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IP Update: Sysmex, 23andMe, Korean Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute, and More

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Sysmex of Hyogo, Japan, has received US Patent No. 8,187,809, "Method for judging lymph node metastasis of stomach cancer and kit used therefor." A marker is provided that is capable of diagnosing the lymph node metastasis of stomach cancer. According to the patent, microarray technology can be used to detect an mRNA coding for at least one protein selected from TFF1, AGR2, PRSS8, MUC1, MUC4, and MUC17 that is useful as a lymph node metastasis marker. The described array consists of a polynucleotide probe complementary to the cDNA corresponding to the marker and immobilized on a solid phase. A cDNA-containing sample obtained by reverse-transcription reaction from the marker in a detection sample is added to the solid phase, capturing the cDNA with the probe. A fluorescent intercalator is then added, staining a hybrid between the probe and cDNA, and the fluorescence intensity is detected. From the detection result of the fluorescence intensity, the marker can be quantified or the presence or absence of the marker can be judged. When the probe is shorter than the cDNA, another probe to hybridize with that region of the cDNA with which the above probe does not hybridize can be added to enhance the fluorescence signal, according to the patent.


23andMe of Mountain View, Calif., has received US Patent No. 8,187,811, "Polymorphisms associated with Parkinson's disease." A method is claimed for generating a prognosis of a human subject's susceptibility to Parkinson's disease. It includes obtaining a genomic sample from said human subject; analyzing the genomic sample using a microarray to determine which allele is present in the sample at the polymorphic nucleotide position of SNP rs10513789; storing the determined allele of the sample in a database that includes a set of information related to the subject; correlating the determined allele with an association between the alleles of rs10513789 and susceptibility to PD in the database; generating a prognosis of the subject's susceptibility to PD based on the correlation; and communicating the prognosis of susceptibility to a medical practitioner.


The Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute of Daejeon, Korea, has received US Patent No. 8,187,829, "Method for fabricating pattern on a biosensor substrate and biosensor using the same." The method includes depositing a silicon oxide film on a substrate; forming a polyethylenimine layer on the silicon oxide film; selectively masking a site where a biosubstance is to be immobilized onto the polyethylenimine layer; and irradiating the substrate by using ultraviolet rays. According to the patent, the substrate can consist of silicon, quartz, or glass; the masking may be performed using teflon tape, an aluminum foil, and an enameled copper wire; and the irradiation should be performed for between 10 minutes and an hour.


Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation of Madison, Wis., has received US Patent No. 8,187,883, "Method and system for delivering nucleic acid into a target cell." The patent relates to nucleic acid molecules tethered via oligonucleotide linkers to a supporting substrate. The nucleic acid molecules are characterized as linear or circular molecules having at least one DNA sequence or RNA sequence to be introduced into recipient cells. The substrate can be a solid surface such as a self-assembled monolayer or can be a two-dimensional or three-dimensional, semi-solid substrate such as a hydrogel network, according to the patent.


Wako Pure Chemical Industries of Osaka, Japan, has received US Patent No. 8,188,256, "Primer and probe for detection of Mycobacterium intracellulare." An oligonucleotide capable of hybridizing with a nucleotide sequence of Mycobacterium intracellulare gene is claimed, as is a primer or a probe for the detection of M. intracellulare, and a method for detection of M. intracellulare using a microarray. According to the patent, any false-positive result in diagnosis can be eliminated and detection or diagnosis of M. intracellulare can be carried out with "higher accuracy" compared to a method that relies on a cell-culture assay or a PCR assay.


Riken of Wako, Japan, has received US Patent No. 8,189,898, "Gene expression image constructing method and gene expression image constructing system." Methods are provided in which a sample is cut, images of sections of the cut sample are picked up, and a stereoscopic image of sample, which is a three-dimensional image of the sample, is constructed. The amount of expression of genes present in the sample is then measured, and the expression state of genes present in the sample and a stereoscopic image of sample are associated with each other. According to the patent, the images may be obtained from microarrays.


Affymetrix of Santa Clara, Calif., has received US Patent No. 8,190,373, "Methods for identifying DNA copy number changes." The patent describes methods of identifying allele-specific changes in genomic DNA copy number, as well as methods for identifying homozygous deletions and genetic amplifications, and an array of probes designed to detect presence or absence of different sequences. According to the patent, the probes are designed to hybridize to sequences that are predicted to be present in a reduced complexity sample. The methods may be used to detect copy number changes in cancerous tissue compared to normal tissue, and used to diagnose cancer and other diseases associated with chromosomal anomalies, the inventors claim.

The Scan

Dropped Charges

The US Justice Department has dropped visa fraud charges against five Chinese researchers, according to the Wall Street Journal.

More Kids

The Associated Press says Moderna is expanding its SARS-CoV-2 vaccine study to included additional children and may include even younger children.

PNAS Papers on Rat Clues to Human Migration, Thyroid Cancer, PolyG-DS

In PNAS this week: ancient rat genome analysis gives hints to human migrations, WDR77 gene mutations in thyroid cancer, and more.

Purnell Choppin Dies

Purnell Choppin, a virologist who led the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, has died at 91, according to the Washington Post.