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IP Watch: Canon, RainDance, Mayo Clinic, Roche, Functional Genetics, Others Win US Patents

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Zhiqiang Han has been awarded US Patent No. 8,536,322, "Method for nucleic acid isolation by solid phase reversible binding of nucleic acids."

Han is also the sole inventor listed.

Describes a method for separating polynucleotides, such as DNA, RNA, and PNA, from a solution containing polynucleotides by reversibly and non-specifically binding the polynucleotides to a solid surface having a functional amide group-coated surface. The materials containing a solid surface can be in the form of microparticles, fibers, beads, membranes, test tubes, pipette tips, or microwells and can further comprise a magnetic core portion. The pH, salt, and concentration of crowding reagent, such as polyethylene glycol or alcohol, of the solution is adjusted to levels which result in nucleic acid binding to the solid surface. The magnetic microparticles with bound polynucleotides are separated from the solution under mild alkaline conditions and the nucleic acids are eluted from the magnetic microparticles. Solutions having different nucleic acid concentrations can be normalized by restricting the availability of the solid phase surface.


The Association for Christian Higher Education, Research and Patient Care of Amsterdam, The Netherlands, has been awarded US Patent No. 8,536,321, "Compositions, methods, and kits for the detection of Chlamydia trachomatis."

Paul Savelkoul, Arnold Catsburg, and Antonie Morre are named as inventors.

Describes a method for the detection of Chlamydia trachomatis. The method comprises performing DNA amplification with a primer pair by using DNA derived from a sample as a template, and detecting an amplification product. The primer pair used for the DNA amplification is designed on the basis of nucleotide sequences of the regions corresponding to the nucleotide numbers 3654 to 4320 and 4351 to 4448 in a specific nucleotide sequence further described in the patent.


Canon and the President of National Cancer Center of Tokyo have been awarded US Patent No. 8,535,914, "Probe, probe set, and information acquisition method using the same."

Tomohiro Suzuki, Nobuko Yamamoto, Hiroki Sasaki, and Kazuhiko Mori are named as inventors.

Provides a combination of genes useful for information that can be used to predict postoperative recurrence of gastric cancer. The patent also provides a probe detecting the genes and a primer set for PCR, a method for detecting the genes using the primer and the primer set, and a method for obtaining the information to be used for the prediction of recurrence. The presence or absence of gastric cancer cells that show a possibility of postoperative recurrence can be determined in a sample, such as a peritoneal wash collected from a patient, by detecting a particular gene or gene product thereof specific to gastric cancer cells.


RainDance Technologies has been awarded US Patent No. 8,535,889, "Digital analyte analysis."

Jonathan Larson, Qun Zhong, and Darren Link are named as inventors.

Generally relates to droplet-based digital PCR and methods for analyzing a target nucleic acid using the same. In certain embodiments, methods involve forming sample droplets containing, on average, a single target nucleic acid; amplifying the target in the droplets; excluding droplets containing amplicon from the target and amplicon from a variant of the target; and analyzing target amplicons.


The Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research and Roche Molecular Systems have been awarded US Patent No. 8,535,888, "Compositions and methods for detecting methicillin-resistant S. aureus."

Christian Aichinger, Astrid Reiser, James Uhl, and Franklin Cockerill are named as inventors.

Relates to methods of detecting the presence or absence of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus in a sample. The method comprises performing an amplifying step, a hybridizing step, and a detecting step. Furthermore, the invention relates to primers, probes, and kits for the detection of MRSA.


Brown University has been awarded US Patent No. 8,535,883, "Methods of detecting sources of microorganism contamination."

David Cane, Steven Giglio, Jiaoyang Jiang, Christopher Saint, and Paul Monis are named as inventors.

Describes methods of detecting a source of a microbial contamination in a suspect sample. The methods include detecting at least one member selected from a group consisting of a microbial geosmin synthase, a microbial 2-methylisoborneol synthase, and a microbial 2-methylgeranyl diphosphate synthase in the suspect sample. The method can include conducting a nucleic acid amplification assay in the presence of at least one member selected from the group consisting of at least one microbial geosmin primer and at least one microbial 2-methylisoborneol synthase primer on a sample obtained from a suspect source of the microbial contamination.


Functional Genetics has been awarded US Patent No. 8,535,684, "Methods of inhibiting HIV infectivity."

Michael Kinch, Michael Goldblatt, Wu-Bo Li, Douty Bamba, Shaojing Chang, Huosheng Chen, Zenbework Fesseha, Manu Kohli, Hanwen Mao, Heather Thi Thu Ung-Medoff, and Ke Weng are named as inventors.

Describes a method for identifying host genes and encoded proteins for potential targets for therapeutic intervention. The method employs a gene search vector based on either lentivirus or Moloney murine leukemia virus, and can be used to interrogate an entire cell genome without prior knowledge of the genomic sequence. This random homozygous gene perturbation technique is rapidly verifiable and is used to identify potential host targets for intervention for influenza, HIV, and other viral infections. Using thermal asymmetric interlaced, or TAIL, PCR, can reduce the period needed to identify promising targets from months to weeks or less. The patent reviews specific targets including PTCH1, Robo1, and Nedd4.

The Scan

Back as Director

A court has reinstated Nicole Boivin as director of the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, Science reports.

Research, But Implementation?

Francis Collins reflects on his years as the director of the US National Institutes of Health with NPR.

For the False Negatives

The Guardian writes that the UK Health Security Agency is considering legal action against the lab that reported thousands of false negative COVID-19 test results.

Genome Biology Papers Present Epigenetics Benchmarking Resource, Genomic Architecture Maps of Peanuts, More

In Genome Biology this week: DNA methylation data for seven reference cell lines, three-dimensional genome architecture maps of peanut lines, and more.