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IP Watch: Olink, CSIRO, Arkray, Dana Farber, U of California, Others Win US Patents

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Olink of Uppsala, Sweden, has been awarded US Patent No. RE44,265, "Nucleic acid amplification method," a reissue of US Patent No. 7,790,388 of the same name.

Ulf Landegren and Mats Gullberg are named as inventors.

Discloses a nucleic acid amplification method, and probes for use within the method.


Kurashiki Boseki Kabushiki Kaisha of Kurashiki-shi, Japan, has been awarded US Patent No. 8,455,632, "Primer set and probe for detection of human papillomavirus."

Atsushi Morishita, Isao Miyagawa, Kazuhiko Kogoh, Akiko Kawakami, and Naoki Ogawa are named as inventors.

The invention is directed to the detection of multiple types of HPV with high specificity and high sensitivity. The invention provides primer sets, probes, and a kit containing the primer set and the probe for type-specific HPV detection.


The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization of Australia has been awarded US Patent No. 8,455,197, "Nucleic acid amplification."

Keith Rand is named as the inventor.

Provides a method for the selective amplification of a target nucleotide sequence located within a nucleic acid molecule. The method comprises contacting the nucleic acid molecule, or template molecule, with (i) at least one facilitator oligonucleotide that includes at least one modification at or near its 3' terminus such that 3' extension from the facilitator oligonucleotide is blocked; and (ii) two or more oligonucleotide primers, at least one of which is an initiator primer modified such that the presence of the modification prematurely terminates complementary strand synthesis. The facilitator oligonucleotide and the initiator primer bind to substantially the same or adjacent regions of the template nucleic acid molecule and the facilitator oligonucleotide further comprises sequences complementary to the target sequence 3' to the binding location of the initiator primer. The method then involves carrying out thermocyclic, enzymatic amplification such that the specific target sequence is selectively amplified.


Arkray of Kyoto, Japan, has been awarded US Patent No. 8,455,192, "Probes for detection of SULT1A1 gene, reagent containing the same, and the uses thereof."

Toshiya Hosomi is named as the inventor.

Discloses a primer set for specifically and efficiently amplifying a region, including sites to be detected, of two types of polymorphisms — SULT1A1*2 and SULT1A1*3 — in the SULT1A1 gene by a gene amplification method. The patent also discloses a forward and reverse primer consisting of specific base sequences detailed in the patent claims.


The Dana-Farber Cancer Institute has been awarded US Patent No. 8,455,190, "Enrichment of a target sequence."

Gerassimos Makrigiorgos is named as the inventor.

Describes methods, compositions, software, and devices for enriching low-abundance alleles from a sample. The method is based in part on a modified nucleic acid amplification protocol that includes incubating the reaction mixture at a critical denaturing temperature. By employing the invention the current detection limits of all PCR-based technologies are greatly improved, the patent's abstract states.


The University of California has been awarded US Patent No. 8,454,906, "Microfabricated droplet generator for single-molecule/cell genetic analysis in engineered monodispersed emulsions."

Richard Mathies, Palani Kumaresan, Chaoyang Yang, and Rober Blazej are named as inventors.

Provides microfluidic designs and methods for rapid generation of monodisperse nanoliter-volume droplets of reagent/target (e.g., molecule or cell) mix in emulsion oil. The designs and methods enable high-throughput encapsulation of a single target (e.g., DNA/RNA molecules or cells) in controlled-size droplets of reagent mix. According to various embodiments of the invention, a microfabricated, three-valve pump is used to precisely meter the volume of reagent/target mix in each droplet and also to effectively route microparticles such as beads and cells into the device, which are encapsulated within droplets at the intersection of the reagent channel and an oil channel. The pulsatile flow profile of the microfabricated pumps provides active control over droplet generation, thereby enabling droplet formation with oils that are compatible with biological reactions but are otherwise difficult to form emulsions with.

The Scan

Guidelines for Ancient DNA Work

More than two dozen researchers have developed new ethical guidelines for conducting ancient DNA research, which they present in Nature.

And Cleared

A UK regulator has cleared former UK Prime Minister David Cameron in concerns he should have registered as a consultant-lobbyist for his work with Illumina, according to the Financial Times.

Suit Over Allegations

The Boston Globe reports that David Sabatini, who was placed on leave from MIT after allegations of sexual harassment, is suing his accuser, the Whitehead Institute, and the institute's director.

Nature Papers on Esophageal Cancer, Origin of Modern Horses, Exome Sequencing of UK Biobank Participants

In Nature this week: genetic and environmental influences of esophageal cancer, domestic horse origin traced to Western Eurasian steppes, and more.