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ProteoMonitor s IP Roundup: Recent Patents of Interest in Proteomics: Nov 7, 2003


US Patent No. 6,643,391. Apparatus for computer-assisted isolation and characterization of proteins. Inventors: Leigh Anderson, Norman Anderson, Jack Goodman. Assignee: Large Scale Proteomics.

Covers materials and methods for an integrated, automated, high-throughput system for 2D gel electrophoresis, including gel-making machines, gel-pro-cessing machines, gel compositions and geometries, gel handling systems, sample preparation systems and software.

The entire process from gel casting through scanning is controlled by the software through the use of robotics.

US Patent No. 6,642,059. Method for the comparative quantitative analysis of proteins and other biological material by isotopic labeling and mass spectroscopy. Inventors: Brian Chait, David Cowburn, Yoshi Oda. Assignee: Rockefeller University.

Covers a method for determining the differential quantitation of proteins or other biomolecules in samples that are cultured under different conditions using mass spectroscopy and isotopic labeling.

Under this system, at least one isotope in the second medium has a different abundance than the abundance of the same isotope in the first medium. The two samples are treated with a pathogen, drug, chemical, or other stimulus.

The samples are then combined and the protein of interest is removed and subjected to mass spectroscopy. Two closely spaced peaks are obtained representing proteins from each of the two samples, and the relative abundance is found. The protein and modifications can be identified.

US Patent No. 6,638,408. Method and device for separation of charge molecules by solution isoelectric focusing. Inventors: David Speicher, Xun Zuo. Assignee: Wistar Institute.

Covers an isoelectric focusing device and method for reproducibly fractionating charged molecules into well-defined pools.

Potential uses include fractionating eukaryotic proteome samples to quantitate more than 10,000 protein components with reproducible resolution. The invention includes a chamber for holding liquid, the separation of charged molecules in the chamber through use of a direct current, and a method for separating mixtures of at least 10 species.

US Patent No. 6,633,031. Integrated monolithic microfabricated dispensing nozzle and liquid chromatography-electrospray system and method. Inventors: Gary Schultz, Thomas Corso. Assignee: Advion BioSciences.

Covers an electrospray device as well as a liquid chromatography-electrospray system and method. The electrospray device comprises a substrate, a nozzle, and an electrode, which can be used in the form of an array of miniaturized nozzles. The liquid chromatography-electrospray device comprises a separation substrate and a separation channel. A cover substrate is bonded to the separation substrate to enclose the reservoir and the separation channel is adjacent to the cover substrate. The LC device is interfaced with the electrospray device.

US Patent No. 6,632,339. Method of identifying polypeptides. Inventors: Willy Bienvenut, Denis Hochstrasser. Assignee: University of Geneva.

Covers a method for identifying polypeptides that have been separated by gel electrophoresis by electroblotting them through a “sandwich” composed of: the separation gel; hydrophilic membrane on which is immobilized at least one reagent capable of cleaving a polypeptide; and a hydrophobic layer. The electroblotting step is effected by a biased alternating current or a discontinuous direct current. The polypeptides are then identified by MALDI TOF-MS.

US Patent No. 6,642,516. Apparatus and method of laser dissociation for mass spectrometry. Inventors: Stuart Hansen, Christian Le Cocq, Gangqiang Li, Scott Corzine. Assignee: Agilent Technologies.

Covers a mass spectrometer and the associated methods for ion dissociation by a laser diode array system. The mass spectrometry system includes a radio frequency multipole assembly, an inner structure that surrounds the radio frequency multipole assembly, and a laser diode array system. The laser system emits laser radiation through a side opening in the inner structure.

US Patent No. 6,642,514. Mass spectrometers and methods of mass spectrometry. Inventors: Robert Bateman, Kevin Giles. Assignee: Micromass.

Covers a mass spectrometer with an ion guide, made up of several electrodes, that spans at least two vacuum chambers. One of the electrodes in the ion guide also forms a pumping system that separates two vacuum chambers.


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.