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Patents of Note: Jul 21, 2009


Sequencing-Related US Patents Granted June 24 – July 21

US Patent 7,563,574. Methods, systems and compositions for monitoring enzyme activity and applications thereof
Inventors: Jonas Korlach, Stephen Turner
Assignee: Pacific Biosciences of California

Describes methods for monitoring enzyme-mediated reactions, in particular nucleic acid synthesis reactions such as pyrosequencing methods that employ enzymatic reporter systems. The methods and systems provide elevated signal levels as compared to conventional pyrosequencing processes, and/or mediate de-phasing of sequencing analyses using pyrosequencing or other "sequencing by synthesis" methods.

US Patents D596,440 and D595,990. Sipper tube
Inventors: Jonathan Rothberg, Wolfgang Hinz
Assignee: Ion Torrent Systems

Both patents protect the ornamental design for a sipper tube.

US Patent 7,556,922. Motion resolved molecular sequencing
Inventors: Steven Block, William Greenleaf
Assignee: The Board of Trustees of the Leland Stanford Junior University

Provides methods for determining the sequence of a polynucleotide by tracking the motion of a nucleotide-selective, processive enzyme along a template in a reaction mixture that alters the enzyme movement in a base-specific manner. The movement trace of the enzyme is collected and arranged in temporal order. The enzyme movement traces are then correlated with the reaction conditions, and from these characteristic signals, the nucleotide sequence is derived.

US Patent 7,553,949. Reversible terminator nucleotides and methods of use
Inventors: Linda Lee, Gerald Zon
Assignee: Applied Biosystems

Discloses compositions and methods for sequencing polynucleotides, including single-molecule sequencing. The patent includes reversible terminator nucleotides that can be incorporated at the 3' terminus of a polynucleotide by a polymerase in a template-dependent or -directed manner. The reversible terminator nucleotides generally include a hydroxyl group at the 3'-position of a sugar moiety, a blocking group at the 2'-position of the sugar moiety, and a label attached to the base. Upon incorporation of a reversible terminator nucleotide, the blocking group renders the polynucleotide non-extendible by the polymerase. In some embodiments, the incorporated reversible terminators also are resistant to 3'-5' exonucleases or "proofreading activities" of polymerases.

US Patent 7,553,943. Polynucleotide arrays
Inventors: Darren Ellis, Colin Barnes, Harold Swerdlow, Tom Brown
Assignee: Illumina Cambridge

Provides a hairpin polynucleotide with a loop and a stem that has a sulfur-based nucleophile that is attached to an internal nucleotide in the hairpin through a linker to enable binding to a solid support. The invention is based on the surprising finding that when hairpin polynucleotides are attached to a solid support, for example, for use in the preparation of single-molecule arrays, by reaction of a sulfur-based nucleophile with the solid support, improved adhesion to the solid support occurs as compared to attachment through backbone phosphorothioate moieties. Hairpin polynucleotides permit improved sequence analysis procedures since a target polynucleotide may be maintained in spatial relationship to a primer.

The Scan

More Boosters for US

Following US Food and Drug Administration authorization, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has endorsed booster doses of the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson SARS-CoV-2 vaccines, the Washington Post writes.

From a Pig

A genetically modified pig kidney was transplanted into a human without triggering an immune response, Reuters reports.

For Privacy's Sake

Wired reports that more US states are passing genetic privacy laws.

Science Paper on How Poaching Drove Evolution in African Elephants

In Science this week: poaching has led to the rapid evolution of tuskless African elephants.