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IP Watch: Recent Patents Related to PCR, Nucleic Acid Amplification, and Sample Prep: Mar 15, 2011

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Sankyo has been awarded US Patent No. 7,906,639, "Oligonucleotides having a 2'-O,4'-C-ethylene nucleotide in the third position of the 3'-end."

Makoto Koizumi is the sole inventor listed on the patent.

Relates to a method for detecting gene polymorphisms by PCR using, as a primer, an oligonucleotide wherein: The third nucleotide from the 3'-end thereof is a 2'-O,4'-C-ethylene nucleotide unit; the other oligonucleotides are natural oligonucleotides; the 3'-end position thereof is a nucleotide complementary to the nucleotide of the reference sequence of a polymorphic sequence of a target gene; and the other positions are nucleotides complementary to the nucleotide sequence of the target gene, or an oligonucleotide, wherein the 3'-end of the nucleotide sequence thereof is a polymorphic position, the second nucleotide from the 3'-end thereof is a nucleotide having a base that is not complementary to a gene to be detected, and the third nucleotide from the 3'-end thereof is a 2'-O,4'-C-ethylene nucleotide unit. The patent also describes such oligonucleotides used in detection of gene polymorphisms; and a kit comprising the above oligonucleotides for detecting gene polymorphisms.


STMicroelectronics has been awarded US Patent No. 7,906,321, "Integrated semiconductor microreactor for real-time monitoring of biological reactions."

Ubaldo Mastromatteo, Flavio Villa, and Gabriele Barlocchi are named as inventors on the patent.

Describes an integrated semiconductor chemical microreactor for real-time PCR monitoring. The microreactor has a monolithic body of semiconductor material; a number of buried channels formed in the monolithic body; an inlet trench and an outlet trench for each buried channel; and a monitoring trench for each buried channel, extending between the inlet and outlet trenches from the top surface of the monolithic body to the respective buried channel. Real-time PCR monitoring is carried out by channeling light beams into the buried channels, possibly through one of the inlet or outlet trenches, whereby the light beams impinge on the fluid therein and collect the light emerging from the monitoring trench.


Canon US Life Sciences has been awarded US Patent No. 7,906,319, "Systems and methods for monitoring the amplification and dissociation behavior of DNA molecules."

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

Relates to systems and methods for monitoring the amplification of DNA molecules and the dissociation behavior of the DNA molecules. In one embodiment the invention provides a system that includes a microfluidic channel comprising a PCR processing zone and a high-resolution thermal melt-analysis zone; and an image sensor having a first region with a first field of view and a second region having a second field of view different than the first field of view, wherein at least a portion of the PCR processing zone is within the first field of view; and at least a portion of the high-resolution thermal melt analysis zone is within the second field of view.


Canon has also been awarded US Patent No. 7,906,286, "Probe set, probe carrier, and method for determining and identifying fungus."

Toshifumi Fukui, Nobuhiro Tomatsu, Nobuyoshi Shimizu, and Atsushi Takayanagi are named as inventors on the patent.

Provides a method for identifying a causative fungus of skin disease. The method includes simultaneously performing amplification treatments under the same conditions using primers common to plural fungal species; then simultaneously performing hybridization procedures under the same conditions using probes respectively specific to fungi; and determining the presence or absence of each fungus from the hybridization intensity of each probe.


Pronucleotein Biotechnologies has been awarded US Patent No. 7,906,280, "Methods of producing intrachain fluorophore-quencher FRET-aptamers and assays."

John Bruno and Joseph Chanpong are named as inventors on the patent.

Describes methods for the production and use of single-chain (single-stranded) fluorescence resonance energy transfer DNA or RNA aptamers containing fluorophores and quenchers at various loci within their structures. The FRET aptamers are designed so that when a specific matching analyte is bound and the aptamers are excited by specific wavelengths of light, the fluorescence intensity of the system is increased or decreased in proportion to the amount of analyte added. Fluorophores and quenchers are covalently linked to nucleotide triphosphates, which are incorporated by various nucleic acid polymerases such as Taq polymerase during the polymerase chain reaction and then selected by affinity chromatographic, size-exclusion or molecular sieving, and fluorescence techniques. Further separation of related FRET aptamers can be achieved by ion-pair reverse phase high-performance liquid chromatography, or other types of chromatography. Finally, FRET aptamer structures and the specific locations of fluorophores and quenchers within FRET aptamer structures are determined by digestion with exonucleases and mass spectral nucleotide sequencing analysis.


The Penn State Research Foundation has been awarded US Patent No. 7,906,279, "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. One method described involves the formation of a recombination intermediate without the 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 the 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.

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