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Recent Patents of Interest in Proteomics: May 29, 2008

US Patent 7,378,280. Apparatus and methods for conducting assays and high throughput screening. Inventors: Stephen Quake; Marc Unger; Hou-Pu Chou; Todd Thorsen; Axel Scherer. Assignee: California Institute of Technology
Microfluidic devices and methods for using them are provided. In particular, the devices are useful in conducting a variety of assays and high-throughput screening and include elastomeric compounds and comprise a main flow channel, multiple branch flow channels, multiple control channels, and multiple valves.

US Patent 7,378,263. In vivo site-specific incorporation of N-acetyl galactosamine amino acids in eubacteria. Inventors: Peter Schultz; Sarah Hanson; Ran Xu; Zhiwen Zhang; Chi-Heuy Wong. Assignee: The Scripps Research Institute
Described are methods and composition for making glycoproteins, both in vivo and in vitro. One method entails incorporating an unnatural amino acid having N-acetylgalactosamine moiety into a protein. “Optionally, the N-acetylgalactosamine-containing unnatural amino acid can be further modified with additional sugars,” according to the patent’s abstract.

US Patent 7,378,056. Circuits for in vivo detection of biomolecule concentrations using fluorescent tags. Inventor: Robert Black. Assignee: Sicel Technologies
Pertains to methods of inserting labeled antibodies in vivo to tissue having antigens that bind specifically to the labeled antibody. A first optical radiation is emitted into the tissue in vivo, exciting the labeled antibody bound to the antigen in vivo. A second optical radiation emitted to the excited labeled antibody, responding to the excitation, can be detected in vivo.

US Patent 7,373,256. Method for the identification of molecules and biomarkers using chemical, biochemical and biological data. Inventors: Jeremy Nicholson; Elaine Holmes; Olivier Cloarec; Derek Crockford; John Lindon; Mattias Rantalainen. Assignee: N/A
Pertains to multivariate statistics, in particular new methods for analyzing chemical, biochemical, and biological data including spectral data.

US Patent 7,371,514. Serial derivatization of peptides for de novo sequencing using tandem mass spectrometry. Inventors: Barry Boyes, Gordon Nicol; Hongbin Liu. Assignee: Agilent Technologies
The derivatizations of analytes by chemical reactions enhance the use of mass spectrometry techniques for analyzing protein samples, particularly when the sequence of a polypeptide is determined by MS/MS. Mass analysis techniques are also described for sequencing polypeptides and for sequencing data in protein analysis.

The Scan

Transcriptomic, Epigenetic Study Appears to Explain Anti-Viral Effects of TB Vaccine

Researchers report in Science Advances on an interferon signature and long-term shifts in monocyte cell DNA methylation in Bacille Calmette-Guérin-vaccinated infant samples.

DNA Storage Method Taps Into Gene Editing Technology

With a dual-plasmid system informed by gene editing, researchers re-wrote DNA sequences in E. coli to store Charles Dickens prose over hundreds of generations, as they recount in Science Advances.

Researchers Model Microbiome Dynamics in Effort to Understand Chronic Human Conditions

Investigators demonstrate in PLOS Computational Biology a computational method for following microbiome dynamics in the absence of longitudinally collected samples.

New Study Highlights Role of Genetics in ADHD

Researchers report in Nature Genetics on differences in genetic architecture between ADHD affecting children versus ADHD that persists into adulthood or is diagnosed in adults.