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IP Watch: Abbott, Sigma-Aldrich, Affymetrix, Life Tech, and Arkray Among US Patent Winners

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Ibis Biosciences (Abbott) has been awarded US Patent No. 8,407,010, "Methods for rapid forensic analysis of mitochondrial DNA."

Steven Hofstadler, Thomas Hall, David Ecker, Lawrence Blyn, Mark Eshoo, Vivek Samant, and Neill White are named as inventors.

Provides methods for rapid forensic analysis of mitochondrial DNA by amplifying a segment of mitochondrial DNA containing restriction sites; digesting the segments with restriction enzymes; determining the molecular masses of the restriction fragments; and comparing the molecular masses with the molecular masses of theoretical restriction digests of known mitochondrial DNA sequences stored in a database.


Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas of Madrid has been awarded US Patent No. 8,404,808, "Phage phi29 DNA polymerase chimera."

Margarita Salas Falgueras, Miguel De Vega Jose, Jose Lazaro Bolos, Luis Blanco Davila, and Mario Mencia Caballero are named as inventors.

Discloses a DNA polymerase chimera comprising an N-terminal region encoding a phi29-type DNA polymerase and a C-terminal region comprising at least one helix-hairpin-helix domain, the regions bound by a connecting amino acid sequence. The patent also discloses the use of such a chimera for replicating, amplifying, or sequencing a template DNA; and kits for carrying out the methods.


Sigma-Aldrich has been awarded US Patent No. 8,404,464, "Methods of using stabilized compositions of thermostable DNA polymerase and anionic detergent."

Brian Ward, Ernest Mueller, Jessica Copeland, and Deborah Vassar are named as inventors.

Provides compositions, methods, and kits to protect thermostable DNA polymerase during amplification reactions conducted at a temperature ranging from about 40 °C to greater than 100 °C. The composition comprises a thermostable DNA polymerase and an anionic detergent or zwitterionic detergent.


Shin-Etsu Chemical of Tokyo has been awarded US Patent No. 8,404,446, "DNA in the presence of gellan."

Richard Armentrout is named as the inventor.

Describes a method of nucleic acid amplification with enhanced sensitivity. The method involves carrying out the amplification reaction in the presence of gellan, and enables the production of detectable amounts of PCR-amplified DNA from at least 10-fold fewer target molecules than a comparable PCR reaction in the absence of gellan.


Affymetrix has been awarded US Patent No. 8,404,443, "Hot start nucleic acid amplification."

Christopher Kubu, Jeannine Muller-Greven, and Robert Moffett are named as inventors.

Describes methods and compositions to perform nucleic acid duplication and amplification reactions. A single-stranded nucleic acid binding protein is selected and provided in the reaction mixture, which is assembled at a low, non-stringent temperature to include all of the necessary reagents for successful nucleic acid duplication or amplification reactions. Doing so improves the generation of nonspecific products such as amplification products despite the reaction mixture having been fully assembled at a non-stringent temperature, the patent's abstract states.


Norchip of Klokkarstua, Norway, has been awarded US Patent No. 8,404,440, "Device for carrying out cell lysis and nucleic acid extraction."

Lars Solli, Anja Gulliksen, Frank Karlsen, Tobias Baier, Rainer Gransee, Thomas Hansen-Hagge, Klaus Drese, and Liv Furuberg are named as inventors.

Provides an integrated lab-on-a-chip device for carrying out a nucleic acid extraction process on a fluid sample containing cells and/or particles. The devices comprises a sample inlet for loading a fluid sample; a lysis unit for lysing cells and/or particles present in the fluid sample; a reservoir of lysis fluid for the lysis unit; a nucleic acid extraction unit downstream of the lysis unit; and reservoirs of first washing buffer and eluant fluid for the nucleic acid extraction unit. The device further comprises a mixing unit downstream of the nucleic acid extraction unit, and a source of mixing fluid for the mixing unit. The reservoirs of lysis fluid, first washing buffer, and eluant fluid may be provided parallel to one another so that they may be actuated by a single pump.


Applied Biosystems (Life Technologies) has been awarded US Patent No. 8,404,439, "Methods and compositions for isolation small RNA molecules."

Richard Conrad is named as the inventor.

Describes the use of methods and compositions for isolating small RNA molecules (100 nucleotides or fewer), such as microRNA and siRNA molecules. Such molecules are routinely lost in commonly used isolation procedures, and therefore the present invention allows for a much higher level of enrichment or isolation of the molecules, the patent's abstract states.


Arkray of Kyoto, Japan, has been awarded US Patent No. 8,404,438, "Probes for detection of SULTIA1 gene, reagent containing the same, and the use thereof."

Toshiya Hosomi is named as the inventor.

Describes a primer set to specifically amplify a region of the SULT1A1 gene. The patent also describes a pair of primers, forward and reverse, consisting of specific base sequences further detailed in the patent's claims. The use of this primer set makes it possible to specifically and efficiently amplify a region including both sites where two types of polymorphisms (SULT1A1*2 and SULT1A1*3) of the SULT1A1 gene are generated.

The Scan

Study Points to Tuberculosis Protection by Gaucher Disease Mutation

A mutation linked to Gaucher disease in the Ashkenazi Jewish population appears to boost Mycobacterium tuberculosis resistance in a zebrafish model of the lysosomal storage condition, a new PNAS study finds.

SpliceVault Portal Provides Look at RNA Splicing Changes Linked to Genetic Variants

The portal, described in Nature Genetics, houses variant-related messenger RNA splicing insights drawn from RNA sequencing data in nearly 335,700 samples — a set known as the 300K-RNA resource.

Automated Sequencing Pipeline Appears to Allow Rapid SARS-CoV-2 Lineage Detection in Nevada Study

Researchers in the Journal of Molecular Diagnostics describe and assess a Clear Labs Dx automated workflow, sequencing, and bioinformatic analysis method for quickly identifying SARS-CoV-2 lineages.

UK Team Presents Genetic, Epigenetic Sequencing Method

Using enzymatic DNA preparation steps, researchers in Nature Biotechnology develop a strategy for sequencing DNA, along with 5-methylcytosine and 5-hydroxymethylcytosine, on existing sequencers.