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IP Roundup: May 3, 2011

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SRU Biosystems of Woburn, Mass., has received US Patent No. 7,935,520, "Optical detection of label-free biomolecular interactions using microreplicated plastic sensor elements." A biosensor is described that includes an optical grating with a first and a second surface. The optical grating includes an optically transparent material that conducts electricity. The grating is replicated from a master grating structure by causing a liquid to harden after dispensing the liquid between the master grating structure and a substrate layer. The resulting grating is coated with an electrical insulator. When the biosensor is illuminated, a resonant grating effect is produced on the reflected radiation spectrum.


Promega of Madison, Wis., has received US Patent No. 7,935,803, "Polynucleotides encoding proteins for covalent tethering to functional groups and substrates." A mutant hydrolase optionally fused to a protein is provided. The mutant hydrolase is capable of forming a bond with a substrate for the corresponding nonmutant, 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. Also provided is a fusion protein capable of forming a stable bond with a substrate and cells that express the fusion protein.


New York University of New York, NY, has received US Patent No. 7,937,225, "Systems, methods and software arrangements for detection of genome copy number variation." The systems, methods and software arrangements are based on a model that uses a first process that generates amplifications and deletions in the genome, and a second process that modifies the signal obtained to account for the corrupting noise inherent in the technical methodology used to scan the genome. A Bayesian approach is employed to determine the most plausible hypothesis of regional changes in the genome and their associated copy number. The approaches claimed may be useful for the scientific study, diagnosis, and treatment of any disease that has a genetic component, including but not limited to cancers and inherited diseases, according to the inventors.

The Scan

Genome Sequences Reveal Range Mutations in Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells

Researchers in Nature Genetics detect somatic mutation variation across iPSCs generated from blood or skin fibroblast cell sources, along with selection for BCOR gene mutations.

Researchers Reprogram Plant Roots With Synthetic Genetic Circuit Strategy

Root gene expression was altered with the help of genetic circuits built around a series of synthetic transcriptional regulators in the Nicotiana benthamiana plant in a Science paper.

Infectious Disease Tracking Study Compares Genome Sequencing Approaches

Researchers in BMC Genomics see advantages for capture-based Illumina sequencing and amplicon-based sequencing on the Nanopore instrument, depending on the situation or samples available.

LINE-1 Linked to Premature Aging Conditions

Researchers report in Science Translational Medicine that the accumulation of LINE-1 RNA contributes to premature aging conditions and that symptoms can be improved by targeting them.