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first_imgNeil Fingleton, the man behind Doctor Who‘s Fisher King alien mask, has passed away at the age of 36.Named the United Kingdom’s tallest man in 2007, Fingleton died of a reported heart attack, according to BBC News.Standing at 7 feet 7.56 inches, the Englishman as a teenager moved to the US, where he helped the Holy Name Central Catholic High School basketball team earn the Central Massachusetts Division title in 2000.He moved on to play semi-professionally for the ABA (American Basketball Association), NBA, English Basketball League, and Liga ACB (Spanish basketball league). An injury forced him into retirement in 2007.“I have played professionally in Greece, Italy, [and] Spain,” Fingleton said in a Guinness World Records statement. “Now I am concentrating on acting and trying to move to LA soon to jump in with both feet so to speak.”The career change panned out, and the athlete-cum-actor appeared in 2011’s X-Men: FIrst Class (as “Russian General’s Bodyguard 1”), 2013’s 47 Ronin (as “Lovecraftian Samurai”), and 2015’s Jupiter Ascending (credited as “Sargorn Fight Sequence”).Fingleton also found success back in the UK, where he portrayed Mag the Mighty in a 2014 episode of Game of Thrones (“The Watchers on the Wall”), and hammed it up in the Fisher King costume for the 2015 Doctor Who episode “Before the Flood.”The character—an alien warlord with a twisted plan to conquer Earth—is represented by not one man, but three: Fingleton as the physically imposing beast, Peter Serafinowicz (Shaun of the Dead) as the haunting voice, and Slipknot lead singer Corey Taylor as its “roar.”The BBC’s official Doctor Who Twitter account paid tribute to Fingleton this week, sharing a behind-the-scenes photo of the towering actor leaning against the TARDIS with Twelfth Doctor Peter Capaldi (himself 6 feet tall).The Whoniverse also recently lost John Hurt, known for roles in Midnight Express, Alien, The Elephant Man, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, and, of course, Doctor Who‘s 50th anniversary special. The legendary British actor died in January, three days after his 77th birthday, following his fight with pancreatic cancer.last_img read more

first_imgFrom the outset, the case has hinged on whether it was “obvious to a person of ordinary skill in the art” to do what Broad Institute researcher Feng Zhang and colleagues did with CRISPR, based on prior publications by UC Berkeley’s Jennifer Doudna, working with Emmanuelle Charpentier, then of Umeå University. Specifically, Doudna, Charpentier, and their team reported in the 28 June 2012 online issue of Science that they had taken a CRISPR system used by bacteria to thwart reinfections with viruses and created an artificial version that showed the components needed to edit genes. Zhang’s group reported in the 15 February 2013 online issue of Science that CRISPR worked in eukaryotes. To prove that Zhang was “inspired” by Doudna’s work, the latest bevy of documents submitted by UC includes an earnest email (see below) he sent to her the day before his Science paper appeared that suggests they might collaborate in future. Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) UC attorneys have argued that the move from prokaryotes to eukaryotes was obvious, and insisted that Zhang’s lab’s subsequent refinement of a key component in the CRISPR system—a variation of an enzyme known as Cas9—also was obvious. In the original studies by Doudna/Charpentier and Zhang, everyone used a Cas9, known as spCas9, derived from Streptococcus pyogenes. Zhang’s group reported in the 1 April 2015 online issue of Nature that it used a Cas9 derived from a different bacteria, Staphylococcus aureus. They noted that this Cas9, known as saCas9, was smaller and could easily be packaged into an adeno-associated virus.Practically speaking, Zhang’s saCas9—with an adeno-associated virus serving as a vector—allows CRISPR to work in vivo, as opposed to simply in test tubes. This is key to using CRISPR for gene therapy to, say, repair a mutation that causes sickle cell anemia or hemophilia. In contrast, to get spCas9 inside of cells, researchers have to rely on techniques that work fine in vitro but not in vivo.Independent researchers, in depositions filed on behalf of the UC claims, insist that it would have been obvious to Zhang and other researchers to use saCas9, because it was a known, smaller variant of spCas9. The Broad Institute, however, contends that there were more than 600 equally small or smaller versions of Cas9 when Zhang selected saCas9, which it says “provides a surprising combination of benefits.”In last week’s filing, attorneys for the Broad Institute asked patent officials to remove two of its issued patents that focus on saCas9 from the original case, as well as two other patents (and a few affiliated claims in other patents) that describe techniques for enabling the CRISPR-Cas9 construct to target the nucleus of a eukaryotic cell.Now, all sides are waiting to see how patent officials will rule on these motions—and speculating on what impact any decision might have on the bank accounts of the institutions and researchers who have a stake in this decidedly high-stakes battle. Meanwhile, Cellectis announced it now has “an umbrella patent” that its CEO, Andre Choulika, says “covers most of the gene editing procedures done with a nuclease,” including those based on CRISPR-Cas 9, TALENs, zinc fingers, and many meganucleases. Yesterday, PTO granted a patent that claims gene inactivation by the use of chimeric restriction endonucleases to the Pasteur Institute and Boston Children’s Hospital. Choulika and Richard Mulligan are the co-inventors, and Cellectis has an exclusive license to the patent.The patent describes a method for introducing DNA changes by causing breaks in the DNA using molecules dubbed chimeric restriction endonucleases and the subsequent cellular repair processes called homologous recombination and nonhomologous end joining. It covers any endonucleases that target more than a dozen DNA bases and consist of two molecular components that do not occur naturally together, Choulika says. “This technology is universal as it can be applied to any types of cells, including human, animal, plant cells or micro-organisms,” Cellectis said in a press release.Other companies are already disputing Cellectis’s claim. And Sherkow doesn’t agree that CRISPR-Cas9 technologies come under its patent. “I think Cellectis is taking an overly generous view of both the validity and scope of its new patent,” he says. “And given the state of the chimeric restriction endonuclease art prior to the patent’s 1999 date, there are some serious doubts as to its validity. We’ll see what Cellectis does with it.”With reporting by Elizabeth Pennisi.Updated, 10/7/2016, 3:15p.m.: This story has been updated to clarify the details of the work reported in the 28 June 2012 online Science publication. The 9-month-old patent battle over CRISPR, a novel genome-editing tool that could have immense commercial value, has taken two surprising twists. Last week, attorneys for the Broad Institute in Cambridge, Massachusetts, one of the research organizations vying for CRISPR rights, submitted motions that could let it win even if it loses. And yesterday, a new player in the drama, a French biopharmaceutical company called Cellectis, may have made the whole fight moot, revealing it has just been issued patents that it says broadly cover genome-editing methods, including CRISPR. The Broad Institute, a marriage between Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, holds 13 CRISPR patents that are under fire from the University of California (UC) and two co-petitioners. This past January, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) said it would review the patent claims in what’s known as an interference proceeding. That has triggered an epic legal battle over CRISPR intellectual property (IP) that centers on the Broad Institute’s issued patents and a patent application from UC that’s still under review.On 28 September the Broad Institute asked patent office officials to separate four of its issued patents from the case. The Broad Institute’s move could be a “huge development” if patent officials rule in its favor, says Jacob Sherkow, a patent specialist who works at New York Law School in New York City and has closely monitored the case. “Prior to this, it was my impression that this was an all or nothing affair: Whoever was going to win would control the most important aspects of the CRISPR patent landscape,” Sherkow says. But if the Broad Institute wins its request to separate the four patents from the larger case, he says “there may be a way for both sides to walk away with a little IP in their pockets.” Email Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwelast_img read more

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