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Bioinform s Patent Roundup: Patents of Interest in Bioinformatics

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US Patent 6,662,115. Method for comparison of DNA base sequences. Inventors: Keiichi Nagai, Ryotaro Irie, Susumu Hiraoka, Naoko Kasahara. Assignee: Hitachi.

Covers a method for comparing DNA base sequences by comparing similarities between two amino acid sequences translated from two DNA base sequences. The method first divides each sequence into groups of three nucleotides, translating each of these groups of nucleotides into an amino acid. The method next determines similarities between each amino acid in view of nucleotide insertions or deletions in the first and second DNA base sequence and amino acid insertions or deletions in the first and second translated amino acid sequence. The method is repeated by shifting the base sequences one base at a time.


US Patent 6,658,429. Laboratory database system and methods for combinatorial materials research. Inventor: David Dorsett. Assignee: Symyx Technologies.

Covers systems, methods, and apparatus, including computer programs, for processing data from a combinatorial experiment. The techniques include receiving data from a chemical experiment on a library of materials and generating a representation of the chemical experiment. A data model and corresponding data structures for describing such experiments are also disclosed.


US Patent 6,654,696. Method for nucleic acid sequence determination using codes for error correction. Inventor: Stephen Davies. Assignee: None.

Protects a method for determining the sequence of a DNA molecule that first creates from the template a new set of molecules that introduce an error-correcting code. After the usual processing associated with DNA sequencing, the code can be used to reduce the errors in the estimated sequence.


US Patent 6,651,010. Vector-based method for visualizing secondary structure of RNA molecules. Inventors: Kyungsook Han, Dohyung Kim, Hong-Jin Kim. Assignee: INHA University Foundation.

Protects a method for visualizing secondary structures of RNA molecules, by which nearly overlap-free polygonal displays of RNA secondary structures are produced with minimal distortion to structural elements, with minimal search for positioning them, and with minimal user intervention. The method uses two heuristics to search for the space and direction of structural elements and to position loops in decreasing order of their sizes.

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The Scan

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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.