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DNA Amplification by Electric Field Cycling (efc-PCR)

Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) is a popular technique for amplifying and quantifying minute quantities of DNA. Technologies based on PCR are used for a wide range of applications, including forensics, disease detection, and laboratory tools. Researchers at UCI have developed a device that can implement a novel method for PCR based on voltage cycling as opposed to temperature cycling (the current method for PCR). This allows the device to be much more portable and compact than those currently available.

New label-free method for direct RNase activity detection in biological samples

Researchers at the University of California, Davis have developed a new and simple, label-free method to detect milligram levels of RNase activity in undiluted biological samples that is selective, accurate and scalable

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.

Novel cyanobacteriochromes responsive to light in the far-red to near-infrared region

Researchers at the University of California, Davis have identified new cyanobacteriochromes (CBCRs) that detect and fluoresce in the far-red and near-infrared region of the electromagnetic spectrum.

Fluorescent Biosensor for Cyclic GMP-AMP (cGAMP)

The cGAS-cGAMP-STING pathway is an important immune surveillance pathway which gets activated in presence of cytoplasmic DNA either due to a microbial infection or a patho-physiological condition, including cancer and autoimmune disorders. Sensing 2’3’ cGAMP level is important in diagnostics perspective as well as in basic understanding of their regulation.  Small molecule activators of this pathway have also been shown to activate an anti-cancer immune response and thus an important use for pharmaceutical applications. However, a high throughput method to screen for such potential drugs is still not available. UC Berkeley researchers have designed a RNA-based fluorescent biosensor for directly detecting 2’3’ cGAMP. The biosensor was able to detect 2’3’ cGAMP and assay cGAS activity in vitro and thus would be useful for high throughput screening of small molecule modulators of cGAS activity.  The biosensor was sensitive enough to quantify 2’3’ cGAMP in dsDNA- stimulated mammalian cell extracts. 

Transposon Vector for Vertebrate & Invertebrate Genetic Manipulation

Background: Therapeutic delivery of genes is a rapidly evolving technique used to treat or prevent a disease at the root of the problem. The global transgenic market is currently $24B, growing at an annual projected rate of 10%. Currently, a variation of this technique is widely used on animals and crops for production of desirable proteins, but this is a heavily infiltrated market. Thus, entering the gene therapy segment is more promising and would enhance the growth of this industry.  Brief Description: UCR Researchers have identified a novel transposon from Aedes aegypti mosquitoes. This mobile DNA sequence can insert itself into various functional genes to either cause or reverse mutations. They have successfully developed a transposon vector system that can be used in both unicellular & multicellular organisms, which can offer notable insight to improve current transgenic technologies as well as methods of gene therapy.

Markers to Identify Primary Cells from Tumor Biopsies

Researchers at UC Irvine have developed a novel immunofluorescent imaging strategy to identify cell subsets of interest, in particular cancer stem cells, endothelial progenitor cells, and other primary adherent cells from tumor biopsies.

Cell Identification Strategy Using Functionalized Micropallet Arrays

Cell identification is an important procedure for many applications. Current processing methods for single cell identification from a large heterogeneous population face drawbacks such as loss of cell morphology, removal of surface markers, damage to the membrane, and loss of cell viability.Therefore, an improved method for single cell identification that preserves cell viability and overcomes the previously mentioned limitations is desired. Researchers at UC Irvine have invented a method to identify and collect single adherent cells from a mixed population using an existing micropallet array platform. This allows users to identify and extract single cells from a mixed population for subsequent studies or processing.

Real-Time, Label-Free Detection of Nucleic Acid Amplification in Droplets Using Impedance Spectroscopy and using Solid-Phase Substrates

Researchers at UC Irvine have developed a technology to detect the presence of nucleic acid amplification in a droplet. This technology yields real time detection of DNA or RNA amplication in a high throughput integrated microfluidic platform.

Dielectrophoresis-Based Cell Destruction to Eliminate/Remove Unwanted Subpopulations of Cells

This invention allows for label free cell separations and cell enrichment.


This invention enables the direct measurement of the comprehensive activity of multiple kinase enzymes simultaneously, thereby enabling the mapping of functional kinase networks.   

Novel IGF2 Signalling Inhibition

Researchers at the University of California Davis have developed novel proteins for the inhibition of IGF2 signaling without adversely affecting glucose metabolism.

A Method For Autocatalytic Genome Editing

The CRISPR/CAS9 (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats/CRISPR-associated genes) system has been found to be adaptable to nearly every organism studied including mammalian cells, fruit flies, and plants.  The broad adaptability of this system has lead in the past year to significant strides in refining the methodology and in the generation of many additional applications.  The innovation we propose is based solidly on existing technologies and should work in flies, mosquitos, human cells, and plants. 

The Reconstruction Of Ancestral Cells By Enzymatic Recording

This invention enables the barcoding of individual cells at the DNA level, thereby facilitating lineage tracing of cells. 

A Method for Producing Guide RNA Molecules for CRISPR Genome Editing

Guide RNAs are RNAs that guide the insertion or deletion of uridine into mitochondrial mRNAs in the process of RNA editing. They are also an essential component for clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR)-mediated genome editing, which has been widely used to knock out genes in human cells, rodents, zebra fish, C. elegans, Drosophila, yeast, and plants. The earlier methods for guide RNA production in vivo were limited to using U6 and U3 snRNA promoters. There was no reliable and efficient method for producing guide RNA in vitro.

Targeted biological signal enhancement

This research tool consists of a two-vector system that can recruit an amplified biological signal to intra-cellular targets of interest.

Markers To Identify Primary Cells From Tumor Biopsies

Researchers at UC Irvine have developed a novel immunofluorescent imaging strategy to identify cell subsets of interest, in particular cancer stem cells, endothelial progenitor cells, and other primary adherent cells from tumor biopsies.

A Novel Rapid and Highly Sensitive Cell Based System for the Detection and Characterization of HIV

Dr. Benhur Lee and colleagues in the UCLA Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Molecular Genetics have developed a novel system to detect and characterize HIV with unprecedented sensitivity and rapidity.  


The fate of somatic cells can be reprogrammed to the pluripotent state by the combination of a few transcription factors, resulting in induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs). One of the most important aspects of somatic cell reprogramming is the possibility of using iPSCs to model human diseases in order to recapitulate their development, pathology and drug responsiveness. Although the field of iPSCs has advanced significantly in recent years, much still remains unclear in the reprogramming process itself, the differentiation potential of cells and their future use in clinical therapy. Recent evidence suggests that iPSCs can exist in alternative states, which can influence the potential of cells to make different cell types. Thus, it has become critically important to develop an efficient method to identify and isolate these alternative states, which will provide tremendous insights in the reprogramming process and differentiation potential of the cells.

String Matching in Hardware using the FM-Index

UC Researchers have developed a Field-Programmable-Gate-Array (FPGA) based hardware implementation that utilizes the FM-Index for exact pattern matching for string searching.  This method of FM-Index string matching has a higher effective throughput than brute force due to the higher number of character comparisons per cycle performed by the FM-Index.  Further, the speed of this method is in the order of two orders of magnitude greater than Bowtie software tools and ten to seventy times faster than the traditional method using FHAST.  

Targeted Amplification of Mammalian Genome Sequences Using a Novel Deep Sequencing Approach: High Resolution Analysis of Mammalian Transcriptomes Using Designed Primers

Sequencing based approaches of gene expression analysis generate millions of sequence tags, thus providing the dynamic range required to investigate genes of low abundance. Currently available digital gene expression analysis systems offer the potential for high-throughput transcriptomic measurements, however truly quantitative data are routinely not obtained. The most widely used RNA-seq protocol relies upon fragmentation of mRNA generating a library of uniformly distributed fragments of mRNA. This protocol requires large amounts of starting material (100ng of mRNA) limiting its application in many fields such as in developmental biology, where it is impractical to get such large amounts. Furthermore, this protocol maintains the relative order of transcript expression resulting in poor representation of low abundance transcripts at current sequencing depths. Multireads and biases introduced by transcript length and random hexamer primer hybridization further restrict reliable quantitation of low abundance transcripts for large mammalian transcriptomes. While random priming strategies amplify starting material (mRNA or cDNA) by exploiting hybridization and extension potential of hexamer/heptamer primers, they often result in low yield of good quality reads arising out of mis-hybridization of primers and primer dimerization. In a recent experiment, the inventors used a widely available sequencer to generate sequence tags via random priming strategy. Only 18% of the reads mapped uniquely to the transcriptome and low abundant transcripts were significantly under-represented because of poor dynamic range. Since many genes (signal transduction, transcription factors) are only expressed at relatively low levels, currently available strategies fall short in statistically quantifying these genes.

Stable Human Embryonic Kidney 293 Cells Expressing Rpn11-Htbh

The 26S proteasome is the macromolecular machine of the ubiquitin proteasome-dependent degradation pathway that is responsible for most of the nonlysosomal protein degradation in both the nucleus and cytosol. It is involved in many important biological processes such as cell cycle progression, apoptosis, and DNA repair. Human proteasome complexes are conventionally purified by ultracentrifugation and multiple chromatographic techniques, which are time consuming and require a lot of materials. A strategy that allows for fast and effective purification of human proteasomes will be an important research tool. Researchers at the University of California, Irvine have developed a new affinity purification strategy for rapid and effective isolation of the human 26S proteasome. The 293 cell line is robust and can stably express Rpn11-HTBH. It is a cell line that allows the affinity purification of the human 26S proteasome under both native and denaturing conditions. It allows the purification of the human 26S proteasome complex after in vivo cross-linking.

Synthetic compound for quadricyclane labeling of multiple biomolecules without disrupting living systems

Bioorthogonal chemistry is a challenging frontier in synthetic biological research with specific boundaries in water stability, biocompatibility and reaction kinetics under physiological conditions. The multiplexed analysis of several biomolecules in a given system requires parallel use of a collection of bioorthogonal reactions. Current toolkits are limited by conventional synthetic transformations. Scientists at UC Berkeley have synthesized a Ni bis(dithiolene) species as reactive partner to quadricyclane to detect biomolecule labeling. The quadricyclane ligation offers a new class of reactivity for bioorthogonal reagents in multiplexed labeling experiments.On the one hand, current reactive groups for bioorthogonal reactions are large and/or not stable enough for metabolic incorporation into biomolecules. Quadricyclane’s small molecular size and limited reactivity with native biomolecules, alkenes, alkynes and cyclooctynes render it attractive for metabolic incorporation into biomolecules. On the other hand, limitations of quadricyclane ligation hinges on redox stability of the Ni bis(dithiolene) reagents and photostability of the ligation product. The Ni bis(dithiolene) compound developed at UC Berkeley entirely prevents photodegradation, subsequently allowing live cells to be treated without any apparent toxicity at mM concentrations.

A Semisynthetic Approach to Production of Keppra

UCLA researchers have designed novel metabolic pathways in E. Coli to easily produce the starting chiral synthons for Keppra synthesis from glucose.

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