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PATENT WATCH: Sep 7, 2001


Yale Awarded Patent for Lizardi’s Multiple Strand Amplification Method

Yale University received US Patent Number 6,280,949,”Multiple displacement amplification.” The patent describes a nucleic acid amplification method, invented by associate professor of pathology Paul Lizardi, (who also invented rolling circle amplification in 1995) in which multiple primers simultaneously displace strands of nucleic acids. In one form of the invention, a right and a left set of primers are used. The right set of primers is complementary to one strand of the nucleic acid molecule and the left set is complementary to the other strand of nucleic acid. Both attach with their 5’ ends away from the nucleic acid sequence, and initiate replication of each strand simultaneously. Other primers displace these primers. Once the nucleic acid strand elongated from the right set of primers meets the nucleic acid molecule at the area where the left side hybridizes, and vice versa, another round of priming and replication begins.

This invention can also be modified to enable whole genome strand amplification using random primers.

This is the second patent Lizardi has received recently. In July, he received a patent for his Fixed Analysis of Addressed Sequence Tags (FAAST), an enabling technology for the universal microarrays expression measurement in any genome that he has been working to develop with Agilix, a New Haven startup.

Incyte Awarded Patent for capillary tube Microarray method

Incyte Genomics has been awarded US Patent Number 6,277,628, “Linear microarrays.” The invention consists of a substrate that is immobilized in a capillary-like casing. The substrate occupies most of the area inside the casing, and regions of the substrate contain target probes that can consist of either polynucleotides or other biomolecules. The substrate consists of a liquid, an agarose plug, beads, or a rod inside the casing.


Digene PAtents RNA Detection Method

Digene, of Gaithersburg, Md., was awarded US Patent Number 6,277,579, “Direct detection of RNA mediated by reverse transcriptase lacking RNAse H function.” In this method of detecting RNA molecules, reverse transcription primers are immobilized on a solid support, and a reverse transcriptase lacking RNAse H function is used for transcribing the RNA. The resulting RNA/DNA hybrid is captured on the solid support, and detected with an antibody that is specific to RNA/DNA hybrids.

The method is designed for detection of specific RNA molecules in a sample that may include RNA from different organisms. The short primers are designed to minimize non-specific hybridization. The method can be used to detect reverse transcriptase activity and to identify reverse transcriptase inhibitors.

The Scan

Tara Pacific Expedition Project Team Finds High Diversity Within Coral Reef Microbiome

In papers appearing in Nature Communications and elsewhere, the team reports on findings from the two-year excursion examining coral reefs.

Study Examines Relationship Between Cellular Metabolism, DNA Damage Repair

A new study in Molecular Systems Biology finds that an antioxidant enzyme shifts from mitochondria to the nucleus as part of the DNA damage response.

Stem Cell Systems Target Metastatic Melanoma in Mouse Model

Researchers in Science Translational Medicine describe a pair of stem cell systems aimed at boosting immune responses against metastatic melanoma in the brain.

Open Pediatric Brain Tumor Atlas Team Introduces Genomic Data Collection, Analytical Tools

A study in Cell Genomics outlines open-source methods being used to analyze and translate whole-genome, exome, and RNA sequence data from the Pediatric Brain Tumor Atlas.