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Recent Patents of Interest in Proteomics: Aug 20, 2009


US Patent 7,572,358. Electrophoresis method and apparatus. Inventor: Akira Wada. Assignee: Akira Wada

Pertains to a vertical-type first-dimension apparatus with a "gel container having a plurality of rectangular rod-shaped gel chambers," according to the abstract. The rod-type gels, which are surrounded by non-conductive material plates, are arranged in parallel, "an upper open end of the gel container is placed tightly into an upper buffer reservoir and the lower open end thereof is placed tightly into a lower buffer reservoir." The gel container and main parts of the first buffer reservoir, as well as the lower buffer reservoir, are sunk in cooling reservoir, which is filled with a cooling liquid. "The lower buffer reservoir has a panel portion [that] is bent upward to penetrate the cooling reservoir," the inventors said in the abstract. "Outlet conductors thereof extend from each of the reservoirs and are insulated physically and electrically from the cooling liquid."

US Patent 7,569,392. Multiplex spatial profiling of gene expression. Inventors: Shawn Levy; Richard M. Caprioli. Assignee: Vanderbilt University

Provided are mass tag complexes that "permit simultaneously obtaining information of a plurality of biological molecules," according to the abstract. The molecules can be proteins or RNA, and the information that is obtained includes level of expression and spatial disposition within a cell or tissue. The mass tag comprises a core structure, target binding structure such as nucleic acid or peptide binding structure, a cleavable linker, and a mass tag exhibiting a unique mass spectroscopy signal.

US Patent 7,569,130. Fluorescent detection of proteins in polyacrylamide gels. Inventors: Robert A. Edwards; Raymond J. Turner; Carol Ladner; Jean Starkey; Eric Larson; Dmitri Kazmin. Assignee: University Technologies International; Montana State University

Covers a "mechanism of the UV light-induced reaction between the indole moiety of tryptophan and chloroform, and the structure of the modified tryptophan and polypeptides including such modified tryptophan residues," according to the abstract. UV light irradiation forms an excited indole moiety, which emits a solvated electron, initiating a series of events that yield fluorescent derivatives having a CHO group covalently bound to the indole moiety. UV light-induced reaction between the indole moiety of tryptophan and haloalkalines can also be used to prepare derivatives of tryptophan to study cross-linking of proteins and peptides.

US Patent 7,566,870. Mass spectrometer. Inventors: Hideki Hasegawa; Yuichiro Hashimoto; Izumi Waki. Assignee: Hitachi High-Technologies

Pertains to a mass spectrometer for high-sensitivity ion analysis and high ion selectivity performance. The instrument includes an ion source where ions are produced, the ion trap, and the controller. One feature of the inventions is that "that the total ion accumulation in or just before each period is calculated based on the result obtained from the mass spectrometry in the preceding period, and that in at least one out of all periods, the condition of voltage applied to the ion trap is corrected depending on the total ion accumulation," according to the abstract.

US Patent 7,566,544. Difference detection methods using matched multiple dyes. Inventors: Jonathan Minden; Alan Waggoner; Susan J. Fowler. Assignee: Carnegie Mellon University

Provided are a process and kit for detecting differences in two or more samples of proteins, including those bearing post-translational modification and peptides. In one example, proteins are prepared from each of a different group of cell samples or body fluid samples to be compared. Each protein extract is labeled with a luminescent dye, with each dye for each protein different from the others in a matched set of dyes. The matched dyes have generally the same ionic and pH characteristics but emit light at different wavelengths "to exhibit a different color upon luminescence detection." The labeled protein extracts are mixed and separated by electrophoresis or chromatography. "The separation is observed to detect proteins unique to one sample or present in a greater ratio in one sample than in the other," the inventors said in the abstract. "Those unique or excess proteins will fluoresce the color of one of the dyes used. Proteins common to each sample migrate together and fluoresce the same."

US Patent 7,566,542. Use of protein ASC as a marker for breast cancer. Inventors: Gabriele Pestlin; Herbert Andres; Peter Berndt; Marie-Luise Hagmann; Johann Karl; Hanno Langen; Werner Zolg. Assignee: Roche Diagnostics

Pertains to the use of protein ASC for the diagnosis of breast cancer. A method is described for diagnosing cancer by measuring ASC in a liquid sample "derived from an individual," according to the patent abstract.

The Scan

Missed Early Cases

A retrospective analysis of blood samples suggests early SARS-CoV-2 infections may have been missed in the US, the New York Times reports.

Limited Journal Editor Diversity

A survey finds low diversity among scientific and medical journal editors, according to The Scientist.

How Much of a Threat?

Science writes that need for a provision aimed at shoring up genomic data security within a new US bill is being questioned.

PNAS Papers on Historic Helicobacter Spread, Brain Development, C. difficile RNAs

In PNAS this week: Helicobacter genetic diversity gives insight into human migrations, gene expression patterns of brain development, and more.