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IP Roundup: NanoString Technologies, TNO, Roche NimbleGen, Quanterix, HistoRx


NanoString Technologies of Seattle has received US Patent No. 8,415,102, "Methods and computer systems for identifying target-specific sequences for use in nanoreporters." The patent relates to coded, labeled probes that are capable of binding to and identifying target molecules based on the probes' label codes. The patent also provides methods, computers, and computer program products for identifying target-specific sequences for inclusion in the probes, and methods of making and using such probes. According to the inventors, the probes can be used in diagnostic, prognostic, quality control, and screening applications.

The Netherlands Organization for Applied Scientific Research TNO, of Delft, the Netherlands, has received US Patent No. 8,415,171, "Method of detecting pathogenic Legionella strains." A method is claimed for detecting pathogenic Legionella pneumophila strains using a microarray. It includes hybridizing genomic DNA of a sample suspected to contain Legionella to two or five specific sequence markers. An array and a kit for performing the method are also claimed.

Quanterix of Lexington, Mass., has received US Patent No. 8,415,171, "Methods and systems for extending dynamic range in assays for the detection of molecules or particles." Methods are claimed for extending the dynamic range of assays used for determining the concentration of analyte molecules or particles in a fluid sample. They include spatially segregating analyte molecules in a fluid sample into a number of locations. At least a portion of the locations may be addressed to determine the percentage of the locations containing at least one analyte molecule. Based in part on the percentage, a measure of the concentration of analyte molecules in the fluid sample may be determined using an analog or digital intensity-based detection method.

HistoRx of New Haven, Conn., has received US Patent No. 8,417,015, "Methods and system for validating sample images for quantitative immunoassays." A method is claimed for automatically evaluating thequality of a slide-mounted tissue sample. It includes receiving a digital image of a magnified portion of the sample and determining a quantitative quality indicator. According to the patent, the quantitative quality indicators and associated quality thresholds are selected for suitability with an automated quantitative immunoassay.

Roche NimbleGen of Madison, Wis., has received US Patent No. 8,415,101, "Digital optical chemistry micromirror imager." The patent claims a method for catalyzing a reaction on a substrate. It relies on a light source and a micromirror positioned to redirect light from the light source toward a substrate, where the redirected light catalyzes a chemical reaction. According to the patent, a computer is connected to, and controls, the positioning of mirrors within the micromirror to specifically redirect light to specific portions of a substrate.

The Scan

Positive Framing of Genetic Studies Can Spark Mistrust Among Underrepresented Groups

Researchers in Human Genetics and Genomics Advances report that how researchers describe genomic studies may alienate potential participants.

Small Study of Gene Editing to Treat Sickle Cell Disease

In a Novartis-sponsored study in the New England Journal of Medicine, researchers found that a CRISPR-Cas9-based treatment targeting promoters of genes encoding fetal hemoglobin could reduce disease symptoms.

Gut Microbiome Changes Appear in Infants Before They Develop Eczema, Study Finds

Researchers report in mSystems that infants experienced an enrichment in Clostridium sensu stricto 1 and Finegoldia and a depletion of Bacteroides before developing eczema.

Acute Myeloid Leukemia Treatment Specificity Enhanced With Stem Cell Editing

A study in Nature suggests epitope editing in donor stem cells prior to bone marrow transplants can stave off toxicity when targeting acute myeloid leukemia with immunotherapy.