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IP Roundup: May 3, 2010


SomaLogic of Boulder, Colo., has received US Patent No. 7,709,192, "Nucleic acid ligand diagnostic biochip." The patent describes a nucleic acid ligand biochip that consists of a solid support to which one or more specific nucleic acid ligands is attached. Each nucleic acid ligand binds to a particular target molecule contained within a test mixture, such as a bodily fluid. The target molecules include proteins, hormones, sugars, metabolic byproducts, cofactor, and intermediates, drugs, and toxins. Contacting the test mixture with the biochip leads to the binding of a target molecule to its cognate nucleic acid ligand. The biochip may then be contacted with reagents that react covalently with proteins and not with nucleic acids. Each protein target in the test mixture may then be detected by determining the presence of the reagent at the appropriate address on the biochip.

Sony has received US Patent No. 7,709,195, "Hybridization detecting unit relying on dielectrophoresis and sensor chip provided with the detecting unit." The patent claims a hybridization detecting unit. The unit includes a reaction region in which hybridization takes place, sites arranged in the reaction region that contain nucleic acids for detection, and a means for sequentially moving by dielectrophoresis the target nucleic acid into the region where a probe nucleic acid for detection exists, increasing the probability of hybridization taking place.

Sony has also received US Patent No. 7,709,248, "Bioassay unit and substrate for bioassay." The patent claims a bioassay system that includes the means for immobilizing a nucleotide chain, a peptide, a protein, a lipid, a low molecular-weight compound, a liposome or any other biological substance as a detection substance in a detecting section. A method is also claimed that includes dropping a target-substance containing solution onto the immobilized detection substance, and causing the detection substance and the target substance to interact with each other to prepare a reaction product. A means for condensing fluorescence, which has been emitted from the fluorescence-labeled substance by irradiating excitation light, is also described.

Advanced Cell Diagnostics of Hayward, Calif., has received US Patent No. 7,709,198, "Multiplex detection of nucleic acids." The patent claims methods of detecting nucleic acids, including methods of detecting two or more nucleic acids in multiplex branched-chain DNA assays. According to the patent, nucleic acids captured on a solid support are detected, for example, through cooperative hybridization events that result in specific association of a label with the nucleic acids. Kits and systems related to the methods are also described.

Samsung Electronics has received US Patent No. 7,709,627, "Oligonucleotide primer set for amplifying target sequence(s) of norovirus, oligonucleotide probe or probe set specifically hybridizing with target sequence(s) of norovirus, microarray immobilized with the probe or probe set, and method of detecting norovirus using the probe or probe set." The patent claims a primer set capable of amplifying a target sequence of norovirus. It also claims a probe or probe set for detecting norovirus, which is specific to a target sequence amplified using the primer set; a microarray immobilized with the probe or probe set; and a method of detecting norovirus using the probe or probe set.

The Penn State Research Foundation has received US Patent No. 7,711,490, "Method and system for modeling cellular metabolism." The patent claims methods and systems for modeling cellular metabolism of an organism. The methods include constructing a flux balance analysis model, and applying constraints to the flux balance analysis model, where the constraints are selected from a set consisting of: qualitative kinetic information constraints, qualitative regulatory information constraints, and differential DNA microarray experimental data constraints.

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory has received US Patent No. 7,711,491, "Computational method and system for modeling, analyzing, and optimizing DNA amplification and synthesis." A computational method and computer-based system of modeling DNA synthesis for the design and interpretation of PCR amplification, parallel DNA synthesis, and microarray chip analysis. The method and system include modules that address the bioinformatics, kinetics, and thermodynamics of DNA amplification and synthesis. Specifically, the steps of DNA selection, as well as the kinetics and thermodynamics of DNA hybridization and extensions, are addressed, which enable the optimization of the processing and the prediction of the products as a function of DNA sequence, mixing protocol, time, temperature and concentration of species.

The United States of America has received US Patent No. 7,711,492, "Methods for diagnosing lymphoma types." The patent claims methods for identifying, diagnosing, and predicting survival in a lymphoma or lymphoproliferative disorder on the basis of gene-expression patterns. A microarray is described for obtaining gene expression data from a lymphoma sample. Other methods for using lymphoma gene expression data to determine the identity of a particular lymphoma and to predict survival in a subject diagnosed with a particular lymphoma are claimed.

The Scan

Wolf Howl Responses Offer Look at Vocal Behavior-Related Selection in Dogs

In dozens of domestic dogs listening to wolf vocalizations, researchers in Communication Biology see responses varying with age, sex, reproductive status, and a breed's evolutionary distance from wolves.

Facial Imaging-Based Genetic Diagnoses Appears to Get Boost With Three-Dimensional Approach

With data for more than 1,900 individuals affected by a range of genetic conditions, researchers compared facial phenotype-based diagnoses informed by 2D or 3D images in the European Journal of Human Genetics.

Survey Suggests Multigene Cancer Panel VUS Reporting May Vary Across Genetic Counselors

Investigators surveyed dozens of genetic counselors working in clinical or laboratory settings, uncovering attitudes around VUS reporting after multigene cancer panel testing in the Journal of Genetic Counseling.

Study Points to Tuberculosis Protection by Gaucher Disease Mutation

A mutation linked to Gaucher disease in the Ashkenazi Jewish population appears to boost Mycobacterium tuberculosis resistance in a zebrafish model of the lysosomal storage condition, a new PNAS study finds.