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IP Watch: Fluidigm, GeneNews, Pioneer Hi-Bred, Dupont, Others Win US Patents

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The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has been awarded US Patent No. 8,148,511, "Methods and compositions for the detection and quantification of E. coli and Enterococcus."

Rachel Noble and Angelia Blackwood are named as inventors on the patent.

Discloses methods and compositions for rapidly detecting and/or quantifying fecal indicator bacteria, particularly Escherichia coli and Enterococcus spp., in a sample. The patent provides novel primer and probes with specific sequences for use in detecting the presence of these organisms in a sample, particularly using quantitative PCR methods.


PhyNexus has been awarded US Patent No. 8,148,168, "Method and device for sample preparation."

Douglas Gjerde, Allen Burge, and Ronald Jones are named as inventors on the patent.

Provides extraction columns for purifying an analyte (e.g., a biological macromolecule such as a peptide, protein, or nucleic acid) from a sample solution, as well as methods for making and using such columns. The columns typically include a bed of extraction media positioned in the column, often between two frits. In some embodiments, the extraction columns employ modified pipette tips as column bodies; and in other embodiments, the extraction columns are comprised of frits having a low pore. In further embodiments, the frits of the extraction columns have a pore volume of less than one microliter or less than 10 percent of the interstitial volume of the bed of extraction media.


Chen & Chen has been awarded US Patent No. 8,148,116, "Sample processing device for pretreatment and thermal cycling."

Shuqi Chen is named as inventor on the patent. Chen is founder and CEO of biological testing firm Iquum.

Describes a sample processing device that may include an opening, a sample pretreatment unit, a thermal cycling reaction unit, and a detection unit.


Blood Cell Storage has been awarded US Patent No. 8,148,115, "Device and method for extraction and analysis of nucleic acids from biological samples."

Michael Reed and Oliver Nanassy are named as inventors on the patent.

Device and methods for extracting and analyzing nucleic acids from biological samples. According to the patent's claims, the methods include eluting nucleic acids isolated on a solid phase with an elution buffer to release nucleic acids. The elution buffer comprises a first fluorescent compound having a first fluorescence emission maximum and a fluorescence intensity dependent on the concentration of nucleic acids. The method involves measuring the fluorescence of the first fluorescent compound to determine the amount of released nucleic acids, the patent states.


Arkray of Kyoto, Japan, has been awarded US Patent No. 8,148,079, "Method of producing amplification product by PCR and usage thereof."

Yuji Izumizawa and Satoshi Majima are named as inventors on the patent.

Describes a method of producing a PCR amplification product that suppresses an effect of precipitate, turbidity, or the like derived from a whole blood sample in the detection of an amplified nucleic acid by an optical unit. The method produces an amplification product complementary to a target nucleic acid in the whole blood sample such that the hemoglobin content ratio of the whole blood sample in a PCR reaction solution is in the range of 0.1 to 0.9 percent by volume or 0.01 to 1.8 g/L. When PCR is carried out with such conditions, even with an untreated whole blood sample, the optical unit can monitor the amplification product while suppressing the effect of the precipitate or the turbidity.


Fluidigm has been awarded US Patent No. 8,148,078, "Copy number variation determination, methods and systems."

Ramesh Ramakrishnan is named as inventor on the patent.

Describes methods and systems for determining copy number variation of a target polynucleotide in a genome of a subject, including amplification-based techniques. Methods can include pre-amplification of the sample followed by distribution of sample in a plurality of reaction volumes; quantitative detection of a target polynucleotide and a reference polynucleotide; and analysis to determine the relative copy number of the target polynucleotide sequence in the genome of the subject.


Pioneer Hi-Bred and Dupont have been awarded US Patent No. 8,148,077, "Method for identifying novel genes."

Andre Abad, Hua Dong, Susan Lo, Billy McCutchen, and Xiaomei Shi are named as inventors on the patent.

Describes methods and compositions for identifying novel genes that share regions of homology with known genes from target groups of genes of interest.

The methods comprise systematically designing oligonucleotide primers that are specific for regions of homology within the nucleotide sequences of a target group of known genes, and performing successive rounds of PCR amplification of nucleic acid material from an organism of interest. The PCR steps are intended to identify and amplify nucleic acids comprising both known and novel genes. Nucleic acid molecules comprising known genes are detected and eliminated from further consideration by dot blot analysis using oligonucleotide probes specific for the known genes in the target group. Potentially novel genes are subjected to further sequence analysis to confirm novelty, and are assayed for biological activity. The patent also describes novel polynucleotides, and variants and fragments thereof, that comprise novel genes and the polypeptides encoded thereby.


GeneNews has been awarded US Patent No. 8,148,072, "Method of profiling gene expression in a subject having heart failure."

Choong-Chin Liwe is named as inventor on the patent.

Describes the detection and measurement of gene transcripts in blood. The patent specifically describes performing reverse transcription 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 disease or to assess the effect of a particular treatment regimen.


City of Hope has been awarded US Patent No. 8,148,065, "Ligation amplification of nucleic acid sequences."

Bruce Wallace is named as inventor on the patent.

Describes a method for identifying point mutations using a template-dependent ligation procedure. Also describes a template-dependent ligase chain reaction procedure for amplifying and detecting nucleic acid sequences.

The Scan

PLOS Papers on Causal Variant Mapping, Ancient Salmonella, ALK Fusion Test for NSCLC

In PLOS this week: MsCAVIAR approach to map causal variants, analysis of ancient Salmonella, and more.

US Booster Eligibility Decision

The US CDC director recommends that people at high risk of developing COVID-19 due to their jobs also be eligible for COVID-19 boosters, in addition to those 65 years old and older or with underlying medical conditions.

Arizona Bill Before Judge

The Arizona Daily Star reports that a judge is weighing whether a new Arizona law restricting abortion due to genetic conditions is a ban or a restriction.

Additional Genes

Wales is rolling out new genetic testing service for cancer patients, according to BBC News.