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IP Watch: Canon, Caltech, Bio-Rad, LLNL, DuPont, and Arkray Win US Patents

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Canon US Life Sciences has been awarded US Patent No. 8,232,094, "Real-time PCR in micro-channels."

Kenton Hasson, Gregory Dale, and Hiroshi Inoue are named as inventors on the patent.

Relates to methods for amplifying nucleic acids in micro-channels. More specifically, the invention relates to methods for performing real-time PCR in a continuous-flow microfluidic system, and methods for monitoring real-time PCR in such systems.


The California Institute of Technology has been awarded US Patent No. 8,232,091, "Thermal cycling system."

George Maltezos, Matthew Johnston, David Goodwin, Axel Scherer, and Christopher Walker are named as inventors on the patent.

Provides a system for performing PCR, in particular real-time PCR, with great speed and specificity. The system employs a heat block containing a liquid composition to rapidly transfer heat to and from reaction vessels. The system makes use of the reflective properties of the liquid metal to reflect signal from the PCR into the vessel and out the top. In this way, the signal can be measured by an optical assembly in real time without removing the vessels from the heat block.


Bio-Rad has been awarded US Patent No. 8,232,078, "Methods of using improved polymerases."

Provides methods of sequencing and performing polymerase reactions using an improved generation of nucleic acid polymerases. The improvement is the fusion of a sequence-non-specific nucleic-acid-binding domain to the enzyme in a manner that enhances the processivity of the polymerase.


Lawrence Livermore National Security has been awarded US Patent No. 8,232,058, "Multiplex detection of respiratory pathogens."

Mary McBride, Thomas Slezak, and James Birch are named as inventors on the patent.

Describes kits and methods useful for detection of respiratory pathogens (influenza A, including subtyping capability for H1, H3, H5 and H7 subtypes; influenza B; parainfluenza type 2; respiratory syncytial virus; and adenovirus) in a sample. The patent also describes signature sequences, e.g., polynucleotide sequences, from the respiratory pathogens that are useful for confirming their presence or absence in a sample. The patent also describes primer and probe sets optimized for use in a PCR-based, multiplexed Luminex assay to successfully identify the presence or absence of pathogens in a sample.


DuPont has been awarded US Patent No. 8,232,057, "DNA sequences for the detection and differentiation amongst pathogenic E. coli."

Frank Burns is named as the inventor on the patent.

Discloses oligonucleotide sequences and methods for specifically detecting and differentiating amongst pathogenic Escherichia coli in a complex sample, such as a food sample, water sample, or selectively enriched food matrix. The methods of detection may use PCR amplification with, or without, an internal positive control, and appropriate primer pairs. Reagents for performing the methods can be supplied as a kit and/or in tablet form.


Arkray has been awarded US Patent No. 8,232,051, "Primer set for gene amplification, reagent for gene amplification including the same, and uses thereof."

Mitsuharu Hirai and Satoshi Majima are named as inventors on the patent.

Provides primer sets for amplifying two genes, CYP2C9 and VKORC1, by a gene amplification method, wherein the primer sets can amplify respective target regions of the two genes specifically and efficiently in the same reaction system simultaneously. Two pairs of primer sets are used, including forward primers and reverse primers consisting of specific base sequences further described in the patent. The use of these primer sets makes it possible to specifically amplify target regions, including sites where polymorphisms are generated, in the CYP2C9 gene and the VKORC1 gene, in the same reaction solution simultaneously.

The Scan

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.

Gut Microbiomes Allow Bears to Grow to Similar Sizes Despite Differing Diets

Researchers in Scientific Reports find that the makeup of brown bears' gut microbiomes allows them to reach similar sizes even when feasting on different foods.

Finding Safe Harbor in the Human Genome

In Genome Biology, researchers present a new approach to identify genomic safe harbors where transgenes can be expressed without affecting host cell function.

New Data Point to Nuanced Relationship Between Major Depression, Bipolar Disorder

Lund University researchers in JAMA Psychiatry uncover overlapping genetic liabilities for major depression and bipolar disorder.