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IP Update: Imec; Erasmus University Medical Center; NuGen Technologies; and More


Imec of Leuven, Belgium, has received US Patent No. 8,142,720, "Molecules suitable for binding to a metal layer for covalently immobilizing biomolecules." The patent claims a method for immobilizing functional organic biomolecules via a covalent bond to a thiolate or disulfide monolayer assembled on a metal surface. The monolayer can contain, but is not limited to, two moieties. One has a group that resists nonspecific adsorption and another has a group that directly reacts with functional groups on the biomolecules. In addition, polyethylene oxide groups are incorporated in the monolayer surface to resist the nonspecific adsorption and to enhance the specific affinity interactions.

Erasmus University Medical Center of Rotterdam, the Netherlands, has received US Patent No. 8,142,994, "Classification, diagnosis and prognosis of acute myeloid leukemia by gene expression profiling." The method includes providing reference samples consisting of cells from subjects affected by acute myeloid leukemia; providing reference profiles by establishing a gene expression profile for each of the reference samples individually; clustering the individual reference profiles according to similarity; and assigning an AML class to each cluster. According to the patent, microarrays are used to measure the values to be included in the expression profiles.

NuGen Technologies of San Carlos, Calif., has received US Patent No. 8,143,001, "Methods for analysis of nucleic acid methylation status and methods for fragmentation, labeling and immobilization of nucleic acids." The method includes mixing a polynucleotide with a methyl-binding protein to form a complex; cleaving a base portion of the unmethylated nucleotide of the polynucleotide in the complex with an agent, generating an abasic site; and fragmenting the phosphodiester backbone of the polynucleotide of the complex at the abasic site, generating polynucleotide fragments.

Illumina of San Diego has received US Patent No. 8,143,008, "Method of nucleic acid amplification." According to the patent, a nucleic acid molecule can be annealed to an appropriate immobilized primer, which can then be extended, separating the molecule and the primer from one another. The extended primer can then be annealed to another immobilized primer and the other primer can be similarly extended. Both extended primers can then be separated from one another and can be used to provide further extended primers. The process can be repeated to provide amplified, immobilized nucleic acid molecules.

Illumina has also received US Patent No. 8,143,599, "Compensator for multiple surface imaging." A method is claimed for imaging biological samples on multiple surfaces of a support structure. The support structure may be a flow cell through which a reagent fluid is allowed to flow and interact with the biological samples, according to the patent. Excitation radiation may be used to excite the biological samples on multiple surfaces, generating fluorescent emission radiation that is then captured and detected and used to generate image data.

The Sungkyunkwan University Foundation for Corporate Collaboration of Gyeonggi, Korea, has received US Patent No. 8,143,384, "Mutation of PRPS1 gene causing CMTX5 disease and the use thereof." A gene mutation associated with peripheral neuropathy associated with sensorineural hearing loss and optic neuropathy is claimed. More specifically, the patent claims a polynucleotide containing a mutation associated with peripheral neuropathy associated with sensorineural hearing loss and optic neuropathy; a polynucleotide that hybridizes with the first polynucleotide; a polypeptide encoded by the first polynucleotide; an antibody that binds to the polypeptide; and a microarray chip and a kit.

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.