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IP Watch: Recent Patents Related to PCR, Nucleic Acid Amplification, and Sample Prep: Aug 16, 2011

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HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology has been awarded US Patent No. 7,999,092, "Amplicon rescue multiplex polymerase chain reaction for amplification of multiple targets."

Jian Han is named as the inventor on the patent.

Discloses a method for amplifying and detecting polynucleotides that can provide sensitive, specific detection of multiple targets from a clinical specimen within a relatively short time.


HandyLab (Becton Dickinson) has been awarded US Patent No. 7,998,708, "Microfluidic system for amplifying and detecting polynucleotides in parallel."

Kalyan Handique, Sundaresh Brahmasandra, Karthik Ganesan, and Jeff Williams are named as inventors on the patent.

Relates to an apparatus for detecting polynucleotides in samples, particularly biological samples. The technology more particularly relates to microfluidic systems that carry out PCR on nucleotides of interest within microfluidic channels, and detect those nucleotides. The apparatus includes a microfluidic cartridge configured to accept a plurality of samples, and which can carry out PCR on each sample individually; or on a group of or all of the samples simultaneously.


Arryx has been awarded US Patent No. 7,998,676, "Methods and apparatuses for sorting objects in forensic DNA analysis and medical diagnostics."

Tania Chakrabarty is named as the inventor on the patent.

Relates to an apparatus and method of sorting and identifying objects in a forensics sample, including using holographic optical trapping to sort objects from contaminants, and performing single-cell PCR-based short tandem repeat analysis on the objects to identify them. In addition, the chip used as a support to sort the objects can also be used to perform single-cell PCR-based STR analysis. In another embodiment, a microfluidics chip is used to stream the sample and sort the objects, before single-cell PCR-based STR analysis is performed. The chip used for sorting can also be the same as that used for the single-cell PCR-based STR analysis.


The University of Utah Research Foundation has been awarded US Patent No. 7,998,672, "Simultaneous amplification and detection of ribonucleic acid by an optical method using surface plasmon resonance."

Keith Roper is named as the inventor on the patent.

Provides methods of performing PCR, including the use of an optical source to provide heating for thermocyling the PCR reaction. Methods may include using surface plasmon resonance and/or fluorescence resonance-enhanced transfer to allow real-time monitoring of a PCR reaction. Methods may also include immobilizing a template, primer, or polymerase on a surface such as a gold or other surface plasmon resonance-active surface, the patent's abstract states.


The Department of Health of Queensland (Australia) has been awarded US Patent No. 7,998,668, "Neisseria gonorrhoeae detection."

David Whiley and Theo Sloots are named as inventors on the patent.

Provides a method to determine whether a human individual is or has been infected with Neisseria gonorrhoeae. The method detects a N. gonorrhoeae porA nucleic acid fragment obtained from a biological sample, and includes subjecting the biological sample to nucleic acid sequence amplification using primers having specific nucleotide sequences described in the patent to thereby produce a porA N. gonorrhoeae amplification product. This product is detected by fluorescence resonance energy transfer using oligonucleotides having specific nucleotide sequences described in the patent and having a donor fluorophore on one and an acceptor fluorophore on the other.


Affymetrix has been awarded US Patent No. 7,993,883, "Complexity management of genomic DNA."

Shoulian Dong is named as the inventor on the patent.

Provides methods and kits for reducing the complexity of a nucleic acid sample by providing non-gel based methods to amplify a subset of the sequences in the sample. In a preferred embodiment, amplification of a subset can be accomplished by digesting a sample with two or more restriction enzymes and ligating adaptors to the fragments. The invention further provides for analysis of the above amplified sample by hybridization to an array, which may be specifically designed to interrogate the desired fragments for particular characteristics, such as, for example, the presence or absence of a polymorphism.

The Scan

Lung Cancer Response to Checkpoint Inhibitors Reflected in Circulating Tumor DNA

In non-small cell lung cancer patients, researchers find in JCO Precision Oncology that survival benefits after immune checkpoint blockade coincide with a dip in ctDNA levels.

Study Reviews Family, Provider Responses to Rapid Whole-Genome Sequencing Follow-up

Investigators identified in the European Journal of Human Genetics variable follow-up practices after rapid whole-genome sequencing.

BMI-Related Variants Show Age-Related Stability in UK Biobank Participants

Researchers followed body mass index variant stability with genomic structural equation modeling and genome-wide association studies of 40- to 72-year olds in PLOS Genetics.

Genome Sequences Reveal Range Mutations in Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells

Researchers in Nature Genetics detect somatic mutation variation across iPSCs generated from blood or skin fibroblast cell sources, along with selection for BCOR gene mutations.