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IP Roundup: Oct 25, 2011


The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health of Toronto has received US Patent No. 8,043,808, "CpG-amplicon and array protocol." The method includes selecting genomic test nucleotide sequences from subjects that exhibit a phenotype of interest, and corresponding genomic control sequences from subjects that lack the phenotype of interest; digesting the genomic test nucleotide sequences and separately digesting genomic control sequences with one or more methylation-sensitive restriction endonucleases that cut unmethylated sequences but not methylated sequences, to produce ends that can be ligated to an adaptor nucleotide sequence; ligating adaptor nucleotide sequences to the ends to produce ligated sequences; cleaving the ligated sequences with methylation-specific endonucleases that cut methylated sequences but not unmethylated sequences, to produce amplifiable test nucleotide sequences, non-amplifiable nucleotide sequences, amplifiable control nucleotides sequences and non-amplifiable control nucleotide sequences; amplifying the amplifiable test nucleotide sequences and amplifiable control nucleotide sequences to produce amplified test nucleotide sequences and amplified control nucleotide sequences; labeling the amplified test nucleotide sequences with a first label, and labeling the amplified control nucleotide sequence with a second label; hybridizing the labeled products with an array that consists of a series of nucleotide sequences that are capable of hybridizing; and determining the ratio of the signals emitted by the first label relative to the second label for each hybridized nucleotide sequence on the array.

The General Hospital Corporation of Boston has received US Patent No. 8,043,846, "Device and method for contacting picoliter volumes of fluid." One described device is based on the ability to control the flow of fluids by contact angle and channel size. Fluids in the device can be divided to form segments of controlled volume, which are then brought together to initiate mixing. An exemplary use of the device is for the lysis of single cells. Another device is claimed that is based on the ability to mix two fluids in a channel and affinity capture of analytes. The devices can be integrated on the same chip with other devices, for example, for cell handling or analysis of DNA, RNA, and proteins released from the lysis of a cell, according to the patent.

Naoki Murakami and Yuichi Tomaru of Ashigara, Japan, have received US Patent No. 8,045,171, "Inspection chip producing method and specimen detecting method." The patent describes a substrate containing metallic portions that permit the excitation of surface plasmons. A specimen can be attached to the surfaces of the metallic portions of the substrate and its presence detected based on measuring light intensity.

Hitachi of Tokyo and Applera (now Life Technologies) of Norwalk, Conn., have received US Patent No. 8,043,493, "Multi-capillary array electrophoresis device." The described device includes a multi-capillary array containing a liquid or solid disposed between the capillaries. The liquid or solid exhibits a refractive index higher than that of air and less than that of water and reduces the amount of laser beams scattered by the capillaries, according to the patent. The patent also claims methods of adjusting refracted and reflected excitation light beams passing through capillaries of a multi-capillary array, to reduce loss of intensity of the laser beams and increase irradiation of respective samples disposed in the capillaries.

The Scan

More Boosters for US

Following US Food and Drug Administration authorization, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has endorsed booster doses of the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson SARS-CoV-2 vaccines, the Washington Post writes.

From a Pig

A genetically modified pig kidney was transplanted into a human without triggering an immune response, Reuters reports.

For Privacy's Sake

Wired reports that more US states are passing genetic privacy laws.

Science Paper on How Poaching Drove Evolution in African Elephants

In Science this week: poaching has led to the rapid evolution of tuskless African elephants.