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Wisconsin scientists discover a master key to microbes' pathogenic lifestyles

Wisconsin scientists discover a master key to microbes' pathogenic lifestyles

MADISON - For some microbes, the transformation from a benign lifestyle in the soil to that of a potentially deadly human pathogen is just a breath away.

Inhaled into the lungs of a mammal, spores from a class of six related soil molds found around the world encounter a new, warmer environment. And as soon as they do, they rapidly shift gears and assume the guise of pathogenic yeast, causing such serious and sometimes deadly afflictions as blastomycosis and histoplasmosis.

But how these usually bucolic fungi undergo such a transformation to become serious pathogens has always been a puzzle. Now, however, a team of scientists from the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health reports the discovery of a master molecular sensor embedded in the spores of the fungi that triggers the transformation. The finding is reported in the April 28 edition of the journal Science.

The discovery could lead to new treatments, and possibly vaccines for the diseases caused by these Jekyll and Hyde microbes, says Bruce Klein, a UW-Madison professor of pediatrics, internal medicine and medical microbiology and immunology, and the senior author of the new study.

"These microbes have to undergo an extreme makeover to survive in a host," says Klein, an authority on fungal diseases. "The million dollar question is was what controls this change? "

Klein and colleagues Julie C. Nemecek and Marcel Wuthrich identified a molecular sensor that is conserved in these six related dimorphic fungi found worldwide. The sensor, says Klein, is like an antenna situated in the membrane of the fungi's spores. It senses temperature, and when a spore finds itself at a comfortable 37 degrees Celsius, the body temperature of a human or other animal, it kick starts a genetic program that transforms the fungi into pathogenic yeasts.


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Biopolitics: Can't We All Just Get Along?

Biopolitics: Can't We All Just Get Along?

by Nigel M. de S. Cameron | posted 04/27/2006 10:00 a.m.

For years, some of us have been saying that the issues raised by advances in biotechnology will dominate the 21st century—not just because new technology is always fascinating, but also because they will become the key issues in our culture and our politics. Think of the culture war over abortion, and then think much, much bigger. We will move from taking human life to making and finally faking human life—by design.

The cloning/stem-cell debates have been a forerunner of that enlarged culture war. Yet it's important to make some things clear. Those of us who would be seen as "social conservatives" are not Luddites. We are not opposed to technology. We may be more skeptical than some as to its benefits or its harmlessness, because we tend to take a Judeo-Christian view of human nature. It is flawed; humans can do wonderful things, but they can also do incredibly evil things, and new technology always gives us the power to do more than we could have before. Furthermore, because we are flawed and finite, our technologies are flawed. Space shuttles explode. Microsoft Windows crashes. My PDA rearranged my schedule one day. We all have our own stories.

At a conference in Washington recently, the Center for American Progress made a push for "progressive" bioethics and against "bioconservatives." This is curious, because one of the most striking facts of our time is that just as economic and social "conservatives" have disagreed on key biopolicy issues, so also "progressives" are thoroughly divided. Many of them side with "conservatives" on a wide range of bioethics issues, from cloning to germline (inheritable) changes to the need for reform in the patenting of human genes.

Part of the problem lies with BIO, the trade group of the biotechnology industry. Many of their efforts are estimable: Biotech will lead to cures for many diseases, and we will welcome them. But the organization, which brought together nearly 20,000 people at a conference in Chicago this April, has for obscure reasons decided to take sides in the great debate about embryonic stem-cell research and cloning.

There are many reasons why their decision is strange. For one thing, whatever hype we may read in the press, the private investment in embryonic stem-cell research is tiny, and stem cells do not feature on standard lists of "10 most promising bio developments." Moreover, Pharma—the far larger group that represents drug manufacturers—has deliberately stayed out of the debate and takes no official line on the issue.

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Imago raises $3.4 million

Imago raises $3.4 million
Funds will support company's new British acquisition
By KATHLEEN GALLAGHER
kgallagher@journalsentinel.com
Posted: April 27, 2006

Just two weeks after announcing its first acquisition, Imago Scientific Instruments said it has raised $3.4 million of funding.

The Madison nanotechnology toolmaker will use the money to support the increase in operations that resulted from the acquisition and accelerate product line development at the company it acquired, said Timothy Stultz, Imago president and chief executive officer.


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Human organs for sale

Human organs for sale
By Debra Saunders

Two years ago, The New York Times ran a story about a 48- year-old Brooklyn woman who, facing death after years of dialysis treatments and failing health, received a kidney from a Brazilian peasant who was paid $6,000 for the organ. The chilling story bared the human misery that surrounds the black market on human parts.

Some donors faced ill health and even (unlike the recipients) prosecution. The kidney recipient talked to the Times reporter, but felt enough shame that she did not want her name in the newspaper.

Last week, The San Francisco Chronicle ran a story by reporter Vanessa Hua about a San Mateo, Calif., man who flew to Shanghai and paid $110,000 for a liver - with nary a thought about human- rights activists' contention that China has executed prisoners in order to harvest their organs. Not only was Eric De Leon's name in the paper, he even has a blog about his Shanghai transplant. The man clearly is not ashamed.

Last year, the Chinese deputy health minister admitted, as he promised reform, that the organs of executed prisoners were sold to foreigners. This month, the South China Morning Post reported that a leading Chinese transplant surgeon estimated that more than 99 percent of transplanted organs in China came from executed prisoners.


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Doyle signs order to market state as research center

Stem cell boost
Doyle signs order to market state as research center
By KATHLEEN GALLAGHER
kgallagher@journalsentinel.com
Posted: April 25, 2006

John Lough and his colleagues have been working with mouse embryonic stem cells for about two years, trying to create beating cells that might someday be used to fix ailing hearts.

Now the Medical College of Wisconsin researcher says he and his team are in the process of switching to human embryonic stem cells because they proliferate much faster when implanted into rat hearts than the mouse cells do.

"That could be one advantage of many," said Lough, a professor of cell biology and anatomy. "They're human cells and that's what we're about - human disease."

Lough was among the Medical College scientists and others who watched Gov. Jim Doyle sign an executive order Tuesday directing the state Department of Commerce to spend at least $5 million over an indefinite period of time to encourage more stem cell companies in Wisconsin.


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Embryonic stem cell research in Wisconsin isn't just about science — it raises complex moral issues.

An ethical dilemma
Embryonic stem cell research in Wisconsin isn't just about science — it raises complex moral issues.
By SUSANNE RUST and KATHLEEN GALLAGHER
srust@journalsentinel.com
Posted: April 24, 2006
Madison - Third of three parts

Susan Armacost and Ed Fallone are passionate about the morality of human embryonic stem cell research. They are also worlds apart.

Armacost, legislative director of Wisconsin Right to Life, says the destruction of embryos necessary to obtain the cells is murder. Her organization has added embryonic stem cell research to its traditional issues of abortion, euthanasia and assisted suicide.

Fallone, president of Wisconsin Stem Cell Now Inc., says it's wrong to put limits on research that many believe has the potential to cure diseases, including the juvenile diabetes that afflicts him, his father and his son. He formed his group to advocate for stem cell research in the state after President Bush was re-elected.

Here in Wisconsin - the cradle of human embryonic stem cell research, with no laws promoting or restricting it - the political and ethical conflicts on this issue are moving into the spotlight.

Human embryonic stem cells were first isolated in the lab of University of Wisconsin-Madison researcher James Thomson in 1998. Armed with critical patents and a planned research hub at UW that will encourage stem cell researchers from all walks of science to mingle with private industry, Wisconsin offers a hospitable environment for entrepreneurs in this field.

But whether human embryonic stem cell technology has a long-term future in the state depends on more than an agreement between science and industry. The deciding factor is a political consensus on what, if any, kind of embryonic stem cell research is morally and ethically acceptable - a consensus that Armacost and Fallone each claim their side already has, citing different polls that say 70% of the public supports their respective positions.

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From UW-Madison labs to the marketplace

From UW-Madison labs to the marketplace
Scientists, entrepreneurs and financiers are working to turn stem cell research into marketable products. A key aim of the effort: Cultivating new companies, and good jobs, right here in Wisconsin.
By KATHLEEN GALLAGHER and SUSANNE RUST
kgallagher@journalsentinel.com
Posted: April 23, 2006
Second of three parts

Madison - For years, two of Wisconsin's least-known exports have been among its most valuable: the intellectual and investment capital that help power the economic engines of states such as California and New York.

The Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation, among this country's most successful university patenting and licensing organizations, has licensed most of the University of Wisconsin-Madison's life sciences technologies to out-of-state companies.

The State of Wisconsin Investment Board - the 25th biggest pension fund in the world, managing $76 billion - has used firms that focus on places such as Boston and the Silicon Valley to make virtually all of its venture capital investments in young businesses.

Now human embryonic stem cells, first isolated in UW research labs, are providing a once-in-a-generation opportunity to change that dynamic.

Full story.

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Deleting data violates law

Deleting data violates law
By David Ziemer
Wisconsin Law Journal

March 15, 2006

What the court held

Case: International Airport Centers, L.L.C., v. Citrin, No. 05-1522.

Issue: Does an employee violate the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act by erasing all the data from a laptop loaned to him by his employer?

Holding: Yes. Using a secure-erasure program is a "transmission" that damages the computer, and is thus, within the ambit of the Act.

The Computer Fraud and Abuse Act’s (CFAA) prohibition on transmitting a program, in order to damage a computer, includes erasing all the data from a laptop.

The Seventh Circuit’s Mar. 8 opinion also held it doesn’t matter whether the perpetrator has physical access to the computer or damages it from a remote location.

According to the complaint, Jacob Citrin was employed by International Airport Centers, L.L.C. (IAC), a real estate company, to identify properties that IAC might want to acquire, and to assist in any ensuing acquisition. IAC lent Citrin a laptop for his use.

Citrin decided to quit IAC and go into business for himself, in breach of his employment contract. Before returning the laptop, however, he deleted all the data in it, including data that purportedly would have revealed improper conduct on his part to IAC.

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Stem cell work crosses boundaries

Stem cell work crosses boundaries
UW scientists aim to make Wisconsin the epicenter of a medical revolution
By SUSANNE RUST and KATHLEEN GALLAGHER
srust@journalsentinel.com
Posted: April 22, 2006

First of three parts

Madison - The work of Wisconsin stem cell scientists is re-emerging as some of the most promising in the world, eight years after the era of human stem cell research dawned in a lab here.

The focus on fundamental research at the University of Wisconsin-Madison has been eclipsed at times by the quest for dramatic breakthroughs and massive government funding elsewhere.

But private companies trying to leapfrog to a clinical breakthrough have yet to turn a profit, South Korea's program fell from grace when its leading scientist was caught fabricating his findings, and a court battle looms over California's $3 billion stem cell initiative.

Meanwhile, UW-Madison has quietly built a critical mass of scientists across a wide range of disciplines, creating a tight-knit research hub unlike any other institution in the world. Those scientists have seized the opportunity to work with stem cells in unexpected ways.

In departments as diverse as pediatrics and electrical engineering, researchers tinker with human embryonic stem cells: growing them in vials and on plates, immersing them in vats of liquid nitrogen, twisting and stretching them with high-tech vacuums. They work not only to understand the fundamental biology of these cells, but also to build the tools and perfect the protocols that others will use to bring these cells into the clinics and hospitals of the future.

As world-class scientists thrive in an atmosphere of academic openness, Madison's stem cell technology has spread across campus, building a solid infrastructure for a nascent industry. Supporters hope their efforts will deliver embryonic stem cell research into a clinically successful future, adding billions to the state's economy.

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Judge OKs legality of California's $3 billion stem cell institute

Judge OKs legality of California's $3 billion stem cell institute

By PAUL ELIAS

The Associated Press

SAN FRANCISCO

California's novel, $3 billion stem cell research institute is a legitimate state agency and two lawsuits challenging its constitutionality have no merit, a state judge ruled Friday.

The ruling came a month after a four-day trial in which lawyers with connections to anti-abortion groups claimed the country's most ambitious stem cell research agency violated California law because it wasn't a true state agency and its managers had a host of conflicts of interest.

But Alameda County Superior Court Judge Bonnie Lewman Sabraw handed the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine an unambiguous victory, writing that the lawsuits failed to show the voter-approved law that created the agency in 2004, "is clearly, positively and unmistakably unconstitutional."

Lewman Sabraw's ruling becomes official in 10 days unless the losing attorneys come up with new and dramatically different arguments.

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Small companies learn they have to sniff out trademarks or land in court

Trademark search
Small companies learn they have to sniff out trademarks or land in court

Business First of Columbus - April 14, 2006by Kevin KemperBusiness

For more than seven years, Gary Rountree has been in business as a private investigator, and, until recently, his small Dublin-based company has been known as Intell North Investigations Inc.

But lawsuits have a way of changing things.

Brought to you by Cingular Intell North and Rountree were sued in January by Intel Corp., the world's best-known computer chip maker, for trademark infringement because Rountree's company name was too similar to Intel's.

Rountree settled the lawsuit March 15, is changing the company's name and will not talk about the details. He does say, however, that even though he believes he didn't do anything wrong, he had no choice.

"You can't win. You're not going to beat them," Rountree said. "A small guy like me can't afford it."

Intell North isn't the only Central Ohio company to tangle with Intel recently. Columbus-based Internet Transaction Solutions Inc. filed a lawsuit against Intel in U.S. District Court in Columbus in January after Intel sent ITS a letter that threatened litigation.

Intel's letter said ITS's marketing slogan, "ePayments Inside," is a rip-off of Intel's "Intel Inside" slogan, according to the ITS lawsuit. Intel filed a countersuit the same month in federal court in San Francisco that alleged ITS infringed on its "Inside" brand.

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Court Halts Bogus Invention Promotion Claims

Court Halts Bogus Invention Promotion Claims

Orders $26 Million in Redress For Consumers; USPTO’s Director Jon Dudas Praises Court Decision

A U.S. district court judge has ordered an invention promotion operation to pay $26 million in consumer redress and has ordered a permanent halt to the bogus claims the company used to recruit customers. The court also ordered that in future dealings with consumers, the company make specific, detailed disclosures about their track record in helping inventors market their ideas. “This affirmative disclosure statement is needed due to defendants’ blatant, varied, and repeated misrepresentations . . . ” Judge Gary L. Lancaster of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania wrote in his decision.

“This outfit is typical of invention promotion scams,” said Lydia Parnes, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. “They touted their ability to turn inventors’ ideas into profitable products, but fewer than one percent of the customers who invested in their services got royalties from their patents that amounted to more than they paid the promoters.”

In a complaint filed by the FTC as part of “Project Mousetrap,” the agency charged that the company used Internet ads and classified ads to lure inventors across the country to sign up for their services. The agency charged that they made false claims about their selectivity in choosing products to promote, false claims about their track record in turning inventions into profitable products, and false claims about the relationship they had with manufacturers. They deceptively claimed that their income came from sharing royalties with inventors rather than from the $800 to $12,000 fees they charged inventors.

Jon Dudas, Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property commented, “Judge Lancaster’s decision sends a strong signal to all those invention promotion and licensing firms that prey upon America’s independent inventor community that fraudulent and unscrupulous practices will not be tolerated.”

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Research hub at UW moves ahead

Research hub at UW moves ahead
State Building Commission OKs construction
By STACY FORSTER and SUSANNE RUST
sforster@journalsentinel.com
Posted: April 19, 2006

Madison - The state Building Commission Wednesday voted 7 to 1 to approve the construction of a major biomedical research center on the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus.

With the vote, the commission took the final step necessary to launch the Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery, expected to be a major hub for stem cell and other biomedical and scientific research that will be the first of its kind in the Midwest.

But before that vote, the commission changed the original proposal to add the presence of an outside evaluator to the process of developing the institute.

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Embryonic Stem Cell Research Briefing

Senator Rick Santorum And Congressmen Roscoe Bartlett And Phil Gingrey Host

Article Date: 11 Apr 2006 - 0:00am (PDT)

On April 5, 2006, Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA) and Congressmen Roscoe Bartlett (R-MD) and Phil Gingrey (R-GA) hosted an Embryonic Stem Cell Research briefing for Congressional staff. The briefing presented details about four proposed techniques for deriving embryonic stem cell lines without harming embryos that were outlined in The President's Council on Bioethics "White Paper" released in May 2005. Congressman Bartlett, who has a Masters and a Doctorate in Human Physiology, and Dr. Donald Landry of Columbia University, Dr. William Hurlbut of Stanford University, and Father Nicanor Pier Giorgio Austriaco, O.P., Ph.D. of Providence College presented information about the techniques. Photo: L-R Dr. Landry, Dr. Hurlbut, Father Austriaco and Congressman Bartlett.

Contrary to many reports, there are currently no limitations on the private sector's ability to support and fund embryonic stem cell research. The use of federal dollars has been more limited as this research has required the destruction of human embryos, a very real ethical concern to many Americans. The briefing provided information about how the federal government could take a non-controversial route of federally funding research on ways to derive stem cells with embryonic-like qualities without harming or destroying human embryos, thus allowing for research to move forward in a way everyone agrees is ethical.

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UW-Madison improves patent ranking

The University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2005 was the nation's fifth most productive intellectual property setting among U.S. universities, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) announced.

UW-Madison, with 77 patents awarded in 2005, moved up three notches in the rankings of universities or university systems with the most intellectual property activity. In 2004, UW-Madison ranked eighth with 64 patents.

"The number of patents on technologies emerging from UW-Madison is a direct indicator of the quality of our faculty," says Carl Gulbrandsen, managing director of the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF), the private nonprofit organization that obtains patents and manages intellectual property on behalf of the university. "That we consistently rank in the top 10 among universities suggests we're doing something right, that we're successfully moving ideas from the lab to the marketplace."

Among the 77 patents awarded to WARF in 2005 is one for a drug to combat the bone-wasting effects of osteoporosis, developed by UW-Madison biochemistry professor Hector DeLuca. Another enhances the effectiveness, speed and image quality of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans, an invention by Charles Mistretta, a UW-Madison professor of medical physics and radiology.

Wisconsin also has nearly 100 companies based on patents stemming from UW-Madison research.

Continue reading "UW-Madison improves patent ranking" »

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Affinity Introduces New Service

Affinity Introduces New Service that Improves Return on Investment on Technology Investment Dollars

Milwaukee, WI – March 31, 2006 – Affinity, Inc. announced today its launch of their Technology Adoption Solution. The offering provides a process driven approach to managing and implementing necessary changes, in order to increase the use of new technology. The results are greater returns on technology investments and enhanced business performance.

Adoption has been identified, as one of the largest issues in realizing optimal benefits in technology investments. The Affinity solution enables organizations to affect the rate at which users adopt new systems. Adoption also identifies issues related to training, systems and process, providing resolve recommendations and a method to measure success.

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Imago acquires Oxford nanoScience

Madison firm secures niche in nanotech tools industry
Imago acquires Oxford nanoScience
By KATHLEEN GALLAGHER
kgallagher@journalsentinel.com
Posted: April 11, 2006

Imago Scientific Instruments Corp. has closed on the acquisition of an Oxford University spinoff that gives the Madison nanotechnology toolmaker nearly all of the patents in its industry niche and a doorway into European markets.

The acquisition Tuesday of Oxford nanoScience, for an undisclosed price, gives Imago ownership of nearly all the patents for atomic probe microscopy, said Timothy Stultz, Imago's president and chief executive officer.

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Brittlestar provides new model for stem cell research

Brittlestar provides new model for stem cell research

Scientists at the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences Kristineberg Marine Research Station are using the brittlestar as a new model for studying stem cells, allowing them to do experiments that avoid the ethical issues associated with human and vertebrate research. The brittlestar, Amphiura filiformis, is a close relative of the starfish and can regenerate lost arms in a matter of weeks. Sam Dupont and Mike Thorndyke are presenting their latest work on Friday 7th April at the Annual Meeting for the Society for Experimental Biology [session A8].

"What is really amazing is that the nervous system starts to be functional only a few days after the beginning of regeneration", says Dr Sam Dupont, "It is a more realistic model for stem cell biology because we can study the cells in the living organism, not just in culture in the lab."

Continue reading "Brittlestar provides new model for stem cell research" »

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Scientists discuss moral obligations, stem-cell research

Scientists discuss moral obligations, stem-cell research
By James Fuller
Daily Herald Staff Writer
Posted Wednesday, April 05, 2006

While visiting a lab, Dr. William Hurlbut once observed a minuscule human hand in a test tube grown from a bud snipped from an aborted fetus.

The scientist in him sparked his first impression of what he saw. Someday, full-sized human hands could be grown for thousands of people who endured an amputation.

Then the ethicist in him that would one day land him a spot on President George W. Bush’s Council on Bioethics awakened him to the moral problem faced by every stem-cell researcher.

“That was going to be somebody’s little hand,” Hurlbut said.

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Neoclone scores financing on 2nd try

Neoclone scores financing on 2nd try
Angels invest after seeing profit potential
By KATHLEEN GALLAGHER
kgallagher@journalsentinel.com
Posted: April 6, 2006

A Milwaukee-based angel group has made a $390,000 investment in NeoClone LLC, after the custom antibody-maker convinced the group that it could turn a profit.

NeoClone first approached the angel group called Silicon Pastures in late 2002 about making an investment.

The group declined - essentially because its members couldn't figure out how NeoClone was going to make money.

Fast forward a little more than three years, and the story has changed dramatically.

Silicon Pastures, which has 13 members, on Monday closed on the $390,000 stake in NeoClone.

"They were a science story. They had licensed technology from WARF but they couldn't tell us about sales in such a way we could get to the predictable sales we wanted to see," said Pehr Anderson, managing director for Silicon Pastures.

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Patent workers begin 'hoteling'

Patent workers begin 'hoteling'
By Tom Ramstack
April 6, 2006


The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office started operating a "hoteling" program last month that allows patent examiners to telecommute from home four days a week and use a shared office space on the fifth day.

Other federal agencies are monitoring the program as a means of reducing their need for leased office space.

"Ultimately, if hoteling becomes the norm, there wouldn't be as much need for expansion space," said Jo-Anne Barnard, senior adviser to the Patent and Trademark Office's chief administrative officer.

She spoke on federal government real estate contracting at a conference yesterday at Union Station sponsored by real estate services firm Jones Lang LaSalle.

Full story.

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Netflix may face tough fight in Blockbuster patent suit

Netflix may face tough fight in Blockbuster patent suit

By Gina Keating
Reuters
Wednesday, April 5, 2006; 9:43 PM

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Netflix Inc may face a tough fight in enforcing its patents for its pioneering online DVD rental service against rival Blockbuster Inc., but could reap substantial benefits if it wins or the companies settle, lawyers and analysts said on Wednesday.

Netflix on Tuesday sued Blockbuster in federal court in San Francisco, seeking an injunction to stop Blockbuster from infringing on two patents that protect Netflix's business method.

The patents cover Netflix's practice of having subscribers prioritize "queues," or lists of titles they want to rent, on Netflix's Web site, and of automatically replacing each DVD that is returned for the next title on the subscriber's queue.

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Stem Cells Can Repair Torn Tendons or Ligaments

04 April, 2006

Good News for Athletes from Hebrew University: Stem Cells Can Repair Torn Tendons or Ligaments

Weekend athletes who overexert themselves running or playing basketball may one day reap the benefits of research at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem that shows that adult stem cells can be used to make new tendon or ligament tissue.

Tendon and ligament injuries present a major clinical challenge to orthopedic medicine. In the United States, at least 200,000 patients undergo tendon or ligament repair each year. Moreover, the intervertebral disc, which is composed in part of tendon-like tissue, tends to degenerate with age, leading to the very common phenomenon of low-back pain affecting a major part of the population.

Until the present time, therapeutic options used to repair torn ligaments and tendons have consisted of tissue grafting and synthetic prostheses, but as yet, none of these alternatives has provided a successful long-term solution.

A novel approach for tendon regeneration is reported in the April issue of the Journal of Clinical Investigation. Researchers Prof. Dan Gazit and colleagues at the Skeletal Biotechnology Laboratory at the Hebrew University Faculty of Dental Medicine engineered mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), which reside in the bone marrow and fat tissues, to express a protein called Smad8 and another called BMP2.

When the researchers implanted these cells into torn Achilles tendons of rats they found that the cells not only survived the implantation process, but also were recruited to the site of the injury and were able to repair the tendon. The cells changed their appearance to look more like tendon cells (tenocytes), and significantly increased production of collagen, a protein critical for creating strong yet flexible tendons and ligaments.

Full story.

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Research hub at UW gets huge gift

Research hub at UW gets huge gift
Couple's $50 million donation is matched by foundation
By MEGAN TWOHEY, KATHLEEN GALLAGHER and SUSANNE RUST
mtwohey@journalsentinel.com
Posted: April 3, 2006

Madison - The University of Wisconsin-Madison has received $100 million in private funding to help build the Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery, a planned hub of biomedical research that will be the first of its kind in the Midwest.

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Internet Archive's value, legality debated in copyright suit

Internet Archive's value, legality debated in copyright suit

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - An ongoing lawsuit between a company and a popular archive of Web pages raises questions about whether the archive unavoidably violates copyright laws while providing a valuable service, according to attorneys and an independent law expert.

The San Francisco-based nonprofit Internet Archive was created in 1996 to preserve Web pages that will eventually be deleted or changed. More than 55 billion pages are stored there.

A health care company claims the archive didn't do enough to protect copyrighted information that helped a competing firm win a trademark suit.

The archive ``is just like a big vacuum cleaner, sucking up information and making it available'' to anyone with a Web browser, said Scott S. Christie, an attorney representing Healthcare Advocates Inc.

``That has some social value, but in doing so they are grabbing information that they're not entitled to,'' he said. ``More importantly, they are telling people that they will take it off the shelf if you do a certain thing a certain way -- but that didn't happen in this case.''

Carnegie Mellon University computer science professor Michael Shamos, an expert in Internet law, said archiving like that done by the Internet Archive is ``the biggest copyright infringement in the world,'' but said it is done in a way ``that almost nobody cares about.''

Full story.

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