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ProteoMonitor s IP Roundup: Recent Patents of Interest in Proteomics: Feb 24, 2003

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US Patent 6,513,813. Gel slab sealing strip for an electrophoresis tank. Inventors: Jack Goodman, Leigh Anderson. Assignee: Large Scale Proteomics.

Covers a gel slab sealing strip that has been adapted for use in an electrophoresis tank.


US Patent 6,507,019. MS/MS scan methods for a quadrupole/time of flight tandem mass spectro meter. Inventors: Igor Chernushevich, Bruce Thomson. Assignee: MDS.

Protects a method for mass analysis on an ion stream which can be used to optimize the performance of a parent ion scan, an MRM scan, or a neutral loss scan.


US Patent 6,512,225. Tandem time-of-flight mass spectrometer with improved mass resolution. Inventors: Marvin Vestal, Stephen Gabeler. Assignee: PerSeptive Biosystems.

Covers the discovery that the resolution of tandem TOF mass spectrometers can be improved by applying a time varying bias voltage that increases the energy of the fragments relative to the selected ions. Near optimum resolution can be achieved in both units of a tandem TOF mass spectrometer by providing an additional grid between the timed ion selector and the fragmentation chamber.


US Patent 6,512,226. Method of and apparatus for selective collision-induced dissociation of ions in a quadrupole ion guide. Inventors: Alexandre Loboda, Andrei Krouttchinskikh, Victor Spicer, Werner Ens, Kenneth Standing. Assignee: University of Manitoba.

The method enables two steps — selection of a particular parent ion and generation of fragment ions by collision-induced dissociation — to be carried out in a single step, resulting in a simpler apparatus and enhanced efficiency.


US Patent 6,515,279. Device and method for alternating operation of multiple ion sources. Inventor: Gokhan Baykut. Assignee: Bruker Daltonik.

Relates to the alternating operation of ion sources at mass spectrometers equipped with RF multipole ion guides. Designing at least one of these guides movable perpendicular to the axis makes it possible to perform a vacuum-internal source exchange without having to vent the vacuum system.


US Patent 6,515,280. Method and device for matrix assisted laser desorption ionization of substances. Inventor: Gokhan Baykut. Assignee: Bruker Daltonik.

Covers a MALDI source that is capable of exposing the sample to a local gas pulse exactly at the point where the laser desorption process occurs, helping reduce the excess kinetic energy of the generated ions.


US Patent 6,475,809. Protein arrays for high-throughput screening. Inventors: Peter Wagner, Dana Ault-Riche, Steffen Nock, Christian Itin. Assignee: Zyomyx.

Covers protein arrays and protein-coated surfaces for the parallel, in vitro screening of biomolecular activity. These are particularly useful in high-throughput drug screening and clinical diagnostics.


US Patent 6,478,939. Biosensor device and method. Inventors: Bruce Lennox, Robert Hodges, Randall Irvin. Assignee: Pence, McGill University.

Protects a biosensor apparatus for detecting a binding event between a ligand and a receptor using surface-bound two-subunit heterodimer complexes. Helix BioPharma of Aurora, Canada, has licensed this patent.


US Patent 6,501,073. Mass spectrometer with a plurality of ionization probes. Inventors: Iain Mylchreest, Tina Hemenway, Richard Hartford. Assignee: Thermo Finnigan.

Covers a multiple sample mass spectrometer with several atmospheric pressure ionization probes, each forming an ion spray with passages for introducing sample ions into the mass spectrometer. The flow of ions through selected passages is selectively blocked to permit analysis of ions from selected ionization probes.


US Patent 6,489,608. Method of determining peptide sequences by mass spectrometry. Inventor: John Skilling. Assignee: Micromass.

Covers a method for peptide sequence determination by tandem mass spectrometry without the use of any additional data concerning the nature of the peptide, and without any limit to the number of possible sequences considered. It uses mathematical techniques to simulate the effect of a complete search without actually carrying it out.

The Scan

Pig Organ Transplants Considered

The Wall Street Journal reports that the US Food and Drug Administration may soon allow clinical trials that involve transplanting pig organs into humans.

'Poo-Bank' Proposal

Harvard Medical School researchers suggest people should bank stool samples when they are young to transplant when they later develop age-related diseases.

Spurred to Develop Again

New Scientist reports that researchers may have uncovered why about 60 percent of in vitro fertilization embryos stop developing.

Science Papers Examine Breast Milk Cell Populations, Cerebral Cortex Cellular Diversity, Micronesia Population History

In Science this week: unique cell populations found within breast milk, 100 transcriptionally distinct cell populations uncovered in the cerebral cortex, and more.