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IP Watch: Qiagen, Penn State, and US Army Win US Patents

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The US Army has been awarded US Patent No. 8,129,149, "Rapid and sensitive method to measure endonuclease activity."

Russell Dorsey and Robert Dorsey are named as inventors on the patents.

Discloses a rapid and sensitive method to measure endonuclease activity. The method comprises reacting a substrate suspected of having endonuclease activity with a synthetic nucleotide to induce endonuclease cleavage of the synthetic nucleotide; followed by measuring activity by carrying out a PCR. When no PCR takes place it is indicative of no endonuclease activity in the substrate. The patent also discloses synthetic oligonucleotides, primers, and probes useful for carrying out the method.


Penn State University has been awarded US Patent No. 8,129,116, "Methods for nucleic acid manipulation."

Stephen Benkovic and Frank Salinas are named as inventors on the patent.

Describes a method for replicating and amplifying a target nucleic acid sequence. The method involves forming a recombination intermediate without prior denaturing of a nucleic acid duplex through the use of a recombination factor. The recombination intermediate is treated with a high-fidelity polymerase to permit replication and amplification of the target nucleic acid sequence. In preferred embodiments, the polymerase comprises a polymerase holoenzyme. In further preferred embodiments, the recombination factor is bacteriophage T4 UvsX protein or homologs from other species; and the polymerase holoenzyme comprises a polymerase enzyme, a clamp protein, and a clamp loader protein derived from viral, bacteriophage, prokaryotic, archaebacterial, or eukaryotic systems.


Qiagen has been awarded US Patent No. 8,129,150, "Mixture of reversible inhibited enzymes."

Holger Engel, Dirk Loffert, Andreas Missel, and Ralf Peist are named as inventors on the patent.

Describes compositions or kits containing an enzyme that is reversibly inhibited by means of a chemical modification, and an enzyme that is reversibly inhibited using non-covalent binding. Also describes the use of a mixture of such reversibly inhibited enzymes for processing or multiplying polynucleotides; as well as a method for specifically amplifying DNA by simultaneously using both types of reversibly inhibited enzymes.

Qiagen has also been awarded US Patent No. 8,124,391, "Thermostable polymerases from Thermococcus pacificus."

Katja Decker, Dirk Loffert, and Jie Kang are named as inventors on the patent.

Relates to a thermostable polymerase based on Thermococcus pacificus; DNA molecules that code for one such polymerase; expression vectors; host cells; methods for producing one such polymerase; and the use thereof for polymerizing nucleic acid, especially in PCR.

The Scan

More Boosters for US

Following US Food and Drug Administration authorization, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has endorsed booster doses of the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson SARS-CoV-2 vaccines, the Washington Post writes.

From a Pig

A genetically modified pig kidney was transplanted into a human without triggering an immune response, Reuters reports.

For Privacy's Sake

Wired reports that more US states are passing genetic privacy laws.

Science Paper on How Poaching Drove Evolution in African Elephants

In Science this week: poaching has led to the rapid evolution of tuskless African elephants.