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Recent Patents in Bioinformatics, October — November 2011

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US Patent 8,050,870. Identifying associations using graphical models. Inventors: David Heckerman, Jonathan Carlson, Carl Kadie. Assignee: Microsoft

Describes a statistical method for identifying associations between variables in biological data. It includes a model builder that uses information about the variables to generate a set of models; and an association identifier that assesses the strength of the association between the variables in question.


US Patent 8,046,174. System and method for identifying networks of ternary relationships in complex data systems. Inventors: Ker-Chau Li. Assignee: The Regents of the University of California

Describes a method for identifying "high order associations" between two variables in complex systems, particularly where there is no correlation or the correlation is weakened by the influence of a third variable. The method can be applied to gene expression data to study how the activities of pairs of correlated genes are impacted by the influence of a third gene or genes.


US Patent 8,041,090. Method of, and apparatus and computer software for, performing image processing. Inventors: Yuriy Alexandrov, Iain Bye, Geert Kalusche. Assignee: GE Healthcare

Describes a method for processing images of biological objects. According to the abstract, the approach accepts image data from a reference and a target population of objects; obtains a set of measurements of "descriptors" that are contained in both images, and compares both sets of measurements to select a combination of descriptors that serve as a standard for defining the characteristics of the target population.


The Scan

Genome Sequences Reveal Range Mutations in Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells

Researchers in Nature Genetics detect somatic mutation variation across iPSCs generated from blood or skin fibroblast cell sources, along with selection for BCOR gene mutations.

Researchers Reprogram Plant Roots With Synthetic Genetic Circuit Strategy

Root gene expression was altered with the help of genetic circuits built around a series of synthetic transcriptional regulators in the Nicotiana benthamiana plant in a Science paper.

Infectious Disease Tracking Study Compares Genome Sequencing Approaches

Researchers in BMC Genomics see advantages for capture-based Illumina sequencing and amplicon-based sequencing on the Nanopore instrument, depending on the situation or samples available.

LINE-1 Linked to Premature Aging Conditions

Researchers report in Science Translational Medicine that the accumulation of LINE-1 RNA contributes to premature aging conditions and that symptoms can be improved by targeting them.