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IP Roundup: Apr 20, 2010

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Agilent Technologies has received US Patent No. 7,700,289, "Method for labeling RNA." The patent describes a method of labeling RNA in a sample by: a) contacting a sample of RNAs with calf intestinal alkaline phosphatase under conditions and for a time sufficient to result in dephosphorylated RNA; b) mixing the dephosphorylated RNA with dimethyl sulfoxide; and c) contacting the solution with an enzyme having RNA ligation activity in the presence of a labeled substrate under conditions sufficient to result in coupling of the labeled substrate to the dephosphorylated RNA to provide labeled RNA.


Stanford University has received US Patent No. 7,700,323, "Method for detecting and amplifying target DNA." The patent claims methods of multiplexing nucleic acid reactions, including amplification, detection, and genotyping. The method relies on the use of precircle probes that are circularized in the presence of the corresponding target nucleic acids, cleaved, and then amplified. Specifically, the method includes: a) forming closed circular probes; b) cleaving the closed circular probes to form cleaved probes; c) amplifying the cleaved probes to form amplicons; and d) detecting the amplicons to detect the nucleic acid target sequences in the sample.


Boston University has received US Patent No. 7,700,325, "Haplotype analysis." The patent provides a way for conducting high-throughput haplotype analysis, where several polymorphic nucleic acid markers, such as SNPs, can be determined through multiplex PCR of single nucleic acid molecules in several parallel single-molecule dilutions. The consequent statistical analysis of the results from these parallel single-molecule multiplex PCR reactions results in reliable determination of haplotypes present in the subject, according to the patent. In addition, the patent claims an approach where overlapping DNA markers are analyzed and can be used to link smaller haplotypes into larger haplotypes.


UAB Research Foundation of Birmingham, Ala., has received US Patent No. 7,700,363, "Method for screening crystallization conditions in solution crystal growth." The patent describes a method of screening protein crystal growth conditions with picogram to microgram amounts of protein in picoliter or nanoliter volumes. According to the methods, a microarray containing microchambers is provided. A protein solution is then placed into the microchambers by an automated dispensing mechanism, and the protein crystal growth conditions of each of the microchambers is adjusted so that the protein crystal growth conditions in at least two of the microchambers differs. Crystallization of the protein solution in the microchambers is effected and then observed.


Illumina has received US Patent No. 7,702,466, "Systems and methods for selection of nucleic acid sequence probes." The patent claims a method for selecting nucleic acid probes based on similarities among differential responses in hybridizing to target nucleic acid sequences. The method includes: a) selecting a set of candidate probes; b) hybridizing the candidate probes to nucleic acid sequences of each of a set of target nucleic acid sequences representing diverse biological isolates; c) processing intensity pattern data for said set of candidate probes, generating one-dimensional values that represent the relative similarities of their differential responses; d) identifying a most represented group among said one-dimensional values; and e) selecting nucleic acid probes from candidate probes corresponding to the most represented one-dimensional values.


Population Diagnostics of Melville, NY, has received US Patent No. 7,702,468, "Evaluating genetic disorders." The patent claims a method of determining the relevance of a copy number variant in a subject to a disease or a condition associated with a genotype by: a) screening a subject's genome with PCR, array comparative genomic hybridization, sequencing, SNP genotyping, or fluorescence in situ hybridization to provide information on one or more copy number variants; b) comparing via a computer the copy number variants from the genome of the subject to a compilation of data composing frequencies of copy number variants in at least 1,000 normal subjects; and c) determining the statistical significance of the copy number variants from the comparison.

The Scan

Fertility Fraud Found

Consumer genetic testing has uncovered cases of fertility fraud that are leading to lawsuits, according to USA Today.

Ties Between Vigorous Exercise, ALS in Genetically At-Risk People

Regular strenuous exercise could contribute to motor neuron disease development among those already at genetic risk, Sky News reports.

Test Warning

The Guardian writes that the US regulators have warned against using a rapid COVID-19 test that is a key part of mass testing in the UK.

Science Papers Examine Feedback Mechanism Affecting Xist, Continuous Health Monitoring for Precision Medicine

In Science this week: analysis of cis confinement of the X-inactive specific transcript, and more.