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City of Hope, Harvard University, Promega, Ocimum Biosolutions

City of Hope of Duarte, Calif., has received US Patent No. 7,425,415, “Method for detecting methylated CpG islands.” The patent describes an assay for the detection of genomic methylated CpG islands, called the methylated CpG island recovery assay, or MIRA. According to the patent, MIRA works by: a) incubating genomic DNA fragments with a methylated CpG island-binding protein in the presence of a binding partner, in order for the binding protein to produce bound DNA containing methylated CpG islands; b) isolating the bound DNA; and, c) detecting CpG island methylation by gene-specific amplification reactions.

Harvard University has received US Patent No. 7,425,431, “Polony fluorescent in situ sequencing beads.” The patent claims miniaturized, high-density, bead-based arrays, as well as methods of producing and using clonal beads and producing and using miniaturized, high-density, bead-based arrays, where the beads are immobilized in a semi-solid medium to form an array. The semi-solid medium can be made from polyacrylamide, cellulose, polyamide, cross-linked agarose, cross-linked dextran or cross-linked polyethylene glycol, according to the patent.

Promega of Madison, Wis., has received US Patent No. 7,425,436, “Covalent tethering of functional groups to proteins and substrates therefor.” The patent describes a mutant hydrolase capable of forming a bond with a substrate for the corresponding nonmutant, or wild-type, hydrolase, which is more stable than the bond formed between the wild-type hydrolase and the substrate and has at least two amino acid substitutions relative to the wild-type hydrolase. Substrates for hydrolases including one or more functional groups are also provided, as well as methods of using the mutant hydrolase and the substrates described in the patent. Also claimed is a fusion protein capable of forming a stable bond with a substrate and cells that express the fusion protein.

Ocimum Biosolutions of Indianapolis has received US Patent No. 7,426,441, “Methods for determining renal toxins.” The patent claims methods of elucidating global changes in gene expression and the identifying toxicity markers in tissues or cells exposed to a known renal toxin. The genes may be used as toxicity markers in drug screening and toxicity assays, the patent states. The patent also claims a database of genes characterized by toxin-induced differential expression that is designed for use with microarrays and other solid-phase probes.

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