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IP Update: Recent Patents Related to PCR, Nucleic Acid Amplification, and Sample Prep: Apr 29, 2010


The University of Central Florida has been awarded US Patent No. 7,704,693, "Age determination from biological stains using messenger RNA profiling analysis."

John Ballantyne and Michelle Alvarez are listed as inventors on the patent.

The patent provides reverse transcription quantitative polymerase chain reaction assays, systems, methods, and kits for determining the age of an individual from bloodstains or samples of unknown origin. The methodology is based on gene expression profiling analysis in which novel human newborn fetal specific genes are identified by detecting the presence of appropriate messenger RNA species.

House Foods has been awarded US Patent No. 7,704,694, "Method for detecting target plant genus."

Takashi Hirao and Masayuki Hiramoto are the inventors listed on the patent.

The patent provides a method to detect species in a target plant genus. The method comprises conducting PCR using at least one primer from groups "A" and "B" that can hybridize under stringent conditions to a nucleic acid molecule having a common nucleotide sequence for all species in the target plant genus in the 45S rRNA precursor gene. The primers are chosen such that the 3' end of the group "A" primer, when hybridized to the nucleic acid molecule, complementarily binds to a base in the ITS-1 sequence of the target plant genus; while the 3' end of the group "B" primer, when hybridized to the nucleic acid molecule, can complementarily bind to a base in the ITS-2 sequence of the target plant genus. The method also comprises identifying the presence of the resulting amplification product from PCR containing at least a part of ITS-1 or ITS-2 sequence of the target plant genus. This method for detecting species in a target plant genus, particularly an allergenic plant genus such as Fagopyrum, makes it possible to detect with high sensitivity … about one part-per-million of the plant in cases where it is contained in a food ingredient or food product, according to the patent's abstract.

Stratagene has been awarded US Patent No. 7,704,712, "DNA polymerase fusions and uses thereof."

Michael Borns is the sole inventor listed on the patent.

The patent discloses methods of using DNA polymerase fusions at high pH in PCR, DNA sequencing, and mutagenesis protocols.

Takara Bio has been awarded US Patent No. 7,704,713, "Polypeptides having DNA polymerase activity."

Yoshimi Sato, Kazue Nishiwaki, Nana Shimada, Shigekazu Hokazono, Takashi Uemori, Hiroyuki Mukai, and Ikunoshin Kato are listed as inventors on the patent.

The patent provides a polypeptide having high-fidelity DNA polymerase activity and thus being useful as a genetic engineering reagent; a gene encoding this polypeptide; a method of producing the polypeptide; and a method of amplifying a nucleic acid by using the polypeptide.

Fluidigm has been awarded US Patent No. 7,704,735, "Integrated chip carriers with thermocycler interfaces and methods of using the same."

Geoffrey Facer, Robert Grossman, Marc Unger, Philip Lam, Hou-Pu Chou, Jake Kimball, Martin Pieprzyk, and Antoine Daridon are named as inventors on the patent.

The patent provides methods and systems for conducting a reaction at a selected temperature or range of temperatures over time. The patent describes an array device that contains separate reaction chambers and is formed as an elastomeric block from multiple layers. At least one layer has at least one recess that has at least one deflectable membrane integral to the layer with the recess. The array device has a thermal transfer device proximal to at least one of the reaction chambers. The thermal transfer device is formed to contact a thermal control source. Reagents for carrying out a desired reaction are introduced into the array device, which is contacted with a thermal control device such that it is in thermal communication with the thermal control source so that a temperature of the reaction in at least one of the reaction chambers is changed as a result of a change in temperature of the thermal control source.

The University of South Florida has been awarded US Patent No. 7,705,339, "Portable reactor for real-time nucleic acid amplification and detection comprising a reaction chamber formed from a flexible printed circuit board."

Matthew Smith, David Fries, George Steimle, and Stanislav Ivanov are listed as inventors on the patent.

According to its abstract, the patent provides core technologies necessary for a portable, low-cost, LED-based handheld fluorometer. The fluorometer is based on a heater integrated within the walls of the reaction chamber, and an orthogonal geometry LED-based light source to provide optical excitation. Power is supplied through either an internal power supply, and data collected in real time through standard serial interfaces of personal computers, which can also be used to provide power; or through personal digital assistants. Thermal regulation is automatically maintained using temperature sensor feedback control. Such a handheld system allows applications requiring temperature-sensitive photometric measurements for real-time analyte detection to be performed in the field.

The Scan

Positive Framing of Genetic Studies Can Spark Mistrust Among Underrepresented Groups

Researchers in Human Genetics and Genomics Advances report that how researchers describe genomic studies may alienate potential participants.

Small Study of Gene Editing to Treat Sickle Cell Disease

In a Novartis-sponsored study in the New England Journal of Medicine, researchers found that a CRISPR-Cas9-based treatment targeting promoters of genes encoding fetal hemoglobin could reduce disease symptoms.

Gut Microbiome Changes Appear in Infants Before They Develop Eczema, Study Finds

Researchers report in mSystems that infants experienced an enrichment in Clostridium sensu stricto 1 and Finegoldia and a depletion of Bacteroides before developing eczema.

Acute Myeloid Leukemia Treatment Specificity Enhanced With Stem Cell Editing

A study in Nature suggests epitope editing in donor stem cells prior to bone marrow transplants can stave off toxicity when targeting acute myeloid leukemia with immunotherapy.