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USPTO Publishes Two RNAi-Related Patent Applications: Jun 26, 2008

Title: Compositions and Methods for the Treatment and Prevention of Neoplastic Disorders
Number: 20080145313
Filed: Aug. 30, 2007
Inventor: James Watson, Genesis Research & Development
According to the patent application’s abstract, the invention comprises “compositions for the treatment and/or prevention of cancer in a mammal by means of RNA interference … together with methods for the use of such compositions. The compositions comprise a small interfering nucleic acid molecule that suppresses expression of a target gene that is involved in an energy metabolism pathway, such as the glycolysis pathway, within a tumor cell; is involved in the biosynthesis of nucleotides in glycogen metabolism or is an electron carrier that works with ATP to provide metabolic energy; or is involved in transport of sugars, amino acids, and/or water-soluble vitamins, control of intercellular pH, or drug transport within a tumor cell.”

Title: Positionally Modified siRNA Constructs
Number: 20080146788
Filed: March 3, 2004 PCT Filed: March 3, 2004
Inventor: Balkrishen Bhat, Isis Pharmaceuticals
The invention, the patent application’s abstract states, provides “oligomeric compounds having sufficient complementarity to hybridize to a nucleic acid target and methods for their use in modulating gene expression. In one embodiment, the oligomeric compounds comprise double-stranded constructs wherein one of the strands capable of hybridizing to a nucleic acid target, and has a plurality of modified ribofuranosyl nucleosides at defined locations. The presence of modifications at such defined positions greatly enhances the properties of the corresponding compositions.”

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.