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IP Watch: Bioneer, Riken, Tagcyx, BD, Alere, Bio-Rad, Life Tech, and Netbio Win US Patents

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Bioneer has been awarded US Patent No, 8,427,643, "Real-time PCR monitoring apparatus."

Hanee Park, Il Kyu Choi, and Han Oh Park are named as inventors.

Relates to an apparatus for real-time monitoring production of reaction product produced while performing nucleic acid amplification such as PCR for various kinds of trace samples. Specifically, the apparatus for real-time monitoring of biochemical reactions efficiently divides interference between an excitation light and a fluorescence, which includes a polarizer, a polarizing beam splitter, a polarization converter, and so on, the patent's abstract states.


Japan's Riken and Tagcyx Biotechnologies have been awarded US Patent No. 8,426,569, "DNA capable of being amplified by PCR with high selectivity and high efficiency."

Ichiro Hirao, Michiko Hirao, and Shigeyuki Yokoyama are named as inventors.

Relates to unnatural nucleic acid base pairs and a "Pa derivative" that can be replicated with high selectivity/high efficiency, and methods for replicating nucleic acids containing the unnatural base pairs. The invention also relates to methods for incorporating an unnatural base bearing a functional substituent into DNA by a nucleic acid replication reaction; and to methods for replicating and selectively collecting a nucleic acid containing an unnatural base pair from a nucleic acid pool. The invention also relates to methods for determining a sequence of natural bases in the proximity of an unnatural base in DNA to achieve highly efficient and highly selective replication of a nucleic acid containing the unnatural base.


Geneohm (Becton Dickinson) has been awarded US Patent No. 8,426,137, "Methods and probes for detecting a vancomycin resistance gene."

Michel Bergeron, Maurice Boissinot, Ann Huletsky, Christian Menard, Marc Ouellette, Francois Picard, and Paul Roy are named as inventors.

Describes compositions and methods for detecting vancomycin-resistant pathogens using primers and/or probes to the vanA and vanB genes.


Alere has been awarded US Patent No. 8,426,134, "Recombinase polymerase amplification."

Olaf Piepenburg, Colin Williams, Niall Armes, and Derek Stemple.

Describes related novel methods for recombinase polymerase amplification, or RPA, of a target DNA. The method exploits the properties of recombinase and related proteins to invade double-stranded DNA with single-stranded homologous DNA permitting sequence-specific priming of DNA polymerase reactions.

The overall described method does not require thermocycling or thermophilic enzymes, making it easier, more affordable, and more portable than other amplification methods, the patent's abstract states. The patent further discloses conditions to enable real-time monitoring of RPA reactions; methods to regulate RPA reactions using light and otherwise; methods to determine the nature of amplified species without a need for gel electrophoresis; methods to improve and optimize signal to noise ratios in RPA reactions; methods to optimize oligonucleotide primer function; methods to control carry-over contamination; and methods to employ sequence-specific third "specificity" probes, the abstract states. The patent further describes novel properties and approaches for using probes monitored by light in dynamic recombination environments.


Bio-Rad has been awarded US Patent No. 8,426,132, "Quantitative amplification with a labeled probe and 3'-to-5' exonuclease activity."

Bin Li, Lei Xi, Yan Wang, and Peter Vander Horn are named as inventors.

Provides methods and kits for performing a quantitative amplification reaction. The method employs a polymerase enzyme and an enzyme having a 3'-to-5' exonuclease activity that cleaves the 3' oligonucleotide of the probe.


Applied Biosystems (Life Technologies) has been awarded US Patent No. 8,426,126, "Modified surfaces as solid supports for nucleic acid purification."

Gary Latham, Xingwang Fang, Richard Conrad, Jon Kemppainen, Robert Setterquist, and Brittan Pasloske are named as inventors.

Relates to methods of separating polynucleotides, such as DNA, RNA and PNA, from solutions containing polynucleotides by reversibly binding the polynucleotides to a solid surface, such as a magnetic microparticle.


Netbio has been awarded US Patent No. 8,425,861, "Methods for rapid multiplexed amplification of target nucleic acids."

Richard Selden, Eugene Tan, Heung Lam, Heidi Giese, Gregory Kellogg, and John Wright are named as inventors.

Describes a multiplexed PCR system that can rapidly generate amplified nucleic acid products such as a full STR profile from a target nucleic acid. Such systems include, for example, microfluidic biochips and a custom built thermal cycler, which are also described. The resulting STR profiles can satisfy forensic guidelines for signal strength, inter-loci peak height balance, heterozygous peak height ratio, incomplete non-template nucleotide addition, and stutter.

The Scan

Unwrapping Mummies' Faces

LiveScience reports that Parabon NanoLabs researchers have reconstructed how three Egyptian mummies may have looked.

Study on Hold

The Spectrum 10K study has been put on hold due to a backlash, leading the researchers to conduct consultations with the autism community, Nature News reports.

Others Out There Already

Reuters reports that Sanofi is no longer developing an mRNA-based vaccine for SARS-CoV-2.

PNAS Papers on GWAS False Discovery, PRAMEF2 Role in Tumorigenesis, RNA Virus Reverse Genetics

In PNAS this week: strategy to account for GWAS false-discovery rates, role of PRAMEF2 in cancer development, and more.