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IP Roundup: Jun 28, 2011

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Harvard University of Cambridge, Mass., has received US Patent No. 7,968,287, "In vitro evolution in microfluidic systems." A method for isolating genetic elements encoding a gene product with a desired activity is discussed. It includes compartmentalizing genetic elements into a microcapsule by forming a water-in-fluorocarbon or water-in-perfluorocarbon emulsion microcapsule within a microfluidic device; expressing the genetic elements to produce their respective gene products within the microcapsules; and sorting the genetic elements, which express gene products having the desired activity.


Hitachi of Tokyo has received US Patent No. 7,968,288, "Device and method for high-throughput quantification of mRNA from whole blood." A method of obtaining mRNA from a leukocyte lysate is claimed. It includes obtaining whole blood; preparing sample wells, where each well consists of a filter that traps leukocytes; adding an anticoagulant to the whole blood; adding the whole blood to the wells; removing erythrocytes and blood components; lysing the leukocytes in the wells by applying a lysis buffer; transferring the leukocyte lysate from each of the wells into its corresponding mRNA capture zone where oligo(dT) is immobilized; and obtaining the mRNA from the leukocyte lysate by annealing poly-A mRNA in the leukocyte lysate to the oligo(dT).


Sumitomo Bakelite of Tokyo has received US Patent No. 7,968,290, "Method of detecting gene." The method includes immobilizing a primer for DNA elongation onto an insoluble carrier containing a polymer substance. According to the patent, this substance includes a phosphorylcholine group and a carboxylic acid-derived group with an electron-attractive substituent bound to it. The template DNA fragments or RNA fragments with the primer for DNA elongation are then annealed in order to elongate the DNA primer while at the same time incorporating an enzyme. This enzyme allows for the coloration of a chromogenic reagent. DNA fragments or RNA fragments of the gene can then be determined to be present or not, based on the degree of coloration.


Aviva Biosciences of San Diego has received US Patent No. 7,968,305, "Biochips including ion transport detecting structures and methods of use." Methods that allow for the direct analysis of ion transport function or property using microfabricated structures or biochips are claimed. The described biochips are appropriate for automating the detection of ion transport function or property, particularly for screening purposes.


The University of Illinois of Urbana and SRU Biosystems of Woburn, Mass., have received US Patent No. 7,968,836, "Photonic crystal sensors with integrated fluid containment structure, sample handling devices incorporating same, and uses thereof for biomolecular interaction analysis." Photonic crystal sensors, sensor arrays, and sensing systems are described that have integrated fluid containment and fluid handling structures. The PC sensors are further integrated into a sample-handling device such as a microwell plate. The systems are capable of high-throughput sensing of analytes in fluid samples, bulk refractive index detection, and label-free detection of a range of molecules, including biomolecules and therapeutic candidates.


Steven Ebstein of Newton, Mass., has received US Patent No. 7,969,570, "Applications of laser-processed substrate for molecular diagnostics." A method for performing a diagnostic assay of an analyte is described. A substrate with a patterned surface is provided, where the pattern is created by the selective application of pulsed laser energy. A metal is then applied to the patterned surface and an analyte is subsequently positioned on the surface. A diagnostic assay of the analyte can then be carried out.

The Scan

And For Adolescents

The US Food and Drug Administration has authorized the Pfizer-BioNTech SARS-CoV-2 vaccine for children between the ages of 12 and 15 years old.

Also of Concern to WHO

The Wall Street Journal reports that the World Health Organization has classified the SARS-CoV-2 variant B.1.617 as a "variant of concern."

Test for Them All

The New York Times reports on the development of combined tests for SARS-CoV-2 and other viruses like influenza.

PNAS Papers on Oral Microbiome Evolution, Snake Toxins, Transcription Factor Binding

In PNAS this week: evolution of oral microbiomes among hominids, comparative genomic analysis of snake toxins, and more.