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IP Watch: LLNL, Lab21, NetBio, Life Tech, City of Hope, and U of Missouri Win US Patents

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Lawrence Livermore National Security has been awarded RE43,365, "Apparatus for chemical amplification based on fluid partitioning in an immiscible liquid." The patent is a reissuance of RE41,780 issued in September 2010, which itself was a reissuance of US Patent No. 7,041,481 issued in May 2006 and entitled "Chemical amplification based on fluid partitioning."

Brian Anderson, Bill Colston, and Christopher Elkin are named as inventors on the reissued patent.

Discloses a system for nucleic acid amplification of a sample. The system comprises partitioning the sample into sections and performing PCR on the partitioned sections. Another embodiment of the invention provides a system for nucleic acid amplification and detection of a sample comprising partitioning the sample into sections, performing PCR on the partitioned sections, and detecting and analyzing the partitioned sections.


Lab21 has been awarded US Patent No. 8,173,795, "Methods and compositions for identifying and characterizing hepatitis C."

Carol Holland-Staley is named as inventors on the patent.

Provides methods and compositions for amplifying portions of the HCV genome. Also describes certain nucleic acid sequences derived from HCV cDNA and functional equivalents thereof, kits containing same, and methods employing same, that are useful for identifying and characterizing HCV in biological samples.


NetBio has been awarded US Patent No. 8,173,417, "Ruggedized apparatus for analysis of nucleic acid and proteins."

Eugene Tan, Heung Lam, and Gregory Kellogg are named as inventors on the patent.

Provides methods and systems for ruggedizing a nucleic acid analyzing apparatus. The ruggedized apparatus can be used reliably and effectively in uncontrolled environments such as, for example, at a crime scene to collect and analyze forensic data, as well as in semi-controlled environments, such as for example, at a point-of-care location.


Life Technologies has been awarded US Patent No. 8,173,401, "Method for direct amplification from crude nucleic acid samples."

Chien-Wei Chang, Lori Hennessy, and Dennis Wang are named as inventors on the patent.

Relates to improved methods, kits, and reaction mixtures for amplifying nucleic acids. In some embodiments a novel direct buffer formulation allows for the direct amplification of the nucleic acids in a crude sample with minimal sample purification.


City of Hope has been awarded US Patent No. 8,173,371, "Serial coupling of nucleic acid metabolism and extension for nucleic acid amplification."

Qiang Liu and Steve Sommer are named as inventors on the patent.

Describes a method of pyrophosphorolysis-activated polymerization, or PAP. In PAP, pyrophosphorolysis and polymerization by DNA polymerase are coupled serially for each amplification by using an activatable oligonucleotide P* that has a non-extendible 3'-deoxynucleotide at its 3' terminus. PAP can be applied for exponential or linear amplification; and can be used to amplify a rare allele in admixture with one or more wild-type alleles by using an activatable oligonucleotide P* that is an exact match at its 3' end for the rare allele but has a mismatch at or near its 3' terminus for the wild-type allele. PAP is inhibited by a mismatch in the 3' specific sequence as far as 16 nucleotides away from the 3' terminus, and can greatly increase the specificity of detection of an extremely rare mutant allele in the presence of the wild-type allele. Specificity results from both pyrophosphorolysis and polymerization since significant non-specific amplification requires the combination of mismatch pyrophosphorolysis and misincorporation by the DNA polymerase, an extremely rare event. Using genetically engineered DNA polymerases greatly improves the efficiency of PAP, the patent's abstract states.


The University of Missouri has been awarded US Patent No. 8,173,077, "Reusable PCR amplification system and method."

Venumadhav Korampally, Shubhra Gangopadhyay, Keshab Gangopadhyay, Sheila Grant, Steven Kleiboeker, Shantanu Bhattacharya, and Yuanfang Gao are named as inventors on the patent.

Describes a DNA amplification device utilizing a PDMS and silicon substrate coated with spin-on glass. The PDMS layer is irreversibly bonded to the spin-on glass layer of the silicon substrate using oxygen plasma. The amplification device is an inexpensive microfluidic device that can be used as a portable thermocycler to perform PCR amplification of DNA in the field, the patent's abstract states.

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