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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

Purnell Choppin Dies

Purnell Choppin, a virologist who led the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, has died at 91, according to the Washington Post.

Effectiveness May Decline, Data From Israel Suggests

The New York Times reports that new Israeli data suggests a decline in Pfizer-BioNTech SARS-CoV-2 vaccine effectiveness against Delta variant infection, though protection against severe disease remains high.

To See Future Risk

Slate looks into the use of polygenic risk scores in embryo screening.

PLOS Papers on Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus, Bone Marrow Smear Sequencing, More

In PLOS this week: genomic analysis of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus pseudintermedius, archived bone marrow sequencing, and more.