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IP Update: Microsoft, IBM, and Affymetrix among Recent Bioinformatics Patent Winners


US Patent 8,396,671. Cluster modeling, and learning cluster specific parameters of an adaptive double threading model. Inventors: Nebojsa Jojic, David Heckerman, Manuel Jesus Reyes Gomez. Assignee: Microsoft

This patent describes cluster models that can be used to predict protein and ligand binding.

US Patent 8,392,355. Computer software for visualizing genotyping data. Inventors: Giulia Kennedy, Yaron Turpaz, Chun Zhang. Assignee: Affymetrix

This patent describes a computer-based method of visualizing recombination events in genotype data.

US Patent 8,386,190. System and method for identifying networks of ternary relationships in complex data systems. Inventor: Ker-Chau Li.
Assignee: The Regents of the University of California

This patent is for a system and method of "identifying high order associations between variables in complex systems that is particularly useful where there is no correlation or weak correlation between variables due to the influence of a third variable, a ternary relationship." According to the abstract, the method could be used to analyze gene expression data.

US Patent 8,386,189. Protein Structure Analysis. Inventors: Prasanna Athma, Ajay Royyuru, Benjamin David Silverman, Ruhong Zhou. Assignee: International Business Machines

Describes a method for protein structure analysis that uses a scoring function.

US Patent 8,380,442. Secondary structure defining database and methods for determining identity and geographic origin of an unknown bioagent thereby. Inventors: David Ecker, Richard Griffey, Rangarajan Sampath, Steven Hofstadler, John McNeil, Stanley Crooke. Assignee: Ibis Bioscience

This patent describes methods of interrogating bioagent databases to compare the molecular masses of known and unknown bioagents in order to determine the identities and/or origins of unknown agents.

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The Scan

Positive Framing of Genetic Studies Can Spark Mistrust Among Underrepresented Groups

Researchers in Human Genetics and Genomics Advances report that how researchers describe genomic studies may alienate potential participants.

Small Study of Gene Editing to Treat Sickle Cell Disease

In a Novartis-sponsored study in the New England Journal of Medicine, researchers found that a CRISPR-Cas9-based treatment targeting promoters of genes encoding fetal hemoglobin could reduce disease symptoms.

Gut Microbiome Changes Appear in Infants Before They Develop Eczema, Study Finds

Researchers report in mSystems that infants experienced an enrichment in Clostridium sensu stricto 1 and Finegoldia and a depletion of Bacteroides before developing eczema.

Acute Myeloid Leukemia Treatment Specificity Enhanced With Stem Cell Editing

A study in Nature suggests epitope editing in donor stem cells prior to bone marrow transplants can stave off toxicity when targeting acute myeloid leukemia with immunotherapy.