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Two New RNAi-Related Patent Applications Published By US Patent Office


Title: Compositions and Methods for Generating Conditional Knockouts. Number: 20040045043. Filed: May 19, 2003. Lead Inventor: Robert Finney, Cell Therapeutics.

The patent application’s abstract states that the invention “provides vectors and methods for the generation of conditional knockout and knockdown cells and animals.”

These vectors, the abstract notes, “may be used to knock out or knock down an endogenous gene and conditionally regulate the expression of an endogenous or ectopic gene. Accordingly, the invention provides vectors and methods useful for the identification of disease-associated genes, generating animal models of disease, and identifying drug candidates.”

Specifically, the application claims “a method of regulating the expression of a gene in a cell” using a regulatory molecule such as an “mRNA disruption molecule, a ribozyme, a dsRNA, [or] an antisense RNA.”

Title: Purification of Oligomers. Number: 20040044190. Filed: July 23, 2003. Lead Inventor: Brian Sproat, Sirna Therapeutics.

According to the patent application’s abstract, the invention covers “compositions and methods … [that] facilitate purification of oligomers and other compounds. The compositions are silyl compositions that can be directly coupled, or coupled through a linking group, to a compound of interest, preferably to an oligomer at the end of oligomer synthesis,” the abstract states.

“The silicon atom includes between one and three sidechains that function as capture tags,” the abstract adds. “In one embodiment, the capture tags are lipophilic. In another embodiment, the capture tags are compounds with a known affinity for other compounds … preferably [ones] associated with a solid support to allow chromatographic separation.”

The Scan

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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.