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IP Roundup: Jul 5, 2011

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OncoHealth of Fremont, Calif., has received US Patent No. 7,972,776, "Protein chips for HPV detection." The patent claims a method of screening a human subject for a papillomavirus infection by obtaining a clinical sample; conducting one or more protein chip assays on it using various HPV recombinant proteins and lab-generated antibodies specific for HPV oncoproteins; and detecting the presence of HPV-related oncoproteins and antibodies. According to the patent, the protein chips may be patterned in a matrix of multiple columns and multiple rows. The various HPV-associated recombinant proteins and antibodies may include recombinant proteins and antibodies that show specificity for various HPV genotypes, HPV-specific epitopes, and HPV proteins encoded by early or late genes.


Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and the Institute for Systems Biology, both of Seattle, have received US Patent No. 7,972,791, "Methods for haplotyping genomic DNA." A method for isolating and separating large segments of genomic DNA that can subsequently be used to determine a genomic haplotype is claimed. It relies on using a solid phase having a flat surface arrayed with oligonucleotides designed to specifically hybridize to each particular haplotype of an individual sample, such as each of the two human leukocyte antigen-B haplotypes, HLA-A, HLA-C, HLA-DR, and HLA-DQ. The genomic DNA is contacted and hybridized to the arrayed oligonucleotides to form a genomic DNA-oligonucleotide complex. The excess genomic DNA is then washed away and the haplotype-separated genomic DNA is denatured from the oligonucleotide probe and collected. Separation of the haplotypes of large genomic DNA fragments allows for linkage analysis of other HLA alleles and polymorphisms, microsatellite, SNPs, across a large span of the HLA region. This linkage analysis is particularly useful when HLA typing for an individual with limited family HLA typing available, the inventors state in the patent.


Lawrence Livermore National Security of Livermore, Calif., has received US Patent No. 7,972,827, "Photoswitchable method for the ordered attachment of proteins to surfaces." A method for the attachment of proteins to any solid support with control over the orientation of the attachment is provided. The method does not require the purification of the protein to be attached, and can be activated by UV light. Spatially addressable arrays of multiple protein components can also be generated by using standard photolithographic techniques.


The National Research Council of Canada of Ottawa has received US Patent No. 7,972,860, "Methods and compositions for the detection and analysis of nucleic acids by signal amplification." The patent describes a PCR-free signal amplification polynucleotide detection system that combines a specific receptor, an optical transducer, and an amplification mechanism. The system is based on different electrostatic interactions and conformations between a cationic polythiophene and single-stranded or double-stranded polynucleotides, and the efficient energy transfer between them and neighboring fluorophores attached to ss-DNA or ds-DNA probes. The system allows for the detection of SNPs without the need for nucleic acid amplification.

The Scan

Not as High as Hoped

The Associated Press says initial results from a trial of CureVac's SARS-CoV-2 vaccine suggests low effectiveness in preventing COVID-19.

Finding Freshwater DNA

A new research project plans to use eDNA sampling to analyze freshwater rivers across the world, the Guardian reports.

Rise in Payments

Kaiser Health News investigates the rise of payments made by medical device companies to surgeons that could be in violation of anti-kickback laws.

Nature Papers Present Ginkgo Biloba Genome Assembly, Collection of Polygenic Indexes, More

In Nature this week: a nearly complete Ginkgo biloba genome assembly, polygenic indexes for dozens of phenotypes, and more.