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IP Update: Agilent Technologies, New York University among Recent Bioinformatics Patent Winners

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US Patent 8,494,779. Method for screening essential metabolites in growth of microorganisms Inventors: Sang Yup Lee, Hawoong Jeong, Tae Yong Kim, Pan-Jun Kim, Kwang Ho Lee. Assignee: Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology

This patent is for a method of screening metabolites in microorganisms that uses metabolic flux analysis. According to the abstract, the method involves constructing a metabolic network of the microorganism, "inactivating the consumption reaction of each of metabolites" in the network model, "analyzing the metabolic flux of the metabolites to select metabolites [that are] essential for the growth of the microorganism, and confirming the selected metabolites using the utilization of each of the metabolites, defined as flux sum."


US Patent 8,483,972. System and method for genotype analysis and enhanced Monte Carlo simulation method to estimate misclassification rate in automated genotyping Inventor: Sami Kanderian. Assignee: Canon US Life Sciences

The patent is for methods and systems for analyzing nucleic acids' dissociation behavior. The abstract further states that the patent covers methods and systems for "calculating error statistics for an assay for identifying a genotype in a biological sample using an enhanced Monte Carlo simulation method."


US Patent 8,483,971. System and method and computer program for non-binary sequence comparison Inventor: Jeffrey Clark. Assignee: Not listed

The patent covers a system and method for "performing non-binary comparison of biological sequences" that includes a new measure called "omega0, which is a non-binary counting measure that is used in a stand alone module called VaSSA-1." According to the abstract, "this measure obtains substantially more information about sequences and comparisons between them than is gathered by conventional bioinformatics techniques."


US Patent 8,478,537. Methods and systems for clustering biological assay data Inventor: Nicholas Sampas. Assignee: Agilent Technologies

This patent covers statistical methods of clustering data from biological assays.


US Patent 8,478,535. Systems and methods that utilize machine learning algorithms to facilitate assembly of AIDS vaccine cocktails Inventors: Nebojsa Jojic, Vladimir Jojic, David Heckerman, Brendan John Frey, Christopher Meek. Assignee: Microsoft Corporation

According to the abstract, this patent covers systems and methods based on machine learning algorithms for generating vaccine cocktails for pathogens "that evolve quickly under immune pressure of the host" such as HIV.


US Patent 8,473,221. Process, software arrangement and computer-accessible medium for obtaining information associated with a haplotype Inventors: Will Casey, Tom Anantharaman, Bhubaneswar Mishra. Assignees: New York University, Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation

According to the abstract, this patent relates to a method, system, and software for "determining the co-associations of allele types across consecutive loci and hence for reconstructing two haplotypes of a diploid individual from genotype data." The inventors believe that their approach could be help with genetics-based disease diagnosis and treatment.

The Scan

Booster Push

New data shows a decline in SARS-CoV-2 vaccine efficacy over time, which the New York Times says Pfizer is using to argue its case for a booster, even as the lower efficacy remains high.

With Help from Mr. Fluffington, PurrhD

Cats could make good study animals for genetic research, the University of Missouri's Leslie Lyons tells the Atlantic.

Man Charged With Threatening to Harm Fauci, Collins

The Hill reports that Thomas Patrick Connally, Jr., was charged with making threats against federal officials.

Nature Papers Present Approach to Find Natural Products, Method to ID Cancer Driver Mutations, More

In Nature this week: combination of cryogenic electron microscopy with genome mining helps uncover natural products, driver mutations in cancer, and more.