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

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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

Study Links Evolution of Longevity, Social Organization in Mammals

With the help of comparative phylogenetics and transcriptomics, researchers in Nature Communications see ties between lifespan and social organization in mammals.

Tumor Microenvironment Immune Score Provides Immunotherapy Response, Prognostic Insights

Using multiple in situ analyses and RNA sequence data, researchers in eBioMedicine have developed a score associated with immunotherapy response or survival.

CRISPR-Based Method for Finding Cancer-Associated Exosomal MicroRNAs in Blood

A team from China presents in ACS Sensors a liposome-mediated membrane fusion strategy for detecting miRNAs carried in exosomes in the blood with a CRISPR-mediated reporter system.

Drug Response Variants May Be Distinct in Somatic, Germline Samples

Based on variants from across 21 drug response genes, researchers in The Pharmacogenomics Journal suspect that tumor-only DNA sequences may miss drug response clues found in the germline.