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IP Watch: Recent Patents Related to PCR, Nucleic Acid Amplification, and Sample Prep: Oct 14, 2010

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The University of California and the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto have been awarded US Patent No. 7,811,986, "Genes from the 20Q13 amplicon and their uses."

Joe Gray, Colin Collins, Soo-in Hwang, Tony Godfrey, David Kowbel, and Johanna Rommens are listed as inventors on the patent.

Relates to cDNA sequences from a region of amplification on chromosome 20 associated with disease. The sequences can be used in hybridization methods to identify chromosomal abnormalities associated with various diseases. The sequences can also be used in the treatment of diseases.


Fermentas (now part of Thermo Fisher) has been awarded US Patent No. 7,811,807, "Nucleic acid purification."

Rimantas Kvederas, Asta Siksniute, and Alyimantas Markauskas are listed as inventors on the patent.

Discloses a process for purifying plasmid DNA from a nucleic acid containing sample comprising plasmid DNA and contaminants. The process includes a contaminant-removal step comprising: (a) treating the sample to form a nucleic acid solution having a concentration of monovalent cations; (b) contacting the nucleic acid solution with an ultrafiltration membrane having a molecular weight exclusion limit of at least 30 kilodaltons under conditions in which substantially no gel layer forms and in which the concentration of monovalent cations is sufficiently high to allow sufficient time to remove substantially all RNA and form a retentate containing plasmid DNA; and (c) collecting the retentate.


Fujifilm has been awarded US Patent No. 7,811,758, "Method and apparatus of automatically isolating and purifying nucleic acid."

Toshihiro Mori and Yoshihiko Makino are listed as inventors on the patent.

Provides a method of automatically isolating and purifying nucleic acid from a nucleic acid-containing specimen. The method comprises injecting a liquid from at least one opening into a cartridge that contains at least two openings and includes a container having at least two openings and containing a nucleic acid-adsorbent solid phase. The liquid is passed through the nucleic acid-adsorbent solid phase by a generated pressure difference between the inside and outside of the container; and discharged from the other opening of the container to the outside of the container by a generated pressure difference. A pressure generated in the inside of the container is measured, and pressure change velocity and acceleration are calculated on the basis of the value of the measured pressure. Further, the timing of completion of discharge of the liquid from the container is determined by use of a temporal change pattern of at least one of the measured pressure, pressure change velocity, and pressure change acceleration.


Ibis Biosciences (now part of Abbott) has been awarded US Patent No. 7,811,753, "Methods for repairing degraded DNA."

Mark Eshoo is the sole inventor listed on the patent.

Provides methods and kits to repair degraded DNA, which may then be used as a template for efficient amplification by a number of different amplification reactions. The method relies upon a series of enzymatic activities provided by DNA repair enzymes.


Novartis Vaccine and Diagnostics has been awarded US Patent No. 7,807,813, "Identification of oligonucleotides for the capture, detection and quantitation of West Nile virus."

Venkatakrishna Shyamala is the sole inventor listed on the patent.

Discloses West Nile virus-capture oligonucleotides, primers, and probes derived from conserved regions of the West Nile virus genome. Also discloses nucleic acid-based assays using the capture oligonucleotides, primers, and probes.

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.