Re: Tyramide amplification- Recipe for Homemade Tyramide

<< Previous Message | Next Message >>,
Content-Type:text/plain; charset="US-ASCII"

The recent discourse on the Histonet concerning Catalyzed Reporter Deposition technology, commercially known as Tyramide Signal Amplification (TSA) or Catalyzed Signal Amplification (CSA) requires some clarification of the facts and status of what can and can’t be done.  Having had the opportunity to personally know many of the outstanding academic and industrial (NEN and DAKO) scientists who have worked very hard, some for over a dozen years, to bring the technology and methodology to the scientific community, allows me to convey a perspective that few others can.

The technology was invented and patented by NEN scientists (formerly Dupont) and DAKO has a license to sell some of the reagents (kits).   It is illegal (called infringement) to make, use or sell a patented invention unless one has a license.  It is also illegal to teach  (contribute) others to infringe.  It is not OK to follow a procedure just because it is published.  The patent itself is published and completely discloses how to practice an invention. 

Infringing a patent is not a victimless crime (as some here lead to believe).  Whereas academic scientists rely on government grants to keep their research programs going, industrial scientists must deliver products to the market and the products must sell.  I’m sure academic scientists would be angered to find that someone stole their research idea and that someone received funding in lieu of them.

When you see IHC or ISH signals that you were never able to before, will you thank those who promote infringement (Hopman and  Speel were mentioned in previous discussions;  Grabsch and Price are using the Histonet to pass out protocols), or will you thank the industrial (and academic) scientists who invented the technology and  developed it into a form that allows you to make discoveries that couldn’t have  been made otherwise. 

In the end, the research community is the victim.  Selected industrial and academic scientists have advanced the technology, and the industrial owner has chosen (at this point) to make these advances only available to other companies to incorporate into their products (not research kits).  Some of these advances include sensitivity improvements of 10-100 fold over standard amplification (as was recently presented at the Histochemical Society’s annual meeting); stable (non-fading) and archivable (permountable, driable) fluorescent substrates with sensitivities equal to or exceeding the standard amplification;  and amplification with other enzymes (e.g., alkaline phosphatase).  Not having access to these technology advancements is what the research community should thank those who promote infringement.  

In terms of liability, it is unlikely that a patent owner would go after an individual researcher, because the monetary recovery wouldn’t make it worthwhile (although it could be devastating to the individual).  However, those who promote infringement could be found liable for all the individuals they teach.  The choice is yours!

<< Previous Message | Next Message >>