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IP Update: Recent Patents Related to PCR, Sample Prep, and Nucleic Acid Amplification: Feb 16, 2010

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US Patent No. 7,662,558. Method of profiling gene expression in a human subject.

Inventor: Choong-Chin Liew

Assignee: GeneNews

Describes a method for detecting and measuring gene transcripts in blood. Specifically, the method involves 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 the disease; or assessment of the effect of a particular treatment regimen.


US Patent No. 7,662,568. Immunoliposome-nucleic acid amplification assay.

Inventors: Timothy O'Leary, Jeffrey Mason

Assignee: United States of America as represented by the Secretary of the Army

Describes immunoliposomes and use thereof in highly specific and sensitive nucleic acid amplification assays. The assays rely on amplifying specific nucleic acid sequences released from encapsulation within a liposome after a receptor on the liposome couples with a targeted analyte/antigen immobilized on a select surface. The assay permits both quantitative and qualitative analyte detection.


US Patent No. 7,662,593. Activation method of protein derived from extremely thermophilic bacterium in nucleic acid amplification reaction and use thereof.

Inventor: Yasushi Shigemori

Assignee: Aisin Seiki

Describes a method that makes it possible to activate RecA and maintain its biological function in all PCR cycles. Also, the invention provides a nucleic acid amplification method and a kit for amplifying a nucleic acid that makes it possible to suppress non-specific amplification more specifically and efficiently, so as to amplify only the desired nucleic acid. Also described is a method of activating a RecA protein derived from an extremely thermophilic bacterium. The RecA protein is activated by carrying out PCR in the presence of the protein with the addition of nucleotide 5'-triphosphate (provided that the nucleotide 5'-triphosphate is neither deoxynucleotide 5'-triphosphate nor nucleotide 5'-O-3-thiotriphosphate).


US Patent No. 7,662,595. Compounds and methods for assessment of microsatellite instability status.

Inventors: Peter Findeisen, Sabine Merx, Matthias Kloor, Magnus Von Knebel Doeberitz

Assignee: MTM Laboratories

Describes a method for assessing the microsatellite instability, or MSI, status of medically relevant conditions associated with MSI phenotype, such as neoplastic lesions. The method is based on analyzing a monomorphic T25 (CAT25) mononucleotide repeat located in the 3'-UTR of the caspase 2 (CASP2) gene. Determining the length of the named mononucleotide repeat in a single PCR procedure enables assessment of the presence or absence of MSI. Determination of the length is performed in a single PCR procedure. Alternatively, an enhanced assessment could be performed by combining the CAT25 marker with further markers such as BAT25 and BAT26 in a single multiplex PCR process.


US Patent No. 7,662,791. Gene silencing using mRNA-cDNA hybrids.

Inventors: Shi-Lung Lin, Cheng-Ming Chuong, Randall Widelitz

Assignee: University of Southern California

Describes compositions and methods for suppressing the expression of a targeted gene using mRNA-cDNA duplexes. The invention further provides methods and compositions for generating amplified mRNA-cDNA hybrids whose quantity is high enough to be used for gene silencing transfection. This improved RNA-polymerase chain reaction method uses thermocycling steps of promoter-linked double-stranded cDNA or RNA synthesis, in vitro transcription, and then reverse transcription to amplify the amount of mRNA-cDNA hybrids up to 2,000-fold within one round of the above procedure.

The Scan

Study Finds Sorghum Genetic Loci Influencing Composition, Function of Human Gut Microbes

Focusing on microbes found in the human gut microbiome, researchers in Nature Communications identified 10 sorghum loci that appear to influence the microbial taxa or microbial metabolite features.

Treatment Costs May Not Coincide With R&D Investment, Study Suggests

Researchers in JAMA Network Open did not find an association between ultimate treatment costs and investments in a drug when they analyzed available data on 60 approved drugs.

Sleep-Related Variants Show Low Penetrance in Large Population Analysis

A limited number of variants had documented sleep effects in an investigation in PLOS Genetics of 10 genes with reported sleep ties in nearly 192,000 participants in four population studies.

Researchers Develop Polygenic Risk Scores for Dozens of Disease-Related Exposures

With genetic data from two large population cohorts and summary statistics from prior genome-wide association studies, researchers came up with 27 exposure polygenic risk scores in the American Journal of Human Genetics.