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IP Roundup: Jun 23, 2009


Affymetrix has received US Patent No. 7,547,775, "Parallel preparation of high fidelity probes in an array format." The patent described a method of massively parallel oligonucleotide synthesis and purification for applications that utilize large collections of defined high-fidelity oligonucleotides. Methods are also provided for generating high numbers of oligonucleotides as probes and primers using oligonucleotide array technology to provide oligonucleotides, probes, and primers.

Datascope Investment of Montvale, NJ, has received US Patent No. 7,550,264, "Methods and kits for sense RNA synthesis." The patent claims kits and methods for performing multiple rounds of sense RNA synthesis. Specifically, the methods provide a single-stranded promoter template that includes an RNA polymerase recognition sequence and a different RNA polymerase recognition sequence, which is attached to the 3' end of first-round cDNA molecules. By using the described promoter template, scientists can conduct multiple rounds of sRNA synthesis without the need to repeat the complex series of steps associated with the re-attachment of single stranded promoter templates and subsequent enzymatic conversion into double stranded promoters following each successive round of cDNA synthesis, according to the patent. The resulting sRNA molecules can be used in applications such as microarray-based gene-expression studies, the patent inventors note.

Enzo Life Science of Farmingdale, NY, has received US Patent No. 7,550,265, "Process for removal of homopolymeric sequence portion from analyte(s) and library of analytes." The patent describes real-time nucleic acid detection processes that are carried out with energy transfer elements attached to nucleic acid primers, nucleotides, nucleic acid probes, or nucleic acid-binding agents. Real-time nucleic acid detection allows for the qualitative or quantitative detection or determination of single-stranded or double-stranded nucleic acids of interest in a sample, according to the patent.

Geno Sensor of Tempe, Ariz., has received US Patent No. 7,550,583, "Method of isolating, labeling and profiling small RNAs." The patent describes a method of selectively labeling non-messenger RNA molecules by: a) isolating total RNA from a tissue or cell; b) dissolving the isolated RNA; c) blocking the 3' or 5' end of the RNA; and d) adding T4 RNA ligase and a labeled nucleic acid adaptor. The patent also claims a method of expression profiling using small RNA by: a) separating the labeled RNA from capped RNA; b) providing a microarray with probes hybridizable to small RNA; c) incubating the labeled small RNA with the microarray; d) washing unhybridized RNA from the microarray; e) drying the microarray; f) staining the hybridized RNA on the microarray; and g) scanning the labeled microarray to determine the identity and quantity of labeling to the various miRNA probe sites.

Nanyang Polytechnic of Singapore has received US Patent No. 7,551,762, "Method and system for automatic vision inspection and classification of microarray slides." The patent describes an automatic visual system for inspection and classification of a microarray slide without manual intervention. A method is also claimed, where the system first performs a morphological dilation operation several times so that internal microarray spots are merged as a big connected component. The orientation of the merged spots is then computed with respect to the X-axis and Y-axis. Threshold methods for classifying spots into normal spots, weak spots, missing spots, or overlapping spots are also claimed.

GE Healthcare has received US Patent No. 7,552,013, "Ratio-based oligonucleotide probe selection." The patent claims methods of selecting probes to target nucleic acid sequences, methods of making oligonucleotide arrays including such probes, and methods of using the arrays. Oligonucleotide arrays created according to the described methods are also claimed.

The Scan

Pig Organ Transplants Considered

The Wall Street Journal reports that the US Food and Drug Administration may soon allow clinical trials that involve transplanting pig organs into humans.

'Poo-Bank' Proposal

Harvard Medical School researchers suggest people should bank stool samples when they are young to transplant when they later develop age-related diseases.

Spurred to Develop Again

New Scientist reports that researchers may have uncovered why about 60 percent of in vitro fertilization embryos stop developing.

Science Papers Examine Breast Milk Cell Populations, Cerebral Cortex Cellular Diversity, Micronesia Population History

In Science this week: unique cell populations found within breast milk, 100 transcriptionally distinct cell populations uncovered in the cerebral cortex, and more.