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IP Watch: Arkray, Life Tech, Boston U, Canon, U of Toledo, Cellscript, UC System Win US Patents

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Arkray of Kyoto, Japan, has been awarded US Patent No. 8,306,754, "Nucleic acid amplification determining method and nucleic acid amplification determining device."

Kosuke Kubo is named as the inventor.

Provides a method that can determine whether an objective nucleic acid has been amplified with respect to a treated sample. Signal values showing molten states of the treated sample at respective temperatures are provided, and the maximum signal value is searched for. Further, signal differential values at the respective temperatures are calculated by differentiating the signal values at two successive points, and second-order differential values of the differential values are calculated by differentiation at four successive points. Among the second differential values, from those in a predetermined temperature range including a Tm value of the objective nucleic acid, maximum and minimum second differential values are selected. Then, the maximum difference is calculated according to a formula described in the patent, and amplification is determined as being normal or poor.


Applied Biosystems (Life Technologies) has been awarded US Patent No. 8,304,214, "Methods for multiplexing amplification reactions."

John Gerdes, Elaine Best, and Jeffrey Marmaro are named as inventors.

Describes a two-step multiplex amplification reaction that includes a first step that truncates the standard initial multiplex amplification round to boost the sample copy number by only a 100- to 1,000-fold increase in the target. Following the first step, the product is divided into optimized secondary single amplification reactions, each containing one of the primer sets that were used previously in the first or multiplexed booster step. The booster step can occur using an aqueous target nucleic acid or using a solid phase archived nucleic acid. In particular, nucleic acid sequences that uniquely identify E. coli were identified using the multiplex amplification method.


Boston University has been awarded US Patent No. 8,304,194, "Quantification of gene expression."

Charles Cantor and Chunming Ding are named as inventors.

Relates to a method for measuring the amount of a target nucleic acid in a sample using a standard that is designed to have one base difference compared with the gene of interest or a target nucleic acid sequence. Also describes the use of such a standard in combination with a method of enhancing the difference in the standard and the test nucleic acid sample using, for example, a base extension reaction carried out at the mutation site allowing amplification of the standard and target nucleic acids with the same efficiency and facilitating quantification of the target nucleic acid. Thereafter a means of quantifying the enhanced standard and target nucleic acid samples is used to determine the amount of the target nucleic acid. Preferably, this quantification means is mass spectrometry.


Canon US Life Sciences has also been awarded US Patent No. 8,304,185, "Methods and systems for DNA isolation on a microfluidic device."

Michele Stone is named as the inventor.

Relates to methods and systems for isolating and subsequently analyzing DNA on a microfluidic device. More specifically, the invention relates to methods and systems for isolating DNA from patient samples on a microfluidic device, and using the DNA to perform amplification reactions, such as PCR, and detection, such as thermal melt analysis, on the microfluidic device.

Canon US Life Sciences has also been awarded US Patent No. 8,306,294, "Systems and methods for monitoring the amplification and dissociation behavior of DNA molecules."

Kenton Hasson, Gregory Dale, and John Keady are named as inventors.

Relates to systems and methods for monitoring the amplification and dissociation behavior of DNA molecules.


The University of Toledo has been awarded US Patent No. 8,304,192, "Methods and compositions for assessing nucleic acid alleles."

James Willey, Erin Crawford, and David Weaver are named as inventors on the patent.

Describes methods and compositions for evaluating allelic variations with improved quality controls, methods of preparing such compositions, and applications employing such compositions and methods. In particular, the invention provides methods and compositions for reducing false positives and/or false negatives in nucleic acid measurements.


Cellscript has been awarded US Patent No. 8,304,183, "Selective terminal tagging of nucleic acids."

Roy Sooknanan is named as inventor.

Provides methods for adding a terminal sequence tag to nucleic acid molecules for use in RNA or DNA amplification. The tag may be used as a primer binding site for subsequent amplification of the DNA molecule and/or sequencing of the DNA molecule and therefore provides means for identifying and cloning the 5' end or the complete sequence of mRNAs.


The University of California has been awarded US Patent No. 8,303,911, "Centrifugal microfluidic system for the nucleic acid sample preparation, amplification, and detection."

Jonathan Siegrist, Robert Gorkin III, Regis Peytavi, Marc Madou, Horacio Kido, Mary Amasia, Emmanuel Roy, and Teodor Veres are named as inventors.

Describes a microfluidic system for processing a sample. The system includes a microfluidic CD in the form of a rotatable disc that contains a plurality of separate lysis chambers. A magnetic lysis blade and lysis beads are disposed in each of the lysis chambers and a plurality of stationary magnets are disposed adjacent to and separate from the microfluidic CD. The stationary magnets are configured to magnetically interact with each of the magnetic lysis blades upon rotation of the microfluidic CD. Each lysis chamber may have its own separate sample inlet port or, alternatively, the lysis chambers may be connected to one another with a single inlet port coupled to one of the lysis chambers. Downstream processing may include nucleic acid amplification using thermoelectric heating as well as detection using a nucleic acid microarray.

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.

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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.