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IP Watch: CalTech, Synthetic Genomics, Life Tech, LLNL, Others Win US Patents

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The California Institute of Technology has been awarded US Patent No. 8,497,071, "Isolation of unknown rearranged T-cell receptors from single cells."

Alejandro Balazas, Jonathan Tsai, and David Baltimore are named as inventors.

Discloses methods and materials for isolating and identifying T-cell receptors from single cells. In some embodiments, genomic DNA from a single T-cell is isolated using whole genome amplification. A series of PCR reactions is carried out to enrich the genomic template for sequences encoding the TCR alpha and beta chains, and then to isolate the same sequences.


Synthetic Genomics has been awarded US Patent No. 8,497,069, "Amplification and cloning of single DNA molecules using rolling circle amplification."

Clyde Hutchison and Hamilton Smith are named as inventors.

Relates, for example, to a method to amplify a small number of copies (e.g. a single copy) of a single-stranded circular DNA molecule (e.g. having a size of about 5-6 kb) by an isothermal rolling circle mechanism, using random or partially random primers and an F29-type DNA polymerase. The method can also be used to amplify DNAs by non-rolling types of multiple displacement amplification. The method comprises incubating the reaction components in a small volume, e.g. about 10 µl or less, such as approximately 0.6 µl or less. The degree of amplification can be about 109 fold, or higher. The patent also describes a method for cell-free cloning of DNA using the rolling circle amplification method of the invention.


Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University has been awarded US Patent No. 8,497,067, "Restoration of nucleic acid from degraded or formalin-fixed and paraffin-embedded tissue and uses thereof."

Olivier Loudig is named as the inventor.

Provides methods, primers, and kits for restoration of nucleic acid from tissue, in particular degraded tissue and formalin-fixed and paraffin-embedded tissue. The methods involve complementary template reverse-transcription, in which short single-stranded DNA sequences reverse transcribed from mRNA are used for reverse transcription of complementary sense-RNA templates. The methods can be used to determine patterns of gene expression and chromosomal alterations in archived tissue samples, and may be used to identify expression of disease-related genes.


Life Technologies has been awarded US Patent No. 8,497,065, "Methods and kits for extraction of DNA."

Maxim Brevnov, Hemant Pawar, Manohar Furtado, and Jaiprakash Shewale are named as inventors.

Discloses methods and materials for use in recovering a biopolymer from a solution. In particular, the invention provides methods for extraction and isolation of nucleic acids from biological materials. The nucleic acids can be separated by forming a stable complex with soluble polysaccharide polymers and magnetic particles in the presence of detergents and solvent. When the particles are magnetically separated out of the solution, the nucleic acids are separated with them. The nucleic acids can subsequently be released and separated from the particles. The nucleic acid preparation is useful for achieving efficient and accurate results in downstream molecular techniques such as quantification, identification of the source of the nucleic acids, and genotyping.


Lawrence Livermore National Security has been awarded US Patent No. 8,494,780, "Data transformation methods for multiplexed assays."

Lance Tammero, John Dzenitis, and Benjamin Hindson are named as inventors.

Describes methods to improve the performance of an array assay. A correlation between fluorescence intensity-related parameters and negative control values of the assay is determined. The parameters are then adjusted as a function of the correlation. As a result, sensitivity of the assay is improved without changes in its specificity.

The Scan

Booster Push

New data shows a decline in SARS-CoV-2 vaccine efficacy over time, which the New York Times says Pfizer is using to argue its case for a booster, even as the lower efficacy remains high.

With Help from Mr. Fluffington, PurrhD

Cats could make good study animals for genetic research, the University of Missouri's Leslie Lyons tells the Atlantic.

Man Charged With Threatening to Harm Fauci, Collins

The Hill reports that Thomas Patrick Connally, Jr., was charged with making threats against federal officials.

Nature Papers Present Approach to Find Natural Products, Method to ID Cancer Driver Mutations, More

In Nature this week: combination of cryogenic electron microscopy with genome mining helps uncover natural products, driver mutations in cancer, and more.