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US Patent 7,672,792. Methods and systems for classifying mass spectra. Inventor: Lucio Cetto. Assignee: The MathWorks

Pertains to methods and systems for classifying mass spectra to "discriminate the absence or existence of a condition," according to the abstract. The method and systems include "determining a first or higher order derivative of the signals of the mass spectra or any linear combination of the signal and a derivative of the signal, to form a mass spectra dataset for training a classifier."


US Patent 7,671,330. High resolution mass spectrometry method and system for analysis of whole proteins and other large molecules. Inventors: Peter T. A. Reilly; William A. Harris. Assignee: UT-Battelle

Pertains to a MALDI method and a related system for analyzing high molecular weight analytes. The invention includes steps for providing at least one matrix-containing particle inside an ion trap, "wherein at least one high molecular-weight analyte molecule is provided within the matrix-containing particle, and MALDI on the high molecular-weight particle while within the ion trap," according to the abstract. "A laser power used for ionization is sufficient to completely vaporize the particle and form at least one high molecular-weight analyte ion, but is low enough to avoid fragmenting the high molecular weight-analyte ion." The analyte of high molecular weight is extracted from the ion trap and analyzed with a detector, preferably a phrolyzing and ionizing detector.


US Patent 7,670,841. Method of analyzing C-terminal amino acid sequence of peptide. Inventors: Kenji Miyazaki; Akira Tsugita; Kenichi Kamijo; Takuji Nabetani. Assignee: NEC

Provided is a method for analyzing the C-terminal amino acid sequence of a peptide using a reaction technique for releasing the C-terminal amino acids. The method prevents undesirable side effects, such as cleavage of a peptide bond at the middle of the peptide. Chemical treatments can also be carried out under "widely applicable conditions in the course of successive release of the C-terminal amino acids from a peptide," according to the abstract.


US Patent 7,670,792. Biomarkers for early detection of ovarian cancer. Inventors: Robin Farias-Eisner; Srinivasa T. Reddy. Assignee: The Regents of the University of California

The protein biomarkers can be used to diagnose early-stage ovarian cancer. The biomarker panels differentiate patients with ovarian neoplasia from healthy patients and allow for the identification of patients with stage l and ll ovarian cancer from patients with benign ovarian tumors or healthy individuals. Also described are methods for detecting and treating various cancers.


US Patent 7,670,769. IL1RL-1 as a cardiovascular disease marker and therapeutic target. Inventors: Richard T. Lee. Assignee: The Brigham Women's Hospital

Relates to isolated molecules that can be used to diagnose and/or treat cardiac hypertrophy, myocardial infarction, stroke, arteriosclerosis, and heart failure.


US Patent 7,666,982. Notch-origin polypeptides and biomarkers and reagents using the same. Inventors: Masayasu Okochi; Masatoshi Takeda. Assignee: N/A

Pertains to extracellular polypeptide markers, whereby Notch signal transduction can be detected. The peptides are released from the cells proportional to the Notch signal depending on presenilin. "By detecting these peptides, the Notch signal transduction, cell differentiation, cell tumorigenesis, apoptosis, Alzheimer's disease, etc., can be monitored," according to the abstract.

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US Patent 7,666,886. Compounds and methods for the diagnosis and treatment of amyloid-associated diseases. Inventors: Jerry Yang; Petra Inbar. Assignee: The Regents of the University of California

Described are compounds and methods for the diagnosis, prevention, and alleviation of amyloid-associated diseases such as neuronal diseases.


US Patent 7,666,819. Integrated microarray system and methods therefore. Inventors: Fareed Kureshy; Vijay K. Mahant; Shailendra Singh. Assignee: Autogenomics

The microarray system allows for fully automated sample processing and detection and quantification of nucleic acid and protein samples in a single analytical device. The device can be configured to "communicate" data to a person other than the one operating the device. The system has a "housing" in which robotics assembly controls the automatic pipette and a second actuator controls motion of the automatic actuator. Other components of the system include a fluidics station, sample station, a pipette storage area, and a magazine holder.


US Patent 7,666,661. Substrates, devices, and methods for quantitative liquid crystal assays. Inventors: Nicholas Abbott; Christopher Murphy; Barbara Israel. Assignee: Platypus Technologies

Provided are improved substrates and methods for using liquid crystal assays for quantifying analytes in a sample. Materials and methods for detecting non-specific binding of an analyte to a substrate by using a liquid crystal assay format are also provided.


US Patent 7,666,606. Protein-protein interaction detection system using fluorescent protein microdomains. Inventors: Geoffrey Waldo; Stephanie Cabantous. Assignee: Los Alamos National Security

Pertains to a protein labeling and interaction detection system that is based on "engineered fragments of fluorescent and chromophoric proteins that require fused interacting polypeptides to drive the association of the fragments, and further are soluble and stable and do not change the solubility of polypeptides to which they are fused," according to the abstract.


US Patent 7,666,583. Identification of cancer protein biomarkers using proteomic techniques. Inventors: Gil G. Mor; David C. Ward; Patricia Bray-Ward. Assignee: Yale University

Pertains to methods of diagnosing cancer. The methods are based on the identification of biomarkers that are "particularly well-suited to discriminate between cancer subjects and healthy subjects," according to the abstract. The biomarkers are leptin, prolactin, OPN, and IGF-II. They were identified via a "unique and novel" screening method that is also described, and which can be used in the prognosis and monitoring of cancer.


US Patent 7,662,913. Cystatin-based peptide tags for the expression and purification of bioactive peptides. Inventors: Linda Jane Decarolis; Stephen R. Fahnestock; Hong Wang. Assignee: E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Co.

The cystatin-based peptide tags are "useful" for generating insoluble fusion peptides, according to the abstract. They comprise at least one inclusion body tag linked to a peptide of interest. "Expression of the fusion peptide in a host cell results in a product that is insoluble and contained within inclusion bodies in the cell and/or cell lysate," the inventors said in the abstract. "The inclusion bodies may then be purified and the protein of interest may be isolated after cleavage from the inclusion body tag."


US Patent 7,662,640. Method for silver staining of biological substances. Inventor: Asako Okawa. Assignee: Kyoto University

Describes a method for silver staining a gel on which biological substances, such as proteins, are separated by electrophoresis. The method comprises at least the following steps: immersing the gel after electrophoresis in an aqueous solution of sodium thiosulfate; immersing the gel obtained in the first step in a mixture of ethanol and an aqueous solution of sodium acetate; and immersing the gel obtained in step two in a mixture of ethanol and an aqueous solution of silver nitrate.

The Scan

Interfering With Invasive Mussels

The Chicago Tribune reports that researchers are studying whether RNA interference- or CRISPR-based approaches can combat invasive freshwater mussels.

Participation Analysis

A new study finds that women tend to participate less at scientific meetings but that some changes can lead to increased involvement, the Guardian reports.

Right Whales' Decline

A research study plans to use genetic analysis to gain insight into population decline among North American right whales, according to CBC.

Science Papers Tie Rare Mutations to Short Stature, Immunodeficiency; Present Single-Cell Transcriptomics Map

In Science this week: pair of mutations in one gene uncovered in brothers with short stature and immunodeficiency, and more.