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IP Roundup: May 26, 2009

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Enzo Life Science of Farmingdale, NY, has received US Patent No. 7,537,751, "Labeling reagents and labeled targets comprising nonmetallic porphyrins." The patent claims labeling reagents, labeled targets, and processes for preparing labeling reagents. The described labeling reagents can take the form of cyanine dyes, xanthene dyes, porphyrin dyes, coumarin dyes, or composite dyes, the patent states. The labeling reagents are useful for labeling probes or targets, including nucleic acids and proteins. They can also be applied to protein and nucleic acid probe-based assays.


Population Genetics Technologies of Cambridge, UK, has received US Patent No. 7,537,897, "Molecular counting." The patent claims methods for counting molecules in a sample, where each molecule is labeled with a unique oligonucleotide tag. The tags are amplified and identified rather than the molecules themselves. The counting of different tags may be accomplished in a variety of ways, according to the patent. For example, different tags may be counted by carrying out a series of sorting steps to generate successively less complex mixtures in which tags are enumerated using length-encoded metric tags. Alternatively, different tags may be counted by directly sequencing a sample of tags using any one of several different sequencing methodologies.


Intel has received US Patent No. 7,537,934, "Chemiluminescence sensor array." The patent describes integrated chemiluminescence devices and methods for monitoring molecular binding. The devices and methods can be used to identify antigen binding to antibodies, according to the patent's abstract. The devices claimed include both a chemiluminescence material and a detector.


Agilent Technologies has received US Patent No. 7,537,936, "Method of testing multiple fluid samples with multiple biopolymer arrays." The patent claims a method of testing multiple fluid samples with multiple biopolymer arrays. According to this method, a cover is assembled to a contiguous substrate carrying a first side. Multiple arrays, each with multiple regions of biopolymers, are linked to the substrate, so that the cover and the substrate together form chambers, with each containing a biopolymer array and each being accessible through its own port. Multiple fluid samples are then introduced into these chambers through the ports so that the fluid samples contact the respective arrays. The binding pattern of the arrays is thus observed.


Kenneth Beattie of Crossville, Tenn., Mitchel Doktyz of Knoxville, Tenn., and Alfonso Mendez-Tenorio, Rogelio Maldonado-Rodriguez, and Armando Guerra-Trejo, all of Mexico City, have received US Patent No. 7,539,579, "Oligonucleotide probes for genosensor chips." The patent claims software for the design of optimized sets of oligonucleotide probes for use in oligonucleotide microarrays. Within the software, the selection of probe sequences is based on multiple criteria, including the thermal stability of the probe-target pairs, similarity in degree of the probes with respect to other DNA sequences, and the evaluation of the secondary structure of target molecules, according to the patent. The programs were written in the programming language Borland Delphi by means of object-oriented programming techniques. The software, called Genosensor Probe Design, could facilitate the design of arrays of probes that "accurately represent the characteristics of the nucleic acid molecule under study, such as its identity or its differences in sequence or abundance with respect to other molecules," the inventors claim.

The Scan

Guidelines for Ancient DNA Work

More than two dozen researchers have developed new ethical guidelines for conducting ancient DNA research, which they present in Nature.

And Cleared

A UK regulator has cleared former UK Prime Minister David Cameron in concerns he should have registered as a consultant-lobbyist for his work with Illumina, according to the Financial Times.

Suit Over Allegations

The Boston Globe reports that David Sabatini, who was placed on leave from MIT after allegations of sexual harassment, is suing his accuser, the Whitehead Institute, and the institute's director.

Nature Papers on Esophageal Cancer, Origin of Modern Horses, Exome Sequencing of UK Biobank Participants

In Nature this week: genetic and environmental influences of esophageal cancer, domestic horse origin traced to Western Eurasian steppes, and more.