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Recent Patents of Interest in Proteomics: May 24, 2007

US Patent 7,220,573. Array assay devices and methods of using the same. Inventors: Lawrence Shea; Douglas Summers; Richard Hilson. Assignee: Agilent Technologies
Invention pertains to array assay devices and methods for using them. The device has a base sized to hold a substrate having at least one array, a cover for the substrate and a snap-fit for holding the cover and base together.

US Patent 7,219,038. Automatic peak identification method. Inventors: Eugene Tracy; Jaijian Chen; William Cooke. Assignee: College of William and Mary
Invention pertains to a protocol to improve analysis and peak identification in spectroscopic data. Peaks in data sets are automatically identified by Bayesian methods. If and after peak shapes are identified within a given window, the likelihood function is maximized “in order to estimate peak position and amplitude,” according to the abstract.

US Patent 7,217,360. Multi-column chromatography system. Inventor: John Brann. Assignee: Cohesive Technologies
Invention pertains to a method and apparatus for chromatographic analysis of each of a plurality of samples in a detector. The apparatus consists of an autosampler to contain a plurality of sample for analysis and a plurality of chromatographic systems. Each system comprises one or more pumps and one or more chromatography columns.

US Patent 7,214,353. Peptide or protein-capturing surfaces for high throughput MALDI mass spectrometry. Inventors: Bernice Feuer; Jinlin Peng; Ma Sha. Assignee: Corning
Invention pertains to methods and compositions for capturing proteins and peptides from a sample mixture, and analysis by high throughput electrospray ionization or matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization MS.

US Patent 7,214,313. Liquid chromatograph. Inventors: Morimasa Hayashi; Yosuke Iwata; Yusuke Osaka. Assignee: Shimadzu
Invention pertains to a 2D LC. The device includes a first-dimensional separation channel for guiding a sample “injected from a sample injection part to a first-dimension analysis column using a first-dimension analysis mobile phase for separation,” according to the abstract. In addition it has two trap columns, an analysis channel for guiding components retained in the trap columns to a second-dimensional analysis column using a 2D analysis mobile phase for analysis, and a channel switching mechanism.

US Patent 7,212,924. Method of inferring three-dimensional structure of protein. Inventor: Akiko Itai. Assignee: N/A
Invention pertains to a method of predicting the three-dimensional structure of a protein. The method comprises a query sequence and uses a database containing “environmental information on the side chain of each amino acid residue contained in the amino acid sequence of each reference protein whose three-dimensional structure is known or predictable,” according to the abstract.

US Patent 7,208,726. Ion trap mass spectrometer with scanning delay ion extraction. Inventors: August Hidalgo; Stuart Hansen; Gangqiang Li. Assignee: Agilent Technologies

Invention includes an ion source, an ion trap positioned to receive ions from the ion source, a TOF mass analyzer, and a detector coupled to the TOF. Methods for analyzing ions by MS are also described.

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.