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IP Update: Cepheid, Good Start Genetics among Recent Bioinformatics Patent Winners

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US Patent 8,214,155. Methods for analysis of microRNA. Inventors: Bernard Michot, Olivier Delfour, David Vilanova, Jerome Ciuti, Florent Denoual. Assignee: Cepheid

Describes a method for identifying the biological functions and/or more reliable interaction targets of microRNAs using functional clustering and distance matrices.


US Patent 8,209,130. Sequence assembly. Inventors: Caleb Kennedy, Gregory J. Porreca. Assignee: Good Start Genetics

Describes a method for assembling and aligning sequence reads in order to identify mutations.


US Patent 8,200,440. System, method, and computer software product for genotype determination using probe array data. Inventors: Earl A. Hubbell, Simon Cawley. Assignee: Affymetrix

Describes a method of analyzing data from processed images of biological probe arrays in order to determine genotype information.


US Patent 8,200,439. Computer aided ligand-based and receptor-based drug design utilizing molecular shape and electrostatic complementarity. Inventors: Randy J. Zauhar, William J. Welsh. Assignee: N/S

Describes a method for computer-aided molecule design that uses shape similarity and electrostatic complementarity of molecules to compare compounds with each other and ligands with receptors.


US Patent 8,190,371. Methods and applications for target quantification. Inventors: Hatim T. Allawi, Victor Lyamichev, Rex Piper. Assignee: Third Wave Technologies

Describes methods and software applications for quantifying targets in experimental samples by collecting and processing signal data from the sample and two controls.


US Patent 8,189,884. Methods for assessing molecular expression of subcellular molecules. Inventors: Ali Can, Michael John Gerdes, Musodiq Olatayo Bello, Xiaodong Tao. Assignee: General Electric Company

Describes image processing and analysis methods for quantifying expression levels and distribution of proteins or other biological markers in biological samples.


The Scan

Breast Cancer Risk Related to Pathogenic BRCA1 Mutation May Be Modified by Repeats

Several variable number tandem repeats appear to impact breast cancer risk and age at diagnosis in almost 350 individuals carrying a risky Ashkenazi Jewish BRCA1 founder mutation.

Study Explores Animated Digital Message Approach to Communicate Genetic Test Results to Family Members

In the Journal of Genetic Counseling, the approach showed promise in participants presented with a hypothetical scenario related to a familial hereditary breast and ovarian cancer syndrome diagnosis.

Computational Tool Predicts Mammalian Messenger RNA Degradation Rates

A tool called Saluki, trained with mouse and human messenger RNA data, appears to improve mRNA half-life predictions by taking RNA and genetic features into account, a Genome Biology paper reports.

UK Pilot Study Suggests Digital Pathway May Expand BRCA Testing in Breast Cancer

A randomized pilot study in the Journal of Medical Genetics points to similar outcomes for breast cancer patients receiving germline BRCA testing through fully digital or partially digital testing pathways.