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IP Roundup: Universidad Politecnica de Valencia, Affymetrix, Olympus, Akonni Biosystems, and More

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Universidad Politecnica de Valencia of Valencia, Spain, has received US Patent No. 8,236,367, "Method of chemically modifying polymer surfaces intended for immobilizing molecules." The method calls for the chemical modification of an optionally metallized polymer surface by treating the surface with a mercaptoalkanoic acid. The resulting surfaces may be used as solid supports for immobilizing biomolecules, such as nucleic acids, proteins, or membranes.


Affymetrix of Santa Clara, Calif., has received US Patent No. 8,236,493, "Methods of enzymatic discrimination enhancement and surface-bound double-stranded DNA." The patent provides methods for discriminating between fully complementary hybrids and those that differ by one or more base pairs and libraries of unimolecular, double-stranded oligonucleotides on a solid support. The patent also provides methods of using nuclease treatment to improve the quality of hybridization signals on high-density oligonucleotide arrays. Methods of using ligation reactions to improve the quality of hybridization signals on high-density oligonucleotide arrays are also described.


Olympus of Tokyo has received US Patent No. 8,236,498, "Method of detecting nucleotide sequence with an intramolecular probe." The patent claims a nucleotide sequence-detecting method that includes preparing an intramolecular-detecting sequence having a sequence complementary to a first sequence located at a 3'-side of the detecting site contained in the nucleotide sample, and a second intramolecular-detecting sequence having a sequence complementary to a second sequence located at a 5'-side of the detecting site; preparing a detecting chain containing a sequence of the detecting chain by connecting the first intramolecular-detecting sequence to the 3' terminal of the nucleotide sample and the second intramolecular-detecting sequence to the 5' terminal; allowing intramolecular hybridization at two positions of the detecting chain; connecting the 3' terminal of the first intramolecular-detecting sequence to the 5' terminal of the second intramolecular-detecting sequence; obtaining a cyclic structure; and detecting the desired sequence in the nucleotide sample from the cyclic structure.


Akonni Biosystems of Frederick, Md., has received US Patent No. 8,236,501, "Apparatus, system and method for purifying nucleic acids." A method for isolating nucleic acids from a mixture is provided. It includes passing a mixture through a glass frit under conditions effective to separate the nucleic acids from extraneous matter. In a specific embodiment, the glass frit is a sintered glass frit.


Korea Research Institute of Bioscience and Biotechnology of Daejeon, Korea, has received US Patent No. 8,236,509, "Method for preparing antibody monolayers which have controlled orientation using peptide hybrid." The patent describes a method for preparing a protein monolayer using a peptide hybrid for protein immobilization. The peptide hybrid is designed to provide enough space between solid substrates and proteins immobilized, so that various solid substrates treated by the hybrid catch specific proteins effectively. The peptide hybrid also enables the control of orientation of an antibody on various solid surfaces and immobilization of various antibodies of different origins or having different isotypes with different affinity.


Meso Scale Technologies of Gaithersburg, Md., has received US Patent No. 8,236,555, "Multiplexed assay methods." The patent claims methods of measuring analytes in a sample using portions of the sample that have been processed differently. According to the inventors, the methods are well suited for measuring analytes that may be present in different abundances. The inventors also claim that the methods are well suited for conducting multiplexed assays where the analytes have different affinities to binding reagents.


Quanterix of Lexington, Mass., has received US Patent No. 8,236,574, "Ultra-sensitive detection of molecules or particles using beads or other capture objects." The methods include immobilizing analyte molecules or particles to capture objects that are spatially separated into a number of locations. A measure of the concentration of analyte molecules in a fluid sample may be determined based on the number of reaction vessels that consist of analyte molecule hybridized to a capture object.

The Scan

Guidelines for Ancient DNA Work

More than two dozen researchers have developed new ethical guidelines for conducting ancient DNA research, which they present in Nature.

And Cleared

A UK regulator has cleared former UK Prime Minister David Cameron in concerns he should have registered as a consultant-lobbyist for his work with Illumina, according to the Financial Times.

Suit Over Allegations

The Boston Globe reports that David Sabatini, who was placed on leave from MIT after allegations of sexual harassment, is suing his accuser, the Whitehead Institute, and the institute's director.

Nature Papers on Esophageal Cancer, Origin of Modern Horses, Exome Sequencing of UK Biobank Participants

In Nature this week: genetic and environmental influences of esophageal cancer, domestic horse origin traced to Western Eurasian steppes, and more.