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Patent Watch: IDT, Roche, Ahram Biosciences, Olink, and GenturaDx Win US Patents

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Integrated DNA Technologies has been awarded US Patent No. 8,055,451, "Method for estimating a melting temperature of a nucleic acid in buffers containing magnesium ions."

Richard Owczarzy, Bernardo Moreira, Yong You, Mark Behlke, and Joseph Walder are named as inventors on the patent.

Relates to methods and systems for predicting or estimating the melting temperature of duplex nucleic acids in the presence of divalent cations. Relates particularly to duplexes of oligonucleotides that may be used as, for example, primers or probes in PCR and/or hybridization assays. The methods and algorithms use novel formulas, having terms and coefficients that are functions of the particular nucleotide sequence, to estimate the effect of divalent cation salt conditions on the melting temperature, the patent's abstract states.


Tsinghua University and Hon Hai Precision Industry have been awarded US Patent No. 8,053,229, "Thermal cycler."

Peng Liu, Li Fan, and Li Qian are named as inventors on the patent.

Discloses a thermal cycler that includes a bearing element, a heating element, a first cooling element, and a temperature controller. The bearing element carries at least one reaction mixture. The heating element raises the temperature of the reaction mixture, and includes a housing, at least one carbon nanotube structure, and a pair of electrodes. The carbon nanotube structure and the pair of electrodes are accommodated in the housing. The pair of electrodes is electrically connected to the carbon nanotube structure. The first cooling element cools the reaction mixture. The temperature controller is electrically connected to and controls the operation of the heating element and the first cooling element.


Ahram Biosystems has been awarded US Patent No. 8,053,215, "Method and apparatus for amplification of nucleic acid sequences by using thermal convection."

Hyun Hwang, Jeong Kim, and Kyunghoon Jeong are named as inventors on the patent.

Provides nucleic acid sequence-amplification methods and apparatuses that are simple in design and easy to miniaturize and integrate into complex apparatuses, with the capability of using DNA polymerases that are not thermostable. A plurality of heat sources are combined to supply heat to or remove heat from specific regions of the sample such that a specific spatial temperature distribution is maintained inside the sample by locating a relatively high temperature region lower in height than a relatively low temperature region, according to the patent's abstract.

The patent relates to Ahram's Palm PCR system, a handheld, battery-powered thermocycler designed to perform endpoint PCR for a variety of applications. Ahram launched the platform in the US in April (PCR Insider, 4/21/11). It received another patent with the same title, US No. 7,628,961, in December 2009 (PCR Insider, 12/10/2009).


Roche Diagnostics has been awarded US Patent No. 8,053,213, "Detection of PCR products in gel electrophoresis."

Christian Birkner is named as an inventor on the patent.

Discloses a method for analyzing nucleic acids in a sample. The method comprises the following steps: (i) adding a DNA-binding dye containing a benzothiazolium or benzoxazolium group to the sample to be analyzed; (ii) carrying out a polymerase chain reaction; (iii) applying the sample to a gel matrix; (iv) separating the nucleic acid molecules according to their size by applying a voltage; and (v) applying excitation with light of a suitable wavelength to visualize the nucleic acid/DNA-binding dye complexes.


Olink has been awarded US Patent No. 8,053,188, "Nucleic acid enrichment."

Mats Gullberg and Ulf Landegren are named as inventors on the patent.

Relates to methods, reagents, and kits for enriching nucleic acid sequences. More particularly, the invention relates to methods, reagents, and kits for sample preparation including sample modification, sample enrichment, and amplification.


GenturaDx has been awarded US Patent No. 8,029,746, "Instrument for cassette for sample preparation."

Steve Yu, Jesus Ching, and Phillip Lee are named as inventors on the patent.

Describes a system for processing samples in parallel. In one embodiment, the system includes an instrument interface parallel controller to control a tray motor driving system, a close-loop heater control and detection system, a magnetic particle transfer system, a reagent release system, a reagent pre-mix pumping system, and a wash buffer pumping system, the patent's abstract states.

In March GenturaDx received another US patent, No. 7,910,062, with the same title. Together, the patents relate to GenturaDx’s proprietary method of manipulating paramagnetic particles inside a closed cartridge for the purpose of purifying nucleic acids. The method is fully integrated with the amplification and detection capabilities of the company's IDbox instrument and consumable cartridge, currently under development; and enables the platform to detect a broad range of pathogens from a wide variety of starting sample types, the company said in a statement.

The Scan

Plan Rebuffed

The Associated Press reports China has rejected the World Health Organization's proposal to include the lab-leak theory in the next phase of its investigation into the origins of SARS-CoV-2.

Opossum Change

Researchers from Riken have used CRISPR to edit marsupial genomes, as Technology Review reports.

In the Ice

Cosmos magazine reports that researchers have uncovered more than two dozen ancient viruses in a Tibetan glacier.

Nature Papers Present Method to Uncover Differential RNA Modifications, Neutrophils in Innate Immune Response

In Nature this week: computational approach to identifying differential RNA modifications, and more.