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Employing CRISPR-Cas9 to Target RNA in Live Cells

RNA's location in a cell -- and how and when it gets there -- can influence whether proteins are produced in the right location and at the appropriate time. For instance, proteins important to neuronal connections in the brain, known as synapses, are produced from RNAs located at these contacts. Defective RNA transport is linked to a host of conditions ranging from autism to cancer and researchers need ways to measure RNA movement in order to develop treatments for these conditions. As the intermediary genetic material that carries the genetic code from the cell's nucleus, scientists have long sought an efficient method for targeting RNA in living cells. RNA-programmed genome editing using CRISPR/Cas9 from Streptococcus pyogenes has enabled rapid and accessible alteration of specific genomic loci in many organisms. A flexible means to target RNA would allow alteration and imaging of endogenous RNA transcripts analogous to CRISPR/Cas-based genomic tools, but most RNA targeting methods rely on incorporation of exogenous tags.

Enhanced Method of Geomasking Builds Upon Donut Method Using Demographic Information

Researchers at the University of California, Davis have developed an enhanced geomasking method building upon the current “Donut Method” which considers demographic information when masking medical-related geographic data. In doing this, greater medical validity is preserved and greater research utility is acquired, all without substantial loss in anonymity.

Building blocks for 3D, modular microfluidics

Researchers at the University of CA, Irvine have developed modular microfluidic platforms consisting of microfluidic building blocks that can be connected in various configurations to construct complete microfluidic devices for different applications.

An Integrated Microfluidic Platform For Selective Extraction Of Single-Cell mRNA

The invention is a high-density, single-cell trapping array. A specialized probe tip can be precisely manipulated to non-destructively collect targeted intracellular material from the trapped cells for measurements. Due to the non-destructive nature of the invention, the integrity and function of the trapped cells can be preserved and they can be monitored over time to better understand disease processes.

Novel Method for Finding Low Abundance Sequences By Hybridization

This invention describes a novel method for enriching rare sequences in nucleic acid libraries.

Compositions and Methods using RNA Splicing Modulation to Selectively Impair Leukemic Cancer Stem Cells

The advancing age of the US population and increasing exposure to chemotherapy (for other malignancies) has resulted in increased rates of myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS). Following on the heels of MDS is progression to therapy-resistant acute myeloid leukemia (AML), which is predicted to rise significantly over the next few decades.  The heterogeneity of molecular abnormalities in therapy-resistant secondary acute myeloid leukemia (sAML) combined with a paucity of effective treatment options has resulted in high relapse-related mortality rates. In addition to approved therapies, many experimental agents also target epigenetic regulators of gene expression in clinical trials for sAML. However, most of these agents fail to improve patient survival, suggesting that epigenetic modifier therapies may reduce leukemic burden but may not effectively target a subpopulation of therapy-resistant leukemia stem cells that drive relapse. Hence, there is a critical need for developing clinical candidates with different modes of action. Recent studies implicate the spliceosome as a therapeutic vulnerability in solid tumors.

Enhanced Fluorescence Readout And Reduced Inhibition For Nucleic Acid Amplification Tests

UCLA researchers in the Department of Bioengineering have developed an enhanced fluorescent detection method for nucleic acid amplification tests.

Microfluidic Pressure Regulator For Robust Hydrogel Loading Without Bursting

This invention is aimed at controlling the pressure in 3D cell cultures. It consists of a combination of microfluidic channels, which surround the extracellular matrix (ECM), tunable pressure-regulated valves, which activate when a threshold pressure is reached in the ECM, and a repository, to direct excess gel away from the cell culture if the threshold pressure is exceeded. It can prevent leakage of gel between adjacent cell cultures in high-throughput arrays and is compatible with various cell culture materials and injection equipment.

Discriminating Naive Human Pluripotency

UCLA Researchers in the Department of Molecular, Cell, and Developmental Biology have developed a simple molecular approach to non-invasively distinguish and isolate human pluripotent stem cells that have reverted from the primed pluripotent state to the native state.

Continuous, enhanced detection of droplet contents in electrical impedance spectroscopy

The inventors at UCI have developed a method and system to make enhanced electrical impedance spectroscopy measurements in a continuously flowing train of microfluidic droplets. The technique increases the sensitivity of the electrical impedance spectroscopy measurements, lowering detection limits and increasing the frequency of continuous measurements.

Mechanical Phenotyping Of Single Cells: High Throughput Quantitative Detection And Sorting

UCLA researchers have developed a novel high throughput mechanically activated sorting (MACS) device. 

New 3D-Exoquant Method For The Analysis Of Surface Molecules And Quantification Of Tissue-Specific Exosomes In Biological Fluids

UCLA researchers in the Department of Neurology have developed a novel high sensitivity exosome and extracellular vesicle disease detection technology for use in the clinical and research setting. 

Patterning Silica Islands Onto Thermoplastic Shrink Film

Biosensors have a variety of applications from glucose monitoring to drug discovery. The ability to detect low concentration of analytes in biological samples is important for creating effective biosensors. Researchers at UCI have developed a novel lithographic method for capturing, concentrating, and identifying biological agents.

Controllable Emulsification And Point-Of-Care Assays Driven By Magnetic Induced Movement Of The Fluid

UCLA researchers in the department of Bioengineering have developed a novel microfluidic droplet generation technique, where instead of pumps, only magnetic force is used for controllable emulsification of ferrofluid containing solutions. 

Highly Wrinkled Metal Thin Films Using Lift-Off Layers

Wearable electronics are becoming a popular way of integrating personal healthcare with continuous, remote health monitoring, yet current devices are bulky and exhibit poor electronic performance. Wrinkled metal thin films can be utilized for their thin, flexible profiles, which conform well to the skin. Researchers at UCI have developed a novel method using specialized materials that results in wrinkled metal thin films that have enhanced mechanical and electrical performance.

Second Method For Nucleophilic Fluorination Of Aromatic Compounds With No-Carrier-Added [F-18] Fluoride Ion

UCLA researchers in the Department of Pharmacology have developed a novel aromatic nucleophilic fluorination reaction producing Fluorine-18 [F-18]-labeled aromatic compounds with extensive use in Positron Emission Tomography (PET).

Remotely-Activated Cell Therapy

The remote control of cellular activation in a controllable and reproducible fashion is a key tool for biological research, as well as for therapeutic uses. Cellular therapies are becoming well established within the medical community. However, the degree of cellular activation can be an unknown factor, and the risk of off-target effects remains. Cells may be delivered, but may not be therapeutically effective, or effective cells may elicit activity in an undesired location. The delivery of a cell therapy where a known quantity of cell activation occurs at a specific, selected site may therefore be advantageous. UC San Diego researchers have recently developed the methods and materials for remote control of cellular activation, to dynamically manipulate molecular events for therapeutic effect.

Safe And Targeted Electric Stimulation Of The Human Cranial Nerves

Neuromodulation (electrical stimulation of the nervous system) is used in cochlear and retinal implants, or deep brain stimulation devices to treat various neurological disorders (i.e. depression, Parkinson’s Disease). However, such approaches tend to be invasive and expensive. Researchers at UCI have developed a novel approach and device to stimulate the cranial nerves that is targeted, safe, and minimally-invasive for the treatment of diseases or the activation of senses.

Novel method for detection of O-Sulfonation sites on post-translationally modified proteins

Sulfonation of proteins and carbohydrates plays an important role in signaling, transport, and metabolism in the body. The degree to which a molecule is modified and at what positions dictates how that structure interacts within the body. UCI researchers have developed novel methods of detecting and mapping serine and threonine sulfonation of peptides and proteins.


The invention is a method for instantaneous and efficient extraction of radioactive isotopes with high specific activity, during continuous production at research reactors. The proposed method allows advantageous production of radioisotopes for various applications, including nuclear medicine uses (diagnostics, imaging, cancer treatments). In addition, the invention has the potential for applications related to isotopes used in thermoelectric generators (i.e. 238Pu) that power both medical devices, such as cardiac pacemakers, and deep space missions.

Reduced IP3 Signaling As A Diagnostic Tool For Autism Spectrum Disorders

The diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), and thus the development of therapies, is very challenging due to the lack of objective criteria and biomarkers. It is, however, a disease with a strong genetic component, and recent data has implicated new genes in the disease. Researchers at UC Irvine have developed a method to more reliably diagnose ASD with a laboratory test.

A non-destructive method of quantifying mRNA in a single living cell

The detection of levels of messenger RNA (mRNA), the molecule used by DNA to convey information about protein production, is a very important method in molecular biology. Current detection strategies, such as Northern Blotting and RT-PCR, require destruction of the cell to extract such information. Researchers at the University of California, Irvine have developed a method to non-destructively assess mRNA levels in a single living cell.

A Method For Accurate Parametric Mapping Based On Characterization Of A Reference Tissue Or Region

UCLA researchers in the Department of Radiological Sciences have developed a method to address the issue of B1+ field inhomogeneity that is becoming a persistent problem in higher field strengths. 

High-throughput planarian in vivo screening platform

UC San Diego investigators have developed a method of high-throughput screening (HTS) using freshwater planarians as a model. One use of this model is to screen chemical compounds. Conventional developmental toxicology testing is usually performed on mammals which is both expensive and low-throughput. A high-throughput inexpensive method capable of in vivo testing is highly desired whereby freshwater planarians could be used as an in vivo animal model.  Planarians are well suited to HTS, with their small size, sensitivity to chemicals, fast development and amenability to automated assays. These worms allow simultaneous assaying of adult and developing worms with the same assays, allowing direct comparison of the effects of chemicals on both populations. Furthermore, planarian brains are structurally similar to the mammalian brain, so that one can ascertain neurodevelopmental toxicity that is applicable to humans.


This invention identifies a mechanism for pausing development of pre-implantation embryos while retaining viability.

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