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IP Roundup: Jun 9, 2009


Population Genetics Technologies of Cambridge, UK, has received US Patent No. 7,544,473, "Nucleic acid analysis using sequence tokens." The patent claims methods for tagging nucleic acid sequence fragments, such as a set of nucleic acid sequence fragments from a single genome, with one or more unique members of a collection of oligonucleotide tags, or sequence tokens. As a general rule, a given sequence token is used once and only once in any tag sequence. The described sequence tokens can be identified using a variety of readout platforms, according to the patent abstract. Also claimed are methods for using the sequence tokens to efficiently determine variations in nucleotide sequences in the associated nucleic acid sequence fragments.

Samsung Electronics has received US Patent No. 7,544,505, "Hybridization chamber agitation device using pump and valves." The patent claims a device that can be used to agitate a solution in a hybridization chamber. The device includes: a) a hybridization chamber; b) first and second air channels connected to the ends of the hybridization chamber; c) a first valve disposed in the first air channel; d) a second valve disposed in the second air channel; e) an integrated air channel connecting the first and second air channels; and f) a pump disposed in the integrated air channel. The agitation device is suitable for the effective diffusion of a sample when performing hybridization using a DNA chip, according to the patent abstract.

Micronics of Redmond, Wash., has received US Patent No. 7,544,506, "System and method for heating, cooling, and heat cycling on microfluidic device." The patent describes a portable microfluidic card with a heating, cooling, and heat-cycling system. The card includes reservoirs containing exothermic or endothermic material. Once the chemical process of the reservoir material is activated, the reservoir provides heat or cooling to specific locations of the microfluidic card, according to the patent abstract. Multiple reservoirs may be included on a single card to provide varying temperatures. The assay chemicals can be moved to the various reservoirs to create a thermal cycle useful in many biological reactions, such as RT-PCR.

The Scan

Genes Linked to White-Tailed Jackrabbits' Winter Coat Color Change

Climate change, the researchers noted in Science, may lead to camouflage mismatch and increase predation of white-tailed jackrabbits.

Adenine Base Editor Targets SCID Mutation in New Study

Researchers from the University of California, Los Angeles, report in Cell that adenine base editing was able to produce functional T lymphocytes in a model of severe combined immune deficiency.

Researchers Find Gene Affecting Alkaline Sensitivity in Plants

Researchers from the Chinese Academy of Science have found a locus affecting alkaline-salinity sensitivity, which could aid in efforts to improve crop productivity, as they report in Science.

International Team Proposes Checklist for Returning Genomic Research Results

Researchers in the European Journal of Human Genetics present a checklist to guide the return of genomic research results to study participants.