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IP Watch: Recent Patents Related to PCR, Nucleic Acid Amplification, and Sample Prep: Jan 18, 2011

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American Type Culture Collection has been awarded US Patent No. 7,872,116, "Identification of cell culture contaminants among Mollicutes species by a PCR-based assay."

Pranvera Ikonomi, Deborah Polayes, Karin Cottrill, and Quanyi Li are named as inventors on the patent.

Encompasses nucleic acids, methods, compositions, and kits for sensitive, rapid, and specific detection of Mycoplasma, Acholeplasma, Ureaplasma, Phytoplasma, and Spiroplasma species in a sample. The invention utilizes specific primers and amplification methods that permit differentiation between species due to specific amplification of target nucleic acids of contaminating Mollicute cells. In one embodiment, the invention utilizes the differing melting temperatures of various potential PCR products to identify whether they are specific target amplification products, non-specific, non-target amplification products, specific positive control products, or primer-dimer products.


Biotechnology Research and Information Networks has been awarded US Patent No. 7,872,100, "Nitrile hydratases from metagenome libraries."

Stefan Verseck, Klaus Liebeton, and Jurgen Eck are named as inventors on the patent.

Relates to the preparation of novel nitrile hydratases, preferably obtained from non-culturable organisms by means of PCR-based screening, in metagenome DNA libraries, using special degenerate primers.


The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of the Department of Health and Human Services has been awarded US Patent No. 7,871,779, "Molecular identification of Aspergillus species."

Christine Morrison and Hans Peter Hinrikson are named as inventors on the patent.

Discloses novel techniques for detecting Aspergillus in samples. Specifically, the techniques relate to PCR amplification and/or detection of Aspergillus ITS1 rDNA sequences, and the identification of particular species of Aspergillus by detecting differences in its ITS1-V1, ITS-V2, ITS-V3, ITS-V4, and ITS-V5 nucleic acid sequences. The highly variable regions of the ITS1 rDNA sequences are particularly useful in distinguishing, for example, A. clavatus, A. granulosus, A. sydowii, A. flavipes, A. restrictus, A. versicolor, A. wentii, and A. chevalieri. In particular embodiments, the sequence differences are also able to distinguish among variants of particular species, such as A. granulosus CBS 119.5A; A. granulosus strain NRRL 1932; and A. sydowii strains NRRL 250, NRRL 4768, CUHI, CUH2, CUH7, and CUH8.


GE Healthcare has been awarded US Patent No. 7,871,771, "Method for nucleic acid analysis."

Carl Fuller and John Nelson are named as inventors on the patent.

Provides methods for nucleic acid analysis in which a closed complex of nucleic acid template, nucleotide, and polymerase can be formed during a polymerase reaction, absent divalent metal ion. This is used to trap the labeled nucleotide complementary to the next template nucleotide in the closed complex. Detection of the label enables the identification of this next correct nucleotide. Identification can be either in place, as part of the complex, or as the dye is eluted from the complex when the reaction cycle is completed by the addition of divalent metal ion. In this way, sequential nucleotides of a DNA can be identified, effectively determining the DNA sequence. This method can be applied to nucleic acid single molecules or to collections of identical or nearly identical sequence such as PCR products or clones. Multiple templates can be sequenced in parallel, particularly if they are immobilized on a solid support.

The Scan

Ancient Greek Army Ancestry Highlights Mercenary Role in Historical Migrations

By profiling genomic patterns in 5th century samples from in and around Himera, researchers saw diverse ancestry in Greek army representatives in the region, as they report in PNAS.

Estonian Biobank Team Digs into Results Return Strategies, Experiences

Researchers in the European Journal of Human Genetics outline a procedure developed for individual return of results for the population biobank, along with participant experiences conveyed in survey data.

Rare Recessive Disease Insights Found in Individual Genomes

Researchers predict in Genome Medicine cross-population deletions and autosomal recessive disease impacts by analyzing recurrent nonallelic homologous recombination-related deletions.

Genetic Tests Lead to Potential Prognostic Variants in Dutch Children With Dilated Cardiomyopathy

Researchers in Circulation: Genomic and Precision Medicine found that the presence of pathogenic or likely pathogenic variants was linked to increased risk of death and poorer outcomes in children with pediatric dilated cardiomyopathy.