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IP Update: Recent Patents Related to PCR, Nucleic Acid Amplification, and Sample Prep: Aug 25, 2010

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Hitachi Software Engineering has been awarded US Patent No. 7,783,430, "Genotyping result evaluation method and system."

Yu Nakami, Ryo Nakashige, Yasuyuki Nozaki, and Toshiko Matsumoto are named as inventors on the patent.

Describes a method and system for evaluating results of differentiating genotype signals and noise signals when a DNA fragment containing a gene to be analyzed is amplified by PCR and detected by electrophoresis. An outlier of genotyping results is detected based on the fact that, when using the same marker, the height ratio of a stutter peak to a true peak and the height ratio of a +A peak to a true peak are reproducible; and that a constant size value is obtained with the use of the same allele of the same marker. In addition, a waveform obtained in past processes with the use of the same marker or the same allele is obtained utilizing a database by focusing on reproducibility. Also, a database is extended so as to obtain improved evaluation ability in a manner such that appropriate waveform data from which an outlier is not obtained is additionally registered in a database.


Fujifilm has been awarded US Patent No. 7,781,205, "Cartridge retaining mechanism for nucleic acid extracting apparatus."

Katsuya Inana is the sole inventor on the patent.

Describes a cartridge retaining mechanism equipped in a nucleic acid extracting apparatus for extracting a nucleic acid. The cartridge retaining mechanism comprises: a cartridge having a cylindrical shape with a funnel-shaped bottom; a nucleic acid-adsorbing solid carrier disposed at the bottom of the cartridge that traps a nucleic acid; and a cartridge retaining member that retains the cartridge.

The cartridge retaining member comprises: a supporting part that supports the cartridge; and a pressure-proof retaining part that is attached to an open end of the cartridge. The pressure-proof retaining part has a nozzle receiving opening, onto which a pressure nozzle of the nucleic acid extracting apparatus is pressed, and wherein the cartridge is retained between the supporting part and the pressure-proof retaining part upon pressing the pressure nozzle onto the nozzle receiving opening.


Verenium has been awarded US Patent No. 7,781,198, "Polymerase-encoding nucleic acids and method of making and using them."

Walter Callen and Eric Mathur are named as inventors on the patent.

The invention relates to thermostable polymerases that have polymerase activity temperatures in the range from 90° C to 113° C, such as those derived from Pyrolobus fumaria; and to polynucleotides encoding the polymerases. In addition, the patent provides methods of designing new thermostable DNA polymerases and methods of use thereof. The polymerases have increased activity and stability at increased pH and temperature, according to the patent's abstract.


Roche Diagnostics has been awarded US Patent No. 7,781,165, "Benzimidazolium compounds and salts of benzimidazolium compounds for nucleic acid amplification."

Christian Birkner, Frank Bergmann, and Herbert von der Eltz are named as inventors on the patent.

The patent is directed to the use of a benzimidazolium compound comprising a side chain [of] at least one of its N-residues, said chain being either a Cn-alkyl or a substituted Cn-alkyl … as an additive for a nucleic acid amplification reaction.


Ibis Biosciences, a subsidiary of Abbott, has been awarded US Patent No. 7,781,162, "Methods for rapid identification of pathogens in humans and animals."

David Ecker, Richard Griffey, Rangaranjan Sampath, Steven Hofstadler, John McNeil, and Stanley Crooke are named as inventors on the patent.

Provides methods of identifying pathogens in biological samples from humans and animals; resolving a plurality of etiologic agents present in samples obtained from humans and animals; determining detailed genetic information about such pathogens or etiologic agents; and rapid detection and identification of bioagents from environmental, clinical, or other samples.

Specific claims of the patent include a method of identifying a virus comprising: contacting nucleic acid from the virus with at least one pair of primers that hybridize to flanking sequences of the nucleic acid; amplifying said variable nucleic acid sequence; determining the base composition of the amplification product by mass spectrometry; and comparing the base composition of the amplification product to calculated or measured base compositions of analogous amplification products of one or more known viruses present in a database comprising five or more base compositions with the proviso that sequencing of said amplification product is not used to identify the virus, the patent states.

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