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IP Update: Recent Patents Related to PCR, Sample Prep, and Nucleic Acid Amplification: Jan 14, 2010

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US Patent 7,645,872. Compounds and methods for labeling oligonucleotides. Inventors: Andrei Laikhter; Joseph Walder; Mark Behlke; Mikhail Podyminogin; Yawfui Yong. Assignee: Integrated DNA Technologies.

Protects a method of labeling oligonucleotides with reporter moieties, including quenchers, fluorophores, biotin, digoxigenin, peptides, and proteins. The invention also provides a method of detecting hybridization of oligonucleotides, novel azo quenchers, compositions comprising labeled oligonucleotides and solid supports, and kits comprising compositions described in the patent.


US Patent 7,645,868. Families of non-cross-hybridizing polynucleotides for use as tags and tag complements, manufacture and use thereof. Inventors: Daniel Kobler; Daniel Fieldhouse. Assignee: Luminex Molecular Diagnostics.

Describes a family of 1,168 24-mer minimally cross-hybridizing nucleotide sequences and their methods of use, for example, in sorting molecules. Members of a given family of tags can be distinguished by specific hybridization to their tag complements, the patent states.


US Patent 7,645,581. Determining nucleic acid fragmentation status by coincident detection of two labeled probes. Inventors: Michael Knapp; Jill Baker; Andrea Chow; Anne Kopf-Sill; Michael Spaid. Assignee: Caliper Life Sciences.

Protects methods for determining nucleic acid fragmentation status. A nucleic acid of interest in a reaction mixture is contacted with two or more different probes that are complementary to sites separated by a point of potential fragmentation. The probes each comprise a detectable marker. The nucleic acid of interest is flowed into a detection region, where "two or more coincident detectable marker signals" from the probes are detected, the patent abstract states. Coincident detection of signals from two or more of the different probes indicates that the nucleic acid of interest is not fragmented between the probes.


US Patent 7,645,571. Detection of nucleic acids by type-specific hybrid capture method. Inventors: James Anthony; Attila Lorincz; Inna Williams; John Troy; Yanlin Tang. Assignee: Qiagen Gaithersburg.

The patent describes target-specific hybrid capture, a nucleic acid detection method "that is not only rapid and sensitive, but is also highly specific and capable of discriminating highly homologous nucleic acid target sequences." The method produces DNA/RNA hybrids that can be detected by a variety of methods, according to the patent abstract.


US Patent 7,645,070. Thermal cycler for PCR. Inventors: John Atwood; Adrian Fawcett; Keith Ferrara; Paul Hetherington; Richard Noreiks; Douglas Olsen; John Widomski; Charles Wittmer. Assignee: Applied Biosystems (a Life Technologies business)

Covers an instrument for performing PCR that includes an assembly, a heated cover, and an internal computer. The assembly comprises a sample block, several Peltier thermal electric devices, and a heat sink. A control algorithm manipulates the current supplied to thermoelectric coolers "such that the dynamic thermal performance of a block can be controlled so that pre-defined thermal profiles of sample temperature can be executed," according to the patent abstract. "The sample temperature is calculated instead of measured using a design specific model and equations," the abstract states. The control software includes calibration diagnostics that "permit variation in the performance of thermoelectric coolers from instrument to instrument to be compensated for such that all instruments perform identically." In addition, the block/heat sink assembly can be changed to another of the same or different design and the assembly "carries the necessary information required to characterize its own performance in an on-board memory device, allowing the assembly to be interchangeable among instruments while retaining its precision operating characteristics."


The Scan

Driving Malaria-Carrying Mosquitoes Down

Researchers from the UK and Italy have tested a gene drive for mosquitoes to limit the spread of malaria, NPR reports.

Office Space to Lab Space

The New York Times writes that some empty office spaces are transforming into lab spaces.

Prion Pause to Investigate

Science reports that a moratorium on prion research has been imposed at French public research institutions.

Genome Research Papers on Gut Microbe Antibiotic Response, Single-Cell RNA-Seq Clues to Metabolism, More

In Genome Research this week: gut microbial response to antibiotic treatment, approach to gauge metabolic features from single-cell RNA sequencing, and more.