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IP Roundup: Aug 23, 2011

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The California Institute of Technology of Pasadena has received US Patent No. 8,002,933, "Microfabricated elastomeric valve and pump systems." The patent claims a method of fabricating an elastomeric structure by: a) forming an elastomeric layer on top of a micromachined mold; b) forming a second elastomeric layer on top of a second micromachined mold; c) bonding the bottom surface of the second elastomeric layer onto a top surface of the first elastomeric layer so that a control channel forms in the recess between the first and second elastomeric layers; and d) positioning the first elastomeric layer on top of a planar substrate, so that a flow channel forms in the first recess between the first elastomeric layer and the planar substrate.


CapitalBio and Tsinghua University of Beijing have received US Patent No. 8,003,063, "Microfluidic devices and methods for multiple analyte detection." Microfluidic devices containing processing channels are described, where each of the processing channels consists of: a) an inlet, an outlet, and a high-flow-resistant and hydrophilic conduit; b) a distributing channel consisting of an upstream end and a downstream end and is in fluid communication with each inlet of the processing channels via the high-flow-resistant and hydrophilic conduit; and c) a flushing channel consisting of an upstream end and a downstream end in fluid communication with each outlet of the processing channels.


Asuragen of Austin, Tex., has received US Patent No. 8,003,320, "Methods and compositions involving MicroRNA." The patent concerns methods for isolating microRNAs, labeling them, preparing arrays directed to miRNAs, analyzing miRNAs using an array, and characterizing miRNAs for diagnostic, therapeutic, and prognostic applications. According to the patent, multiple labels are used to label miRNAs, as opposed to a single label.


Children's Medical Center of Boston has received US Patent No. 8,003,326, "Method for diagnosing autism spectrum disorder." The patent claims a method for diagnosing a predisposition to an autism spectrum disorder in a human individual or a human fetus by: a) detecting in nucleic acids from an individual the presence of a microdeletion of about 500 kilobases that is flanked by a microduplication of about 100kb to about 147 kb on the chromosome region 16p11.2 between positions 29.5Mb and 30.1 Mb; and b) correlating the presence of the microdeletion with a predisposition to ASD. According to the patent, the detection may be performed via oligonucleotide-based array comparative genomic hybridization, bacterial artificial chromosome-based array comparative genomic hybridization, fluorescence in situ hybridization, or multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification.


Becton Dickinson of Franklin Lakes, NJ, has received US Patent No. 8,003,329, "Molecular counting by color-coded micelles." The invention provides a method of determining ratios of target DNA molecules in a sample. A digital readout of the target DNA molecules is provided by converting ratios of target DNA molecules into equivalent ratios of amplifiable tags, which are, in turn, converted into ratios of color-coded micelles in an emulsion reaction. The micelles may be detected and counted by various methods, including by flow cytometers or slide-based imaging devices.


Illumina of San Diego has received US Patent No. 8,003,354, "Multiplex nucleic acid reactions." The patent claims a method of detecting target sequences in a sample. It includes providing a first solid support containing at least a first and a second target sequence; contacting the first and second target sequences with first and second probes to form first and second hybridization complexes; removing unhybridized probes; contacting the first and second hybridization complexes with an extension enzyme, where the first and second modified probes are amplified to form first and second amplicons; and detecting the amplicons.


The University of California of Oakland has received US Patent No. 8,003,374, "Reagentless, reusable, bioelectronic detectors." A reagentless, reusable, bioelectronic DNA sensor is claimed. The sensor includes an oligonucleotide probe tagged with a electroactive, redoxable moiety, self-assembled on or near an electrode. According to the patent, the surface-confined oligonucleotide probe structure undergoes hybridization-induced conformational change in the presence of the target which changes the electron-transfer distance between the redoxable moiety and the electrode, providing a detectable signal change.


The University of California of Oakland has also received US Patent No. 8,003,376, "Capillary array and related methods." A device is claimed that contains a channel hosting binding partners for target analytes. Assays are carried out by transporting the sample through the channel to each successive binding partner so that the target analyte in the sample binds to the corresponding binding partner. The sample is then transported beyond the binding partners, followed by detection of any target analyte bound to each binding partner.


ExonHit Therapeutics of Paris has received US Patent No. 8,003,375, "Qualitative differential screening." A method is claimed for identifying or cloning nucleic acid regions representing qualitative differences associated with alternative splicing events, or with insertions, deletions located in RNA transcribed genome regions, between two physiological situations. The method includes hybridizing RNA derived from the test situation with cDNAs derived from the reference situation or, reciprocally, the double-strand hybridization of cDNA derived from the test situation with cDNAs derived from the reference situation; and identifying or cloning nucleic acids representing qualitative differences. The patent also claims nucleic acids representing qualitative differences between two physiological situations, and their use as probes for identifying genes or molecules of interest.


Seng Enterprises of Larnaca, Cyprus, has received US Patent No. 8,003,377, "Picoliter well holding device and method of making the same." The patent describes a holding device for studying cells. The device consists of a cavity adapted to receive cells in a medium, as well as a substrate and a generally inert wall. The substrate includes a surface for receiving the medium, where the surface includes picoliter wells, is translucent, and has a refractive index equal to the refractive index of the medium.


Plexera of Woodinville, Wash., has received US Patent No. 8,004,669, "SPR apparatus with a high performance fluid delivery system." A surface plasmon resonance test system is claimed. It consists of a microarray containing test patches configured for specific association with one or more molecules or biomolecules and a flow cell configured to flow fluids across the microarray. The system also includes a fluid delivery system made up of a holding coil; a pump configured to push or pull fluids into the holding coil; and second pump configured to push fluids through the flow cell.


The University of Michigan of Ann Arbor has received US Patent No. 8,005,526, "Biologically integrated electrode devices." Bioelectrodes having enhanced biocompatible and biomimetic features are provided. 'A biologically integrated bioelectrode device and method for detecting electronic signals using the device is claimed. The bioelectrode consists of a conductive polymer electrically coupling an electrically conductive substrate and the biological component to define a bioelectrode. The bioelectrode can transmit or receive an electrical signal between the electrically conductive substrate and the biological component and conductive polymer, according to the patent.

The Scan

Unwrapping Mummies' Faces

LiveScience reports that Parabon NanoLabs researchers have reconstructed how three Egyptian mummies may have looked.

Study on Hold

The Spectrum 10K study has been put on hold due to a backlash, leading the researchers to conduct consultations with the autism community, Nature News reports.

Others Out There Already

Reuters reports that Sanofi is no longer developing an mRNA-based vaccine for SARS-CoV-2.

PNAS Papers on GWAS False Discovery, PRAMEF2 Role in Tumorigenesis, RNA Virus Reverse Genetics

In PNAS this week: strategy to account for GWAS false-discovery rates, role of PRAMEF2 in cancer development, and more.