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IP Watch: Bio-Rad, Grifols Therapeutics, Samsung, Life Tech, Eiken, and Enzo Win US Patents

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Bio-Rad Laboratories has been awarded US Patent No. 8,560,247, "Multi-stage, regression-based PCR analysis system."

Jeffrey Lerner is named as the inventor.

Provides systems and methods for analyzing data to determine properties of a PCR process or other process exhibiting amplification or growth. Data representing an amplification can be distinguished from data representing a jump or other error. A modified sigmoid function containing a drift term may be used in determining the properties. A multi-stage functional fit of the amplification data can provide increased accuracy and consistency of one or more of the properties. A baseline of the amplification data can be determined by analyzing an integrated area of a first derivative function of the data. A reference quantitation value can also be determined from locations of maxima of different derivative functions of the amplification data; e.g., a weighted average of the maxima locations for the second and third derivatives may be used.

Bio-Rad has also been awarded US Patent No. 8,557,196, "Low-mass sample block with rapid response to temperature change."

Sunand Banerji is named as the inventor.

Describes a sample block for use in PCR, DNA sequencing, and other procedures that involve the performance of simultaneous reactions in multiple samples with temperature control. The temperature control is improved by heating or cooling elements contacting the bottom surface of the block and the inclusion of hollows in the block that are positioned to decrease the mass of the block in the immediate vicinity of the wells.


Grifols Therapeutics has been awarded US Patent No. 8,560,246, "Method for adjusting results of a polymerase chain reaction instrument."

Justin Paul and Burton Beames are named as inventors.

Describes methods of managing results of a real-time PCR instrument, and software associated with such methods. One disclosed method, among others, comprises calculating, from results of the real-time PCR instrument, a fluorescence signal of a sample during a cycle of a baseline period of the real-time PCR instrument. The method further comprises determining whether or not the fluorescence signal during the baseline period increases by at least a certain percentage compared to cycles outside the baseline period. The sample is flagged as a potentially high-titer sample when the fluorescence signal increases by at least the certain percentage.


Samsung Electronics has been awarded US Patent No. 8,557,568, "Method and apparatus for disrupting cells and amplifying nucleic acids using gold nanorods."

Kwang Ho Cheong, Dong-kee Yi, Jeong-gun Lee, and Jong-myeon Park are named as inventors.

Provides a method of disrupting cells. The method comprises adding gold nanorods to a solution containing cells and irradiating the gold nanorods with a laser to disrupt the cells. The patent also provides a method and apparatus for continuously disrupting cells and amplifying nucleic acids in a single microchamber. The method comprises introducing a solution containing cells and gold nanorods into a microchamber, irradiating a laser onto the gold nanorods to disrupt the cells, and amplifying a nucleic acid from the disrupted cells in the microchamber. The apparatus comprises a cell disruption chamber comprising a sample inlet, and gold nanorods introduced therein; a laser attached to the cell disruption chamber to generate light at a wavelength absorbed by the gold nanorods; and a heater and a cooler for heating and cooling the cell disruption chamber. The patent also discloses a lab-on-a chip comprising the apparatus.


Applied Biosystems (Life Technologies) has been awarded US Patent No. 8,557,566, "Instrument for monitoring polymerase chain reaction of DNA."

Michael Gambini, John Atwood, Eugene Young, Edward Lakatos, and Anthony Cerrone are named as inventors.

Describes an optical instrument that monitors PCR replication of DNA in a reaction apparatus having a temperature-cycled block with vials of reaction ingredients including dye that fluoresces in presence of double-stranded DNA. A beam splitter passes an excitation beam to the vials to fluoresce the dye; and an emission beam from the dye is then passed by the beam splitter to a CCD detector from which a processor computes DNA concentration. A reference strip with a plurality of reference emitters emits reference beams of different intensity, from which the processor selects an optimum emitter to compensate for drift. Exposure time is automatically adjusted for keeping within optimum dynamic ranges of the CCD and processor. A module of the beam splitter and associated optical filters is associated with the selected dye, and is replaceable for different dyes.


Eiken Chemical of Tokyo has been awarded US Patent No. 8,557,523, "Method of nucleic acid amplification and measuring reagent and reagent kit therefor."

Toshihiro Yonekawa, Tsugunori Notomi, Hidetoshi Kanda, and Norimitsu Hosaka are named as inventors.

Provides a method that allows stable amplification of an internal standard material while maintaining an accurate assay value for a target nucleic acid in a nucleic acid detection system involving the use of an internal standard material and a reagent kit. The invention more specifically relates to a method for nucleic acid amplification comprising preventing an internal standard amplification product from affecting the amplification reaction of a target nucleic acid by performing amplification of an internal standard material prior to amplification of the target nucleic acid.


Enzo Life Sciences has been awarded US Patent No. 8,557,522, "Processes for detecting or quantifying more than one nucleic acid in library."

Elazar Rabbani, Jannis Stavrianopoulos, James Donegan, and Jack Coleman are named as inventors.

Provides novel compositions and processes for analyte detection, quantification, and amplification. Nucleic acid arrays and libraries of analytes are usefully incorporated into such compositions and processes, the patent's abstract states. Universal detection elements, signaling entities, and the like are employed to detect and, if necessary or desirable, to quantify analytes. The patent also prvodies compositions and processes for the amplification of target analytes.

The Scan

US Booster Eligibility Decision

The US CDC director recommends that people at high risk of developing COVID-19 due to their jobs also be eligible for COVID-19 boosters, in addition to those 65 years old and older or with underlying medical conditions.

Arizona Bill Before Judge

The Arizona Daily Star reports that a judge is weighing whether a new Arizona law restricting abortion due to genetic conditions is a ban or a restriction.

Additional Genes

Wales is rolling out new genetic testing service for cancer patients, according to BBC News.

Science Papers Examine State of Human Genomic Research, Single-Cell Protein Quantification

In Science this week: a number of editorials and policy reports discuss advances in human genomic research, and more.