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IP Roundup: Jul 14, 2009


The Chinese Academy of Sciences of Liaoning has received US Patent No. 7,560,030, "Method for separation and enrichment of phosphopeptides." The patent describes a method for phosphopeptide isolation and enrichment. The method is based on the interaction between zirconium phosphonate and phosphopeptide. According to the patent, zirconium phosphonate is immobilized on the surface of matrix for phosphopeptide enrichment. It also could be immobilized on chip surface, as well as a chromatographic matrix for isolation and purification of phosphopeptides. Such a surface shows high specificity for phosphopeptides, and can be applied to purify and enrich low abundance phosphopeptide from biological samples, according to the patent.

Medsaic of New South Wales, Australia, has received US Patent No. 7,560,226, "Assay to detect a binding partner." The patent describes a method for identifying a type of leukemia in a human subject. According to the method, a biological sample from the human subject that contains CD antigens is obtained. The sample is contacted with an array of immunoglobulin molecules, where each immunoglobulin in the array, with the exception of one or more negative controls, is capable of interaction with a CD antigen on one or more types of leukemia cells. The pattern of interaction between the immunoglobulin molecules and the CD antigens in the sample is then determined, providing an immunophenotype of the cells that is characteristic of the type of leukemia.

The Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation of Madison and the University of Chicago have received US Patent No. 7,560,258, "Glass-immobilized, protein-acrylamide copolymer and method of making thereof." The patent describes a polyacrylamide-based method of fabricating surface-bound peptide and protein arrays, the arrays themselves, and a method of using the arrays to detect proteins and to measure their concentration, binding affinity, and kinetics. According to the patent, peptides, proteins, fusion proteins, and protein complexes are labeled with an acrylic moiety and attached to acrylic-functionalized glass surfaces through a copolymerization with acrylic monomer. The surface attachment strategy addresses denaturation and dehydration problems associated with protein microarray development, according to the patent.

DNA Twopointo of Menlo Park, Calif., has received US Patent No. 7,561,972, "Synthetic nucleic acids for expression of encoded proteins." The patent claims a method of designing a polynucleotide sequence encoding a polypeptide sequence of a predetermined polypeptide. First, a frequency lookup table corresponding to an expression system is obtained. The table includes a number of sequence elements and corresponding frequency ranges. Each frequency range is a range of frequencies with which a corresponding sequence element can occur in a polynucleotide, according to the patent. The polynucleotide sequence is defined using the frequency lookup table by determining, for each respective sequence element in the frequency lookup table, whether the respective sequence element encodes a portion of the polypeptide sequence. When the respective sequence element encodes a portion of the polypeptide sequence, the sequence element is incorporated into the polynucleotide at a frequency of occurrence that is within the frequency range specified for the respective sequence element in the lookup table, the patent states. The polynucleotide sequence is then outputted.

Panasonic of Osaka, Japan, has received US Patent No. 7,560,268, "Process for manufacturing biochip, probe solution, and biochip." The patent describes a process for manufacturing a biochip that has high-density probe regions and that is resistant to contamination caused by organic materials. The manufacturing process includes the step of applying a probe solution to a substrate in order to fix the probe onto the substrate, where the probe solution contains probes and molecules having hydrophobic chains and functional groups to be adsorbed onto the substrate. When the probe solution adheres to the substrate, a monomolecular film of the molecules adsorbed onto the substrate via the functional groups is formed on the substrate, and the monomolecular film suppresses spreading and bleeding of the probe solution, the patent states.

Acea Biosciences of San Diego has received US Patent No. 7,560,269, "Real-time electronic cell sensing system and applications for cytotoxicity profiling and compound assays." The patent claims devices, systems, and methods for assaying cells using cell-substrate impedance monitoring. More specifically, cell-substrate impedance monitoring devices are described that include electrode arrays on a nonconducting substrate, where each of the arrays has an approximately uniform electrode resistance across the entire array. The patent also claims cell-substrate monitoring systems that include multiple wells, each with an electrode array, an impedance analyzer, a device station that connects arrays of individual wells to the impedance analyzer, and software for controlling the device station and impedance analyzer. Cellular assays that use impedance monitoring to detect changes in cell behavior or state are also claimed. The methods can be used to test the effects of compounds on cells, such as in cytotoxicity assays, according to the patent.

The Scan

Missed Early Cases

A retrospective analysis of blood samples suggests early SARS-CoV-2 infections may have been missed in the US, the New York Times reports.

Limited Journal Editor Diversity

A survey finds low diversity among scientific and medical journal editors, according to The Scientist.

How Much of a Threat?

Science writes that need for a provision aimed at shoring up genomic data security within a new US bill is being questioned.

PNAS Papers on Historic Helicobacter Spread, Brain Development, C. difficile RNAs

In PNAS this week: Helicobacter genetic diversity gives insight into human migrations, gene expression patterns of brain development, and more.