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Recent Patents of Interest in Proteomics: May 7, 2009

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US Patent 7,528,366. Method and apparatus for multiplexing plural ion beams to a mass spectrometer. Inventors: James G Boyle; Robert A Valley. Assignee: Analytica of Branford

Provided are at least two ion sources with means of transporting the ions from the ion sources to separate 2D ion traps. Each ion trap is for storage and transmission of the ions and operates between the ion sources and the mass analyzer. Each also has a set of equally spaced, parallel multipole rods and entrance and exit section for ions to enter and exit the trap. For each ion trap, the entrance section is located in an area where background gas pressure is at viscous flow, and the pressure at the exit section "drops to molecular flow pressure regimes without a break in the structure of the ion trap," according to the abstract. Each trap alternately stores and transmits ions "by way of a fast voltage switch applied to the ion trap exit lens," the inventors said in the abstract.


US Patent 7,525,105. Laser desorption-electrospray ion source for mass spectrometers. Inventor: Viatcheslav V Kovtoun. Assignee: Thermo Finnigan [now Thermo Fisher Scientific]

Describes an ion source to form multiply-charged analyte ions from a solid sample. According to the abstract, a beam of pulsed radiation is directed onto a portion of the sample "to desorb analyte molecules." A retaining structure holding a solvent is situated next to the sample. "Desorbed analyte molecules contact a free surface of the solvent and pass into solution," the inventor said in the abstract. "The solution is then conveyed through an outlet passageway to an electrospray apparatus, which introduces a spray of charged solvent droplets into an ionization chamber."


US Patent 7,524,925. Protein interaction reporter agents and methods for using same. Inventors: James E Bruce; Xiaoting Tang; Gerhard Munske. Assignee: Washington State University

In certain aspects, novel protein interaction reporter compounds are provided. The compounds comprise at least two protein reactive moieties, "each linked to a reporter moiety … by a covalent labile bond that is differentially cleavable with respect to peptide bonds … wherein the reporter moiety is operatively releasable from the PIR agent upon cleavage of the labile bonds, the released reporter moiety having a characteristic identifying property or label," according to the abstract. Particular PIRs comprise a mass reporter moiety, further comprising an affinity group linked to the PIR. Additional aspects provide methods to characterize intermolecular or intramolecular protein interactions using at least one PIR compound.


US Patent. 7,523,026. Proteome analysis method and proteome analysis system. Inventors: Kenichiro Tsuda; Jiro Shimada; Minoru Asogawa; Kenichi Kamijyo; Toshimasa Yamazaki. Assignee: NEC

The analysis method includes use of an MS/MS to calculate bond dissociation energy by using molecular simulation, using the bond dissociation energy to obtain prediction information, including cleavage patter of a peptide and/or peak positions in a mass spec, and/or the intensity ratio of the mass spectrum. The prediction experiment information is used to identify proteins.


US Patent 7,522,271. Microarray detector and synthesizer. Inventor: Perry Sandstrom. Assignee: Able Signal

Pertains to novel systems, devices, and methods comprising spatial light modulators to read and make microarrays.

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.