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You Can Buy a Piece of the Nobel Prize-Winning Discovery


How much would someone be willing to pay for a few pages of quarter-century-old bureaucratic university paperwork, which has been transformed into a blockchain-encoded piece of digital art?

The University of California, Berkeley, holds great hope, and is about to find out.

Berkeley announced on Thursday that it would auction the first of two digital artifacts called irreplaceable tokens, or NXT, next week. The item being offered is based on an Invention and Technology Disclosure document. That’s the form Berkeley researchers fill out to alert the university to discoveries that have the potential to turn into lucrative patents.

The title of the invention, since 1996, is “the blockade of T-lymphocyte down-regulation associated with CTLA-4 signaling.”

The university hopes to be attracted to early details of a revolutionary approach to cancer treatment developed by potential bidders James P. Ellison, Then a professor at Berkeley. He found a way to shut down the immune system’s resistance to attacking the tumor and he showed that it works in mice.

That advance eventually led to Yervoy and Dr. Ellison, a drug for the treatment of metastatic melanoma, now at the MD Anderson Cancer Center at the University of Texas, Shared the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 2018.

Thus, Berkeley’s disclosure form can be regarded as the scientific equivalent of Mickey Mantle’s deceitful baseball card – a memento of the beginning of greatness.

Berkeley’s Chief Innovation and Entrepreneurship Officer Richard K. “I think of it almost as a history of science artifacts,” Lyons said. “Imagine someone saying, ‘I want to own NXT for the 10 most important scientific discoveries of my lifetime.”

24 hour auction NXT of Dr. Allison’s invention revelations Will be at the beginning of June 2. by using base, an NFT auction marketplace that uses Ethereum, the cryptocurrency network of choice for NFT collectors.

Sixty-five percent of the proceeds will go to Berkeley to finance the research, the rest to the Foundation. If the piece is later resold, Berkeley will receive 10 percent of the sale and the Foundation 5 percent.

While Berkeley officials said that building NXT requires too much computing power, a portion of the university’s earnings from the sale of NXT will be used for carbon offsets, Berkeley officials said.

The second NFT to be auctioned at Berkeley’s plans in the coming weeks will be a disclosure form describing the CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing invention. Jennifer A DoudanProfessor of molecular and cell biology at Berkeley. He shared 2020 Nobel Prize in Chemistry With Emmanuel Charpentier of the Max Planck Unit for the Science of Pathogens for his work on the technique.

NFTs have become trendy collectibles in recent months. A unique code embedded in a digital image or video serves as a record of its authenticity and is stored on a blockchain, the same technology that underlines digital currencies such as bitcoin. NFTs can be bought and sold just like baseball cards, and the blockchain ensures that they cannot be exchanged or counterfeited.

A dizzying array of documents, much more than traditional works of art, have been sold as NFTs. Twitter founder Jack Dorsey sold NFT of his first tweet for $2.9 million. New York Times columnist Kevin Rouge. Sold an NFT of His article about NFTs For more than half a million dollars. (Money gone Times’ most urgent case fund.)

The pages of Dr. Ellison’s disclosure form drawn from the Berkeley archives make for mostly dry reading. July 11, 1959, is a letter from Carol Mimura, a licensing associate in Berkeley, thanking Dr. Allison for contacting the university’s technology licensing office and asking her to fill out some forms. Another page includes Berkeley’s patent policy.

The documents reflect the oddly archaic techniques used in the mid-1990s – typewriters, fax machines, and handwritten notes. “I am scrambling to defend the patentable case before the end of July,” reads a memo from Dr. Mimura, now assistant vice chancellor for intellectual property and industry research alliances.

The fax from Dr. Alison to Dr. Mimura includes a simple chart with three rows and 21 data points. “Carol – this is the data that got us excited,” wrote Dr. Ellison.

His research group was experimenting with colon cancer in mice, and blocking CTLA-4 – a protein receptor that acts as an on-off switch for the immune system – in “5/5 mice caused tumor rejection,” Dr. Ellison wrote.

Dr. Allison admitted that until now, these forms, which have been ignored, have no value.

“This first exposure to the world is like, ‘This is invention disclosure,'” he said. “But once they served that purpose, historically, they paid no attention.”

NFT’s idea was the brainchild of Michael Alvarez Cohen, director of innovation ecosystem development at Berkeley’s Intellectual Property Office. He said that a part of the idea came after the publication “The Code Breaker” by Walter Isaacson, Biography of Dr. Daudna. His friends and relatives told him that they did not know that most gene editing techniques originated in Berkeley.

“So I was kind of like, ‘Maybe we should post invention disclosure excerpts to help promote this,'” he said.

At the same time, he was following news about blockchain and NXT.

“Then about a month ago, I put the two together,” said Mr. Cohen. Take the invention revelations about Nobel-winning research like CRISPR, turn them into NXT, “raise awareness and fund research by auctioning NXT.”

He sat on this idea for some time.

“I come up with a lot of ideas,” Mr. Cohen said. “Some of them are bony ones and everything.”

Just two weeks ago, he started discussing it with his colleagues and soon a plan was hatched. In addition to CRISPR, he decided to highlight Dr. Allison’s work.

Allison NXT is much more than a simple digital document. “It’s a combination of a lab notebook and digital art,” said Mr. Cohen. A single image has 10 pages but anyone can zoom in and read the documents. “I really wanted to preserve the ability to read history in addition to seeing the beauty of the image,” he said.

NFT’s designers also included a subtle nod to the initial resistance to Dr. Ellison’s ideas. All the pages are slightly bent, because “people looked at them with a skew,” Mr. Cohen said. “There are too many little things like this in art.”

Dr. Lyons was hesitant to estimate how much the artwork would receive at the auction. “I’d be surprised if it went for less than $ 100,000,” he said. “It can go to seven digits. It is a new category, and it is difficult to price any new category.”



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