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IP Roundup: Aug 11, 2009

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The University of Minnesota of Saint Paul and the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research on Manhasset, NY, has received US Patent No. 7,571,055, "Systemic lupus erythematosus." The patent claims methods and materials for diagnosing systemic lupus erythematosus, including nucleic acid arrays that can be used to diagnose SLE in a mammal. Such arrays allow clinicians to diagnose SLE based on a simultaneous determination of the expression levels of many genes that are differentially expressed in SLE patients as compared to healthy controls, according to the inventors. Methods and materials for assessing SLE activity, determining the likelihood of experiencing active SLE, and detecting SLE treatment effectiveness are also claimed.


The US Environmental Protection Agency has received US Patent No. 7,572,584, "Species-specific primer sets and identification of species-specific DNA sequences using genome fragment enrichment." The patent claims a method for identifying the differences between communities of microorganisms by: a) obtaining labeled genomic DNA fragments from one community and hybridizing the genomic DNA fragments with second genomic DNA fragments from a second community; b) incubating the first and second genomic fragments with additional genomic fragments from the first community that contain defined terminal sequence tags to form DNA hybrids; c) capturing the resulting DNA hybrids formed with tags and PCR amplification of only the tagged fragments; d) obtaining enriched amounts of sequences unique to the first community; and e) identifying the enriched sequences to determine the difference between the communities.


Agilent Technologies has received US Patent No. 7,572,585, "Enzymatic labeling of RNA." The patent claims a method of labeling miRNA by heating a sample that contains miRNAs to at least 70 degrees Celsius in solution and then cooling the sample to less than 10 degrees Celsius. The sample is then contacted with an RNA ligase in the presence of a labeled substrate under conditions sufficient to result in coupling of the labeled substrate to the miRNA in the sample to provide labeled miRNA. The labeled substrate includes a nucleotide moiety with a terminal 3'-phosphate group and an observable label moiety attached to the nucleotide moiety via a linking group bound to the terminal 3'-phosphate group, according to the inventors.


Siemens has received US Patent No. 7,572,624, "DNA chip comprising a microarray made of a microelectrode system." The patent describes a DNA chip that includes a carrier and a microarray of spots containing immobilized catcher molecules. Each spot contains a microelectrode system for the impedance spectroscopic detection of binding events occurring between the catcher molecules and target molecules of an analyte solution applied to the spots, according to the inventors. The microelectrode system has a pair of polarization electrodes in order to produce an alternating electromagnetic field and a pair of sensor electrodes for measuring a voltage drop in the analyte.


Samsung Electronics has received US Patent No. 7,572,644, "Hydrogel copolymer, substrate coated with the copolymer, method of producing microarray using the copolymer, and microarray produced by the method." The patent claims a hydrogel copolymer, a substrate coated with the copolymer, a method of producing a microarray using the copolymer, and a microarray produced by the method. According to the inventors, the use of the hydrogel copolymer makes efficient removal of protein and high integration of nucleic acid and protein on a substrate for a microarray possible.


University of South Florida of Tampa has received US Patent No. 7,573,561, "Method and apparatus for maskless photolithography." The patent claims a method and apparatus to create two-dimensional and three-dimensional structures using a maskless photolithography system. According to the patent, the pattern generator includes a micromirror array where the positioning of the mirrors in the micromirror array and the time duration of exposure can be modulated to produce patterns to photoform photosensitive material. Desired patterns can be designed and stored using computer-aided drawing techniques and can be used to control the positioning of the individual mirrors in the micromirror array to reflect the corresponding desired pattern. A fixture for mounting of the substrate can be incorporated and can allow the substrate to be moved three dimensions, is also claimed.

The Scan

Booster for At-Risk

The New York Times reports that the US Food and Drug Administration has authorized a third dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech SARS-CoV-2 vaccine for people over 65 or at increased risk.

Preprints OK to Mention Again

Nature News reports the Australian Research Council has changed its new policy and now allows preprints to be cited in grant applications.

Hundreds of Millions More to Share

The US plans to purchase and donate 500 million additional SARS-CoV-2 vaccine doses, according to the Washington Post.

Nature Papers Examine Molecular Program Differences Influencing Neural Cells, Population History of Polynesia

In Nature this week: changes in molecular program during embryonic development leads to different neural cell types, and more.