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IP Update: Recent Patents Related to PCR, Sample Prep, and Nucleic Acid Amplification: Dec 10, 2009

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US Patent 7,630,837. Real-time gene quantification with internal standards. Inventors: David Eyre; Randy Rasmussen; Brian Caplin; Wade Stevenson; Deepika Marine deSilva. Assignee: Idaho Technology, University of Utah Research Foundation.

Describes a nucleic acid-quantification kit and method for determining the initial concentration or mass fraction of a target nucleic acid present in a sample. Embodiments include real-time competitive quantitative PCR to determine the copy number or mass fraction of a target nucleic acid sequence in a sample and use of a thermodynamically based signal processing algorithm, with or without PCR, to provide mass fraction information, according to the patent abstract.


US Patent 7,629,448. Compositions for detection and analysis of polynucleotides using light harvesting multichromophores. Inventors: Guillermo Bazan; Brent Gaylord; Shu Wang. Assignee: The Regents of the University of California.

Protects methods for assaying a sample for a target polynucleotide. "A sample suspected of containing the target polynucleotide is contacted with a polycationic multichromophore and a sensor polynucleotide complementary to the target polynucleotide," the patent abstract states. "The sensor polynucleotide comprises a signaling chromophore to receive energy from the excited multichromophore and increase emission in the presence of the target polynucleotide." The patent also covers kits comprising reagents for performing the methods, according to the abstract. The methods can be used in multiplex form.


US Patent 7,629,152. Methods for amplifying polymeric nucleic acids. Inventors: Mark Behlke; Joseph Walder; Jeffrey Manthey. Assignee: Integrated DNA Technologies.

Covers methods for amplifying nucleic acid polymer sequences in a high-complexity nucleic acid sample. The invention includes a primer set composed of a mixture of two types of primers for DNA synthesis. "For extension in one direction, the primers all contain modifications that destroy their ability to serve as templates that can be copied by DNA polymerases. For extension in the opposite direction, the set includes at least one primer that can serve as a template and be replicated by DNA polymerases throughout its length," the patent abstract states. The method is carried out by mixing a nucleic acid polymer sequence with the DNA synthesis primers in an amplification reaction mixture, which is then subjected to temperature cycling "analogous to the temperature cycling in PCR reactions," the abstract states. At least one primer in the primer set hybridizes to the nucleic acid polymer. "It is preferred that the non-replicable primer hybridizes to the nucleic acid polymer and is extended to produce an extension product that contains sequence from the nucleic acid polymer to which the replicable primer then hybridizes." If the nucleic acid polymer is double-stranded, both the replicable and nonreplicable primers will hybridize and be extended by DNA polymerase.


US Patent 7,629,151. Method and apparatus for the automated generation of nucleic acid ligands. Inventors: Larry Gold; Dominic Zichi; Robert Jenison; Daniel Schneider. Assignee: SomaLogic.

Protects a method and device for performing automated SELEX (systematic evolution of ligands by exponential enrichment) and includes methods and reagents that eliminate the need for size-fractionation of amplified candidate nucleic acids before beginning the next round of the SELEX process.


US Patent 7,629,124. Real-time PCR in micro-channels. Inventors: Kenton Hasson; Gregory Dale; Hiroshi Inoue. Assignee: Canon US Life Sciences.

Describes methods for amplifying nucleic acids in micro-channels. Specifically, the patent covers methods for performing real-time PCR in a continuous-flow microfluidic system and methods for monitoring real-time PCR in such systems.


US Patent 7,629,120. Method for assembling PCR fragments of DNA. Inventors: George Nelson Bennett; Mary Lou Harrison. Assignee: Rice University.

Covers a process for assembling a series of DNA fragments generated by PCR "into an ordered circular arrangement for replication and genetic work in cells," according to the patent abstract. The PCR fragments are made with a modified nucleotide in the primers that can be removed with a DNA excision repair enzyme to generate a 3' overhang. The 3' overhangs are designed to allow directional annealing, "and thus sequential PCR fragments can be assembled by annealing the overhangs and subsequent ligation." The assembled chain of PCR fragments can be removed with a site-specific recombinase if the first and last primers contain the recombinase site.


US Patent 7,628,961. Method and apparatus for amplification of nucleic acid sequences by using thermal convection. Inventors: Hyun Jin Hwang; Jeong Hee Kim; Kyunghoon Jeong. Assignee: Ahram Biosystems.

Describes a nucleic acid sequence amplification method and apparatuses "that are simple in the design and easy to miniaturize and integrate into complex apparatuses, with capability of using DNA polymerases that are not thermostable." The patent discloses a method in which "a plurality of heat sources are combined to supply heat to, or remove heat from, specific regions of the sample such that a specific spatial temperature distribution is maintained inside the sample by locating a relatively high-temperature region lower in height than a relatively low-temperature region."


US Patent 7,626,017. Pressure-enhanced extraction and purification. Inventors: James Laugharn, Jr.; Robert Hess; Feng Tao. Assignee: Pressure Biosciences.

Protects methods for cell lysis and the purification of biological materials that involve subjecting a sample to high pressure. The patent also describes an apparatus for practicing the methods.

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