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IP Watch: US Patents Awarded to Roche, Life Tech, National Taiwan University, GeneNews


Roche Molecular Systems has been awarded US Patent No. 8,110,396, "Thermocycling device with a thermal switch comprising a magnetic or metal thermoconducting liquid and a stimulating unit."

Daniel Bommer and Thomas Schlaubitz are named as inventors on the patent.

Relates to a thermocycler module for heating and/or cooling a thermocycling device. The module comprises a thermal switch, a heating block, and a heat sink. The thermal switch comprises a thermoconducting liquid, e.g., a magnetic fluid or a liquid metal, and a stimulating unit, e.g., a magnetic unit or a Lorentz-force unit, for moving the thermoconducting liquid. The movement of the thermoconducting liquid provides, when the thermal switch in turned on, a thermal connection between the heating block and the heat sink.

National Taiwan University has been awarded US Patent No. 8,110,359, "PCR method for identifying a serotype of Klebsiella pneumonia by using cps region primers and application thereof."

Jon-Town Wang, Yi-Jiun Pan, Han-Chi Fang, Hui-Ching Yang, Tzu-Lung Lin, Pei-Fang Hsieh, Feng-Chiao Tsai, and Yoav Keynan are named as inventors on the patent.

Relates to a method of identifying a serotype of Klebsiella pneumonia. In particular, the patent relates to a method using specific polymerase chain reaction primer sets designed according to a fragment of a capsular polysaccharide synthesis, or cps, region to identify a K57 or a NTUH-N1 serotype. NTUH-N1 is a novel serotype that differs from the previously reported 77 serotypes, the patent's abstract states. As such, the PCR-based cps genotyping method solves the problems of insufficient specificity and sensitivity caused by conventional immune methods, and can be applied in clinical diagnosis with the advantages of rapidity and low cost, the abstract states. In addition, the method can be used to reduce the rate of unidentifiable strains.

GeneNews has been awarded US Patent No. 8,110,358, "Method of profiling gene expression in a subject having prostate cancer."

Choong-Chin Liew is named as inventor on the patent.

Covers the detection and measurement of gene transcripts in blood. More specifically, describes performing RT-PCR analysis on a drop of blood to detect, diagnose, and monitor diseases using tissue-specific primers. The invention also describes methods by which delineation of the sequence and/or quantitation of the expression levels of disease-associated genes allows for an immediate and accurate diagnostic/prognostic test for disease or to assess the effect of a particular treatment regimen.

Invitrogen Dynal (Life Technologies) has been awarded US Patent No. 8,110,351, "Method for isolating nucleic acids from a protein from a single sample."

Marie Bosnes is named as inventor on the patent.

Covers a method of isolating nucleic acid and protein from the same sample … wherein nucleic acid and protein components contained in the sample become bound to distinct solid supports. The patent also describes kits for isolating nucleic acid and protein from the same sample, and using the method to analyze and/or compare mRNA and/or protein expression and/or their correlation to genomic information.

The Scan

Guidelines for Ancient DNA Work

More than two dozen researchers have developed new ethical guidelines for conducting ancient DNA research, which they present in Nature.

And Cleared

A UK regulator has cleared former UK Prime Minister David Cameron in concerns he should have registered as a consultant-lobbyist for his work with Illumina, according to the Financial Times.

Suit Over Allegations

The Boston Globe reports that David Sabatini, who was placed on leave from MIT after allegations of sexual harassment, is suing his accuser, the Whitehead Institute, and the institute's director.

Nature Papers on Esophageal Cancer, Origin of Modern Horses, Exome Sequencing of UK Biobank Participants

In Nature this week: genetic and environmental influences of esophageal cancer, domestic horse origin traced to Western Eurasian steppes, and more.