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IP Roundup: Sep 15, 2009


The Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation and the University of Chicago have received US Patent No. 7,588,906, "Hydrogels for biomolecule analysis and corresponding method to analyze biomolecules." The patent claims polyacrylamide-based methods of fabricating surface-bound peptide and protein arrays, the arrays themselves, and a method of using the arrays to detect biomolecules and to measure their concentration, binding affinity, and kinetics. According to the patent, peptides, proteins, fusion proteins, protein complexes, nucleic acids, and the like are labeled with an acrylic moiety and attached to acrylic-functionalized glass surfaces through a copolymerization with acrylic monomer. The claimed surface attachment strategy is applicable to the proteomics field and addresses denaturation and dehydration problems associated with protein microarray development, the inventors state in the patent.

GenVault of Carlsbad, Calif., has received US Patent No. 7,589,184, "Stable protein storage and stable nucleic acid storage in recoverable form." The patent provides compositions and methods for the storage of biomolecules via absorption to a substrate. According to the patent, the absorbed biomolecules can be eluted or recovered from the substrate at a future time, and optionally be subjected to a subsequent analysis or application.

Illumina has received US Patent No. 7,589,315, "Confocal imaging methods and apparatus." The patent claims an imaging apparatus and methods for obtaining a high-resolution image of a sample at rapid scan rates. It describes a rectangular detector array that can be used along with imaging optics to direct a rectangular image of a portion of a sample to the rectangular detector array. A scanning device can then be configured to scan the sample in a scan-axis dimension.

Ocimum Biosolutions of Indianapolis has received US Patent No. 7,590,493, "Methods for determining hepatotoxins." The patent is based on the elucidation of the global changes in gene expression in liver tissues or cells exposed to known toxins, in particular hepatotoxins, as compared to unexposed tissues or cells, as well as the identification of individual genes that are differentially expressed in liver tissues or cells upon toxin exposure. It describes methods of predicting at least one toxic effect of a compound, predicting the progression of a toxic effect of a compound, and predicting the hepatoxicity of a compound. It also includes methods of identifying agents that modulate the onset or progression of a toxic response, predicting the cellular pathways that a compound modulates in a cell, and identifying agents that modulate protein activities.

The Scan

Germline-Targeting HIV Vaccine Shows Promise in Phase I Trial

A National Institutes of Health-led team reports in Science that a broadly neutralizing antibody HIV vaccine induced bnAb precursors in 97 percent of those given the vaccine.

Study Uncovers Genetic Mutation in Childhood Glaucoma

A study in the Journal of Clinical Investigation ties a heterozygous missense variant in thrombospondin 1 to childhood glaucoma.

Gene Co-Expression Database for Humans, Model Organisms Gets Update

GeneFriends has been updated to include gene and transcript co-expression networks based on RNA-seq data from 46,475 human and 34,322 mouse samples, a new paper in Nucleic Acids Research says.

New Study Investigates Genomics of Fanconi Anemia Repair Pathway in Cancer

A Rockefeller University team reports in Nature that FA repair deficiency leads to structural variants that can contribute to genomic instability.