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IP Roundup: Aug 18, 2009


Applied Biosystems, now Life Technologies, has received US Patent No. 7,575,863, "Methods, compositions, and kits comprising linker probes for quantifying polynucleotides." The patent claims methods, reagents, kits, and compositions for identifying and quantifying target polynucleotide sequences. A linker probe containing a 3' target specific portion, a loop, and a stem is first hybridized to a target polynucleotide and extended to form a reaction product that includes a reverse primer portion and the stem nucleotides. A detector probe, a specific forward primer, and a reverse primer can then be employed in an amplification reaction where the detector probe can detect the amplified target polynucleotide based on the stem nucleotides introduced by the linker probe. Using this method, short miRNAs can be queried with linker probes, where the linker probes include a universal reverse-primer portion, a different 3' target specific portion, and different stems. The queried miRNAs can then be decoded in different amplification reactions.

Kaohsiung Medical University of Kaohsiung, Taiwan, has received US Patent No. 7,575,928, "Genes for diagnosing colorectal cancer." The patent provides methods for diagnosing colorectal cancer by: a) deriving epithelium cells from normal intestines, polyps of intestines and colorectal cancer tissue; b) collecting genes with highly differential gene expression by suppression subtractive hybridization and building a library; c) deriving colonies with relatively high signal intensities from cancer tissue; d) collecting genes from more cancer tissues by northern hybridization and real-time PCR combined with bioinformatics analysis to affirm the variation between differential gene expression; and e) selecting the most suitable genes from the library, and using the gene sequences in diagnosing colorectal cancer.

SRU Biosystems of Woburn, Mass., has received US Patent No. 7,575,939, "Optical detection of label-free biomolecular interactions using microreplicated plastic sensor elements." The patent claims a biosensor that includes: a) an optical grating; b) a substrate layer that supports the optical grating; and c) one or more specific binding substances immobilized on a surface of the optical grating opposite the substrate layer. When the biosensor is illuminated, a resonant grating effect is produced on the reflected radiation spectrum, according to the patent. The depth and cross-sectional period of the optical grating are less than the wavelength of the resonant grating effect, it states.

St. Louis University of St. Louis has received US Patent No. 7,576,192, "Rapid and sensitive assay for the detection and quantification of coregulators of nucleic acid binding factors:" The patent claims biosensors and methods to determine the activity of nucleic acid-binding factors, proteins, cellular events, nucleic acid-binding protein coregulators, or fragments, based on the stabilization of the interaction of two nucleic acid components. In one embodiment of the described methods, a fluorescence donor is attached to a nucleic acid that includes a portion of a complete nucleic acid-binding element, and a fluorescence acceptor is attached to a nucleic acid that includes the other portion of the same binding element. In another embodiment, a solid substrate is attached to a nucleic acid containing a portion of a binding element and a detectable label is attached to a nucleic acid that includes the other portion of the same binding element. The binding of a nucleic acid-binding factor to the nucleic acid components affects a change in luminescence or the association of the detectable label with the solid substrate, according to the patent. The described biosensors and methods may also be used to detect mediating nucleic acid-binding factor coregulators, post-translational modifications and cellular events, and to diagnose diseases and screen for drugs or other ligands that mediate the activity of nucleic acid-binding factors.

Corning of Corning, NY, has received US Patent No. 7,576,333, "Optical interrogation system and method for using same." The patent claims an optical interrogation system and a method that enable the interrogation of biosensors located within the wells of a microplate. The described optical interrogation system has a tunable laser, fiber launches, lenses, and detectors that are set up to interrogate the biosensors.

Blueshift Biotechnologies of Sunnyvale, Calif., has received US Patent No. 7,576,862, "Measuring time dependent fluorescence." The patent claims methods and an apparatus, including computer program products, for collecting optical data pertaining to one or more characteristics of a sample. According to the patent, a light beam of a certain frequency is scanned onto a sample surface using one or more illumination optical elements. The light of a second frequency is then collected from a scan line on the sample surface. None of the initial optical elements are included among the resulting illumination optical elements. The collected light is then transmitted to a detector.

The Scan

WHO Seeks Booster Pause

According to CNN, the World Health Organization is calling for a moratorium on administering SARS-CoV-2 vaccine boosters until more of the world has received initial doses.

For Those Long Legs

With its genome sequence and subsequent RNAi analyses, researchers have examined the genes that give long legs to daddy longlegs, New Scientist says.

September Plans

The New York Times reports that the US Food and Drug Administration is aiming for early September for full approval of the Pfizer-BioNTech SARS-CoV-2 vaccine.

Nucleic Acids Research Papers on Targeting DNA Damage Response, TSMiner, VarSAn

In Nucleic Acids Research this week: genetic changes affecting DNA damage response inhibitor response, "time-series miner" approach, and more.