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IP Watch: Akonni Biosystems, NuGen, and Hologic's Gen-Probe Among US Patent Winners

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Akonni Biosystems has been awarded US Patent No. 8,334,117, "Temperature control device with a flexible temperature control surface."

Phil Belgrader, Christopher Cooney, Robert Doebler, Anna Hickerson, Bruce Irvine, Ali Nadim, James Sterling, and Reza Miraghaie are named as inventors.

Discloses a device for controlling temperature in a reaction chamber. The device comprises: a bladder assembly comprising a housing dimensioned to hold a reaction chamber disposed within an interior volume of the housing; and a first temperature-control bladder disposed within the housing that is configured to receive a temperature-control fluid and comprises a flexible, heat-conductive surface that comes in contact with at least a portion of an exterior surface of the reaction chamber after receiving the temperature-control fluid. The patent also discloses a bladder thermal cycler, a temperature-control bladder assembly, and methods for producing a thermal cycle in a reaction chamber.


NuGen Technologies has been awarded US Patent No. 8,334,116, "Methods and compositions for generation of multiple copies of nucleic acid sequences and methods of detection thereof."

Nurith Kurn is named as inventor.

Provides isothermal methods of generating multiple copies of, detecting, and/or quantifying nucleic acid sequences of interest based on limited primer extension or attachment of oligonucleotide pairs using composite RNA/DNA primers. The patent also provides methods for generating multiple copies of and/or detecting and/or quantifying nucleic acid sequences, wherein products of primer extension or attachment of oligonucleotide pairs comprising a cleavable portion are generated, and wherein cleavage of the products results in dissociation of cleaved products from target polynucleotides. The invention further provides compositions, kits, and systems for practicing these methods.


Wanli Bi, an inventor from San Ramon, Calif., has been awarded US Patent No. 8,334,099, "Nucleic acid amplification using a reversibly modified oligonucleotide."

The invention provides a method for amplifying a target nucleic acid sequence or signal. The method uses an amplification reaction mixture containing at least one reversibly modified oligonucleotide that has a non-hydroxyl group 3' end and can be converted into a hydroxyl 3' end upon exposure to a chemical and/or irradiation and/or a range of temperature. The invention also provides a reversibly modified oligonucleotide as described above, and a nucleic acid amplification reaction mixture and kit comprising such an oligonucleotide.


Gen-Probe (Hologic) has been awarded US Patent No. 8,334,098, "Detection of nucleic acids from multiple types of human papillomaviruses."

Sylvia Norman, Jennifer Bungo, William Hanna, and Neeraj Rao are named as inventors.

Discloses nucleic acid oligonucleotide sequences that include amplification oligomers and probe oligomers useful for detecting multiple types of human papillomaviruses associated with cervical cancer. The patent also discloses methods for detecting multiple HPV types in biological specimens by amplifying HPV nucleic acid sequences in vitro and detecting the amplified products.

The Scan

Interfering With Invasive Mussels

The Chicago Tribune reports that researchers are studying whether RNA interference- or CRISPR-based approaches can combat invasive freshwater mussels.

Participation Analysis

A new study finds that women tend to participate less at scientific meetings but that some changes can lead to increased involvement, the Guardian reports.

Right Whales' Decline

A research study plans to use genetic analysis to gain insight into population decline among North American right whales, according to CBC.

Science Papers Tie Rare Mutations to Short Stature, Immunodeficiency; Present Single-Cell Transcriptomics Map

In Science this week: pair of mutations in one gene uncovered in brothers with short stature and immunodeficiency, and more.