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Sirna, Invitrogen, Quantum Dot, BioPixels, Georgia Tech


Sirna Issued Australian Patent on Expressed RNAi Against Huntington's Gene

Sirna Therapeutics reported this week that the Australian patent office has granted the company a patent covering expressed siRNAs targeting the Huntington's disease gene.

According to the company, this is the first patent granted anywhere in the world covering vector-expressed siRNAs against a disease gene. The patent claims, Sirna added, are not limited to a specific siRNA sequence or structure and broadly cover any vector expressed siRNA used against the HD gene.

The patent, No. AU 2005200828, is entitled "siRNA-Mediated Gene Silencing with Viral Vectors." It includes vector-expressed siRNAs with 3' -overhangs and blunt ends and short hairpin RNA, and also covers methods of using siRNAs to inhibit Huntington's disease gene expression, Sirna said.

Invitrogen to Acquire Molecular Labeling Firms Quantum Dot and BioPixels, Inks Nanocluster Licensing Deal with Georgia Tech

Invitrogen said this week that it will acquire Quantum Dot and the BioPixels business unit of BioCrystal, both molecular probe providers.

In addition, Invitrogen said it has struck a deal with Georgia Tech Research to exclusively license nanocluster technology.

"These acquisitions, when combined with the license from Georgia Tech, provide Invitrogen with a significant intellectual property position and robust platform for product development based on advanced inorganic materials science for molecular detection," Invitrogen's general manager of molecular probes, Augie Sick, said in a statement.

Invitrogen did not disclose the terms of the two acquisitions and the license agreement.

Quantum Dot offers biomolecular labeling and detection using its Quantum Dot semi-conductor nanocrystals, which emit bright light in a range of colors. BioPixels provides coatings and metal alloys for semi-conductor nanocrystals. Combining the two technologies will allow the creation of improved particles, according to Invitrogen.

The agreement with Georgia Tech gives the company access to nanoclusters that permit "true single molecule detection and representing another approach to the next generation of high sensitivity labeling and detection applications."

The Scan

Rise of BA.5

The New York Times reports that the Omicron subvariant BA.5 has become the dominant version of SARS-CoV-2 in the US.

UK Health Secretary Resigns

Sajid Javid, the UK health secretary, resigned along with Chancellor Rishi Sunak, saying they cannot work with Prime Minister Boris Johnson's government, CNN reports.

Clones From Freeze-Dried Cells

A team in Japan has cloned mice from freeze-dried skin cells, according to the Guardian.

Genome Research Papers on Craniosynostosis, Macaque Retrotransposition, More

In Genome Research this week: structural variants in craniosynostosis, LINE-1 activity in rhesus macaque brain, and more.