Mention Again

Nature News reports the Australian Research Council has changed its new policy and now allows preprints to be cited in grant applications.

Hundreds of Millions More to Share

The US plans to purchase and donate 500 million additional SARS-CoV-2 vaccine doses, according to the Washington Post.

Nature Papers Examine Molecular Program Differences Influencing Neural Cells, Population History of Polynesia

In Nature this week: changes in molecular program during embryonic development leads to different neural cell types, and more.