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IP Watch: Amplicon Express, LLNL, BioMérieux, Others Win US Patents

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Amplicon Express has been awarded US Patent No. 8,301,388, "Pool and superpool matrix coding and decoding designs and methods."

Keith Stormo, QuanZhou Tao, and Robert Bogden are named as inventors.

Pertains to construction of pooled biological material such as DNA, RNA, proteins, and the like that are able to be screened by a wide variety of methods such as PCR, DNA/DNA hybridization, DNA/RNA hybridization, RNA/RNA hybridization, single-strand DNA probing, protein/protein hybridization, and additional methods. The method for construction of pools and superpools for screening differs in that the complete set is systematically divided into a variety of smaller subsets which are then re-pooled to make the final screening pools. This pooled material can be from individual samples or a population of samples. In order to reduce the analysis time, materials and expense, the pooling of high-resolution small pools in a matrix allows for a lower number of user experiments to have higher resolution (as if the researcher had analyzed the complete set of small pools).


Lawrence Livermore National Security has been awarded US Patent No. 8,298,763, "Automated high-throughput flow-through real-time diagnostic system."

John Regan is named as inventor.

Describes an automated, real-time, flow-through system capable of processing multiple samples in an asynchronous, simultaneous, and parallel fashion for nucleic acid extraction and purification, followed by assay assembly, genetic amplification, multiplex detection, analysis, and decontamination. The system is able to hold and access an unlimited number of fluorescent reagents that may be used to screen samples for the presence of specific sequences. The apparatus works by associating extracted and purified sample with a series of reagent plugs that have been formed in a flow channel and delivered to a flow-through real-time amplification detector that has a multiplicity of optical windows, to which the sample-reagent plugs are placed in an operative position. The diagnostic apparatus includes sample multi-position valves, a master sample multi-position valve, a master reagent multi-position valve, reagent multi-position valves, and an optical amplification/detection system.


BioMérieux has been awarded US Patent No. 8,298,761, "Nucleic acid sequences that can be used as primers and probes in the amplification and detection of HSV DNA and method for the amplification and detection of HSV DNA using a transcription-based amplification."

Birgit Deiman and Saskia Vermeer-Van Der Laar are named as inventors.

Relates to a pair of oligonucleotide primers for amplifying herpes simplex virus nucleic acid. The primers comprise a pair of oligonucleotides, 10 to 50 nucleotides in length, and preferably 10 to 35 nucleotides in length, comprising at least a fragment of 10 nucleotides of certain sequences or complementary sequences selected from a group described further in the patent. The patent also discloses probes, a method for amplifying an HSV DNA target, a method of specific or aspecific detection of HSV type 1 and 2, and a test kit.


Prima Meat Packers and the National Agriculture and Food Research Organization, both of Japan, have been awarded US Patent No. 8,298,758, "Method of multiplex microorganism detection."

Naoko Horikoshi, Susumu Kawasaki, Yukio Okada, Kazuko Takeshita, Takashi Sameshima, Shinichi Kawamoto, and Kenji Isshiki are named as inventors.

Provides a multiplex detection method that can detect contaminating microorganisms existing in foods, including pathogenic Escherichia coli O157, Listeria monocytogenes, and Salmonella spp., with high sensitivity that is comparable or even superior to official methods. The method comprises the steps of amplifying a plural number of target genes with a single PCR reaction tube and analyzing the same. More specifically, in the first step DNA is extracted from the target microorganisms to be detected by treating with at least a lytic enzyme such as achromopepidase and lysozyme and/or a bacteriocin having lytic activity such as enterolysine, a surfactant, and a protein denaturing agent. Then, a specific primer to the target microorganisms to be detected is mixed in to perform multiplex PCR. Further, prior to the DNA step, it is preferable to add a step to create a culture condition where 1 colony-forming unit/100 grams microorganisms becomes 103 CFU/ml or more after 18 to 48 hours of culture, and pH after culture becomes 5.1 or more.

The Scan

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.

US Survey Data Suggests Ancestry Testing Leads Way in Awareness, Use of Genetic Testing Awareness

Although roughly three-quarters of surveyed individuals in a Genetics in Medicine study reported awareness of genetic testing, use of such tests was lower and varied with income, ancestry, and disease history.

Coral Genome Leads to Alternative Amino Acid Pathway Found in Other Non-Model Animals

An alternative cysteine biosynthesis pathway unearthed in the Acropora loripes genome subsequently turned up in sequences from non-mammalian, -nematode, or -arthropod animals, researchers report in Science Advances.

Mosquitos Genetically Modified to Prevent Malaria Spread

A gene drive approach could be used to render mosquitos unable to spread malaria, researchers report in Science Advances.