Solid organ transplantation has saved many lives since its first success in 1954. Prior to that landmark day, the greatest obstacle to transplantation success was the recipients rejection of the transplanted organ. Although much has been learned about the immune response to transplant, organ rejection remains a prevalent clinical problem. Recent advances in the fields of genomics and proteomics have opened the door to patented new technologies for detecting rejection episodes in transplanted patients, and are even beginning to prospectively diagnose the risk of rejection based on donor and recipient biomarkers. This report briefly discusses transplant rejection, with highlights of published manuscripts that incorporate current assays utilizing genomic and or proteomic methods to detect rejection, reviews patents that focus on detection or therapy of transplant rejection, and concludes with a prospective discussion of future developments in the field of transplant rejection.
Scientific breakthroughs have often led to commercially viable patents mainly in the field of engineering. Commercialization in the field of medicine has been restricted mostly to machinery and engineering on the one hand and therapeutic drugs for common chronic ailments such as cough, cold, headache, etc, on the other. Sequencing of the human genome has attracted the attention of pharmaceutical companies and now biotechnology has become a goldmine for commercialization of products and processes. Recent advances in our understanding of basic biological processes have resulted in the opening of new avenues for treatment of human genetic diseases, especially single gene disorders. A significant proportion of human genetic disorders have been shown to be caused due to degradation of transcripts for specific genes through a process called nonsense mediated decay (NMD). The modulation of NMD provides a viable therapeutic option for treatment of several genetic disorders and therefore has been a good prospect for patenting and commercialization. In this review the molecular basis for NMD and attempts to treat genetic diseases which result from NMD are discussed.
Dehydration is a major form of osmotic stress in cells. Physiological and molecular basis of dehydration stress responses in cells and organisms has been intensively researched over past years. Almost all of the patented dehydration stress tolerance genes from different organisms were used in engineering drought tolerance in crop plants. In spite of the moral, religious and ethical controversies surrounding use of foreign DNA sequences in crop plants, the numbers of such patents has grown tremendously in recent years. In future, we might witness another rise in patents on use of dehydration stress related gene sequences in creating environmental stress tolerant biological control agents for plant disease and insect pest management in agriculture. This review summarizes some of the recent published patents related to drought tolerance genes and their use.
This work categorizes a number of patents related to Bacillus thuringiensis insecticidal crystal proteins. The patents are classified into groups according to the type of toxins appearing in the claims. The purpose of the summary is to promote the application of B. thuringiensis insecticidal crystal proteins and the development of patentable technologies.
With tremendous progress in next generation sequencing technologies, it has become possible to perform genomic sequencing in a highly cost-effective manner. However, the human genome remains too complex to be routinely re-sequenced. Thus, selective gene amplification is often employed to target a subset of genomic regions (such as a set of disease-related genes) for deep sequencing analysis. Herein, we briefly review patents that can enrich target genomic regions of interest to harness the power of NextGen sequencing technology for basic and translational biomedical research.
A complex human tissue harbors stem cells that are responsible for its maintenance or repair. These stem cells have been isolated also from dental tissues such as the periodontal ligament, dental papilla or dental follicle and they may offer novel applications in dentistry. This following review summarizes patents about dental stem cells for dental tissue engineering and considers their value for regenerative dentistry.
The mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) plays an important role in cell growth. Dysfunction of mTOR has been linked to many human diseases, such as cancers, obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and neurological disorders. Currently, the mTOR inhibitor rapamycin and its analogs have been vigorously evaluated and developed as anticancer drugs. Here, we will review the most recent patents and patent applications relating to mTOR pathway. Moreover, we will discuss the patents and patent applications on the treatment of mTOR-associated metabolic diseases and cancers.
Genomics and molecular markers provide new tools to assemble and mobilize important traits from different genetic backgrounds, including breeding lines and cultivars from different parts of the world and their related wild ancestors, to improve the quality and yield of the existing commercial cultivars to meet the increasing challenges of global food demand. The basic techniques of marker-assisted breeding, such as isolating DNA, amplifying DNA of interest using publicly available primers, and visualizing DNA fragments using standard polyacrylamid gel, have been described in the literature and, therefore, are available to scientists and breeders without any restrictions. A more sophisticated highthroughput system that includes proprietary chemicals and reagents, parts and equipments, software, and methods or processes, has been a subject of intensive patents and trade secrets. The high-throughput systems offer a more efficient way to discover associated QTLs for traits of economic importance. Therefore, an increasing number of patents of highly valued genes and QTLs is expected. This paper will discuss and review current patents associated with genes and QTLs utilized in marker-assisted breeding in major grain crops. The availability of molecular markers for important agronomic traits combined with more efficient marker detection systems will help reach the full benefit of MAS in the breeding effort to reassemble potential genes and recapture critical genes among the breeding lines that were lost during domestication to help boost crop production worldwide.
PrP, the principal factor modulating resistance/susceptibility to transmissible spongiform encephalopathies, is a well conserved protein bearing strong phylogenetic information, in spite of its relatively short sequence. The construction of the PrP tree allows inferring the probable ancestral sequence for Bovidae where variants were recorded. This ancestral PrP sequence is constituted by a series of 5 octa-repeats, 3 α-helices and 2 β-strands which combines together to form an antiparallel β-sheet. The appearance of a 6th octa-repeat in the Bovinae ancestor during the evolution of Cetartiodactyla is discussed. Additionally, the variation of the substitution rates of amino acids along the sequence revealed that the sites associated to resistance/susceptibility to TSE are mostly located in conservative regions, including α-helices and β- strands. The composition of most variants very sensitive to TSE in sheep and human corresponds to derived sequences compared to the Eutherian ancestor. However, a homozygous resistant variant in sheep differs from the ancestral state.