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IP Update: Population Genetics Technologies; Ohio State University; Maxwell Sensors; and More

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Population Genetics Technologies of Cambridge, UK, has received US Patent No. 8,148,068, "Methods and compositions for tagging and identifying polynucleotides." Methods are claimed for attaching oligonucleotide tags to polynucleotides for the purpose of carrying out analytical assays in parallel and for decoding the oligonucleotide tags of polynucleotides selected in such assays. According to the patent, words, or subunits, of oligonucleotide tags index submixtures in successively more complex sets of submixtures that a polynucleotide goes through while successive words are added to a growing tag. By identifying each word of an oligonucleotide tag, a series of submixtures is identified including the first submixture that contains only a single polynucleotide, providing the identity of the selected polynucleotide. The analysis of the words of an oligonucleotide tag can be carried out in parallel, by specific hybridization of the oligonucleotide tag to its tag complement on an addressable array; or such analysis can be carried out serially by successive specific hybridizations of labeled word complements, according to the patent.


Ohio State University of Columbus has received US Patent No. 8,148,069, "MicroRNA-based methods and compositions for the diagnosis, prognosis and treatment of solid cancers." A method of diagnosing whether a subject has a solid cancer is claimed. It relies on using microarrays to measure in a test sample from the subject a level of miR-21 gene product and miR-191 gene product, comparing the level of the miR-21 gene product and miR-191 gene product in the test sample to a control level of miR-21 gene product and miR-191 gene product; and diagnosing whether a subject has a solid cancer selected from the group consisting of colon, lung, pancreas, prostate, and stomach cancer, where an increase in the level of miR-21 gene product and miR-191 gene product in the test sample, relative to the control level of miR-21 gene product and miR-191 gene product, is indicative of the subject having a solid cancer selected from the group consisting of colon, lung, pancreas, prostate, and stomach cancer.


Maxwell Sensors of Santa Fe Springs, Calif., has received US Patent No. 8,148,139, "Light transmitted assay beads." A micro bead having a digitally coded structure that is partially transmissive and opaque to light is described. The pattern of transmitted light is used to decode the bead. The coded bead may be structured as a series of alternating light transmissive and opaque sections, with relative positions, widths and spacing resembling a one-dimensional or two-dimensional bar code image. To decode the image, the alternating transmissive and opaque sections of the body are scanned in analogous fashion to bar code scanning. The coded bead may be coated or immobilized with a capture or probe to effect a desired bioassay. The coded bead may include a paramagnetic material. A bioanalysis system that conducts high throughput bioanalysis using the coded bead, including a reaction detection zone and a decoding zone is also claimed.


Oakland University of Rochester, Mich., and Vanderbilt University of Nashville, Tenn., have received US Patent No. 8,148,170, "Immunosensors: scFv-linker design for surface immobilization." The device consists of a substrate with an exposed surface containing a compound that is electrostatically charged or capable of forming hydrogen bonds. A recombinant single-chain antibody, or scFv, molecule specific for the analyte of interest, containing amino acids with charged or hydrogen-bond forming sidechains in a linker polypeptide portion, is bound to the layer on the substrate. When the analyte of interest is present in the sample, the scFv binds the analyte to the solid substrate. The apparatus can be used with an immunoglobulin layer to detect Fc receptors, so as to detect microorganisms such as Staphylococcus aureus having protein A or protein G, according to the patent.


The US Department of Health and Human Services has received US Patent No. 8,148,302, "In situ assembling of protein microarrays." The arrays described consist of multiple nucleic acid molecules immobilized on a substrate, each made up of a protein-binding domain, a nucleic acid sequence encoding a fusion protein comprising a polypeptide of interest, a DNA-binding protein that binds the protein-binding domain, and one or more fusion proteins produced from the multiple nucleic acid molecules. Each fusion protein is immobilized on the substrate via binding to a nucleic acid sequence comprising the protein-binding domain present on the nucleic acid molecule from which the fusion protein is produced or on the substrate. A method of analyzing protein interactions with, for example, other proteins, lipids and drugs, is also claimed.


The Institute for Systems Biology of Seattle has received US Patent No. 8,148,512, "Methods for detection and quantification of analytes in complex mixtures." A method of detecting a nucleic acid analyte is claimed. The method consists of contacting a mixture of nucleic acid analytes under conditions sufficient for hybridization with target specific nucleic acid probes each having a different specifier; contacting the mixture under conditions sufficient for hybridization with anti-genedigits each having a unique label; and detecting a hybridized complex between the analytes in the mixture, a target specific probe, and an anti-genedigit.


Illumina of San Diego has received US Patent No. 8,150,626, "Methods and compositions for diagnosing lung cancer with specific DNA methylation patterns." A method is claimed for identifying differentially methylated genomic CpG dinucleotide sequences associated with adenocarcinoma in an individual. The methods include obtaining a biological sample from an individual; measuring the level of methylation in the biological sample at a CpG dinucleotide sequence at designated genomic targets; and comparing the level of methylation at the genomic CpG dinucleotide sequences in the biological sample to a reference level of methylation of said genomic CpG dinucleotide sequences. An increase in the level of methylation of the genomic CpG dinucleotide sequences in the biological sample for the designated genomic targets compared to the reference level identifies differentially methylated genomic CpG dinucleotide sequences associated with adenocarcinoma, according to the patent.


Illumina has also received US Patent No. 8,150,627, "Methods and compositions for diagnosing lung cancer with specific DNA methylation patterns." The method includes obtaining a biological sample from an individual measuring the level or pattern of methylated genomic CpG dinucleotide sequences for two or more of the genomic targets in the sample, and comparing the level of methylated genomic CpG dinucleotide sequences in the sample to a reference level of methylated genomic CpG dinucleotide sequences, where a difference in the level or pattern of methylation of the genomic CpG dinucleotide sequences in the sample compared to the reference level identifies differentially methylated genomic CpG dinucleotide sequences associated with cancer. According to the patent, the methods can be combined with a miniaturized array platform to allow for a high-level of assay multiplexing and scalable automation for sample handling and data processing.

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