Skip to main content

IP Watch: Recent Patents Related to PCR, Nucleic Acid Analysis, and Sample Prep


Promega has been awarded US Patent No. 8,039,613, "Methods of purifying a nucleic acid and formulation and kit for use in performing such methods."

Rex Bitner is named as inventor on the patent.

Describes a formulation containing guanidine thiocyanate together with acetamide, one or more acetamide derivatives, or a combination of acetamide and one or more acetamide derivatives. The formulation is used to purify one or more nucleic acids contained in a medium. In particular, a medium containing at least one nucleic acid is combined with a binding matrix and the formulation in order to cause the nucleic acid to separate from its in vivo cellular environment and to bind to the matrix. The nucleic acid-bound matrix is then separated from the rest of the combined medium and formulation, after which at least one nucleic acid is eluted from the binding matrix in a substantially purified form. If different nucleic acids are to be selectively purified from a single medium, multiple binding matrices, each compatible with a different nucleic acid, can be used.

Applied Biosystems (Life Technologies) has been awarded US Patent No. 8,039,234, "Methods, panels of identification markers, and kits for identifying forensic samples."

Rixun Fang and Manohar Furtado are named as inventors on the patent.

Provides methods for identifying forensic samples using panels of markers and gene expression profiling, including mRNA profiling, miRNA profiling, or both. Also discloses panels of markers for identifying certain tissue samples and certain body fluid samples; as well as kits for expediting performance of certain of the disclosed methods.

Quest Diagnostics has been awarded US Patent No. 8,039,216, "Methods for detecting nucleic acids using multiple signals."

Maurice Exner and Amy Rogers are names as inventors on the patent.

Discloses methods for identifying a nucleic acid in a sample. In one example, the method includes: (a) contacting the nucleic acid in the sample with an oligonucleotide that is specific for the nucleic acid and that is labeled with at least a first fluorescent dye; (b) contacting the nucleic acid in the sample with a second fluorescent dye that is different from the first fluorescent dye, such that the second fluorescent dye interacts with the nucleic acid; (c) amplifying the nucleic acid if present in the sample; and (d) detecting the nucleic acid by observing fluorescence from the first fluorescent dye after the oligonucleotide hybridizes to the amplified nucleic acid and determining the melting temperature of the amplified nucleic acid by measuring the fluorescence of the second fluorescent dye. The second fluorescent dye may include a fluorescent intercalating agent, the patent's abstract states.

Roche Molecular Systems has been awarded US Patent No. 8,039,215, "Multiplex quantitative nucleic acid amplification and melting assay."

Russell Higuchi and Cherie Holcomb are named as inventors on the patent.

Discloses a single-tube multiplex assay capable of simultaneously amplifying, detecting, and quantifying multiple nucleic acid targets, using multiple hybridization probes, labeled with the same fluorescent reporter label, but each having a distinct melting temperature. The assay can be further multiplexed with the use of multiple sets of hybridization probes, each set labeled with a separate fluorescent reporter label, according to the patent's abstract.

The Scan

UK Funds to Stay Ahead of Variants

The UK has announced a further £29.3 million to stay on top of SARS-CoV-2 variants, the Guardian reports.

Push for Access

In a letter, researchers in India seek easier access to COVID-19 data, Science reports.

Not as Cold

Late-stage trial results are expected soon for an RNA-based vaccine that could help meet global demand as it does not require very cold storage, the New York Times writes.

Genome Research Papers on Microbes' Effects on Host Transfer RNA, Honeybee Evolution, Single-Cell Histones

In Genome Research this week: influence of microbes on transfer RNA patterns, evolutionary relationships of honeybees, and more.