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IP Roundup: Sep 1, 2009

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CapitalBio of Beijing has received US Patent No. 7,578,612, "Three-phase tilting agitator for microarrays." The patent describes a three-phase tilting agitator for microarrays, including large area microarrays, that provides experimentally verified improvements in hybridization intensity and uniformity. According to the patent's abstract, motion is coupled from a single motor to a sample holder via three suspension tethers. The microarrays may be immersed in a water bath during agitation to maintain a temperature for the hybridization reaction. The use of traditional cover slips for the microarrays minimizes the volume requirement for target sample solution, according to the patent inventors.


Population Genetics Technologies of Cambridge, UK, has received US Patent No. 7,579,153, "Isothermal DNA amplification." The patent describes a method for amplifying one or more polynucleotides by multi-staged linear amplifications using one or more RNA polymerases. At each stage, RNA transcripts are accumulated at a linear rate, so that multiple stages provide for faster than linear transcript accumulation. The patent provides for the polynucleotide amplification by ligating hairpin adaptors to an end of polynucleotides where the hairpin adaptors each contain a promoter sequence oriented so that transcription proceeds in the direction of the loop of the hairpin adaptor. Upon transcription through such a loop region and to the complementary strand, a replicate is made of the promoter sequence as well as the polynucleotide, permitting exponential amplification upon reverse transcription, second strand synthesis, and repetition of the above cycle. Preferably such amplification is carried out under isothermal reaction conditions, according to the patent.


Illumina has received US Patent No. 7,582,420, "Multiplex nucleic acid reactions." The patent claims a method for detecting at least 100 different target nucleic acid sequences of interest in a sample. The method includes the steps of: a) providing a sample with at least 100 different target nucleic acid sequences of interest immobilized on a solid support; b) contacting the sample with a set of probes for each of the different target nucleic acid sequences of interest to form hybridization complexes; (c) contacting the hybridization complexes with an extension enzyme and dNTPs; d) ligating the extended probes to form amplification templates; e) amplifying the amplification templates with universal primers to produce amplicons; f) immobilizing the amplicons on solid phase capture probes that are specific to individual adapter sequences; and g) detecting the presence of at least 100 different immobilized amplicons at the capture probes, thereby indicating of the presence of the at least 100 different target sequences of interest in the sample.


Nanogen of San Diego has received US Patent No. 7,582,421, "Methods for determination of single nucleic acid polymorphisms using a bioelectronic microchip." The patent includes methods for detecting SNPs in a sample using an electronically addressable microchip with a plurality of test sites. According to the patent, a sample nucleic acid is electronically biased, concentrated at, and immobilized to a test site on the microchip. A mixture comprising a first labeled probe and a second labeled probe is electronically hybridized to the sample nucleic acid to form first or second hybridized complexes. The first labeled probe is complementary to the first sample nucleic acid and the second labeled probe is complementary to the sample nucleic acid and contains a nucleotide that forms a mismatch with the nucleotide at the site of the polymorphism. The first or second hybridized complexes are then detected by determining a signal intensity of the label of the first or second probe.


Gen-Probe of San Diego has received US Patent No. 7,582,470, "Device for amplifying and detecting a target nucleic acid." The patent provides compositions, methods, and devices for detecting nucleic acids. It describes composite arrays of immobilized amplification primers and hybridization probes. Methods for covalently immobilizing oligonucleotides and other biological molecules to glass and plastic surfaces are also claimed.


BioArray Solutions of Warren, NJ, has received US Patent No. 7,582,488, "Gel-shell beads with adsorbed or bound biomolecules." The patent describes gel-coated beads that are capable of adsorbing, or absorbing, proteins and other biomolecules onto or into the gel coating. The gel-coated beads with absorbed or adsorbed biomolecules are suitable for use in an assays, purification, or other purposes, according to the patent. The beads have a core made from any of a number of materials, including latex, coated with the gel shell. The biomolecules can be retained within the gel, following adsorption, by covalent attachment, or, by selection of conditions of ambient pH and ionic strength so that they are retained without further reaction.


Fluidigm of South San Francisco, Calif., has received US Patent No. 7,583,853, "Image processing method and system for microfluidic devices." The patent claims a method for processing an image of a microfluidic device. The method includes: a) receiving a first image of a microfluidic device, where the first image corresponds to a first state; b) receiving a second image of the microfluidic device that corresponds to a second state; c) transforming the first image and the second image into a third coordinate space; d) obtaining a third image based on at least information associated with the transformed first image and the transformed second image; and e) processing the third image to obtain information associated with the first state and the second state.

The Scan

Interfering With Invasive Mussels

The Chicago Tribune reports that researchers are studying whether RNA interference- or CRISPR-based approaches can combat invasive freshwater mussels.

Participation Analysis

A new study finds that women tend to participate less at scientific meetings but that some changes can lead to increased involvement, the Guardian reports.

Right Whales' Decline

A research study plans to use genetic analysis to gain insight into population decline among North American right whales, according to CBC.

Science Papers Tie Rare Mutations to Short Stature, Immunodeficiency; Present Single-Cell Transcriptomics Map

In Science this week: pair of mutations in one gene uncovered in brothers with short stature and immunodeficiency, and more.