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Recent Patents of Interest in Proteomics: May 7, 2010

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US Patent 7,704,360. Devices and methods for separating sample constituents. Inventors: Daniel Sobek; Christian A. Heid. Assignee: Agilent Technologies

Covers devices and methods for separating sample constituents. "The subject devices are characterized by having a fluid flow path with at least one electrophoretic separation element positioned at a region thereof," according to the patent abstract. "The separation element includes an element for applying an electric field across the fluid flow path and a trapping element for trapping sample constituents that migrate out of the flow path when an electric field is applied across the fluid flow path." In the device, a sample is moved past the separation element and an electric field is applied across the flow path, forcing the constituents of the sample to migrate into the trapping element.


US Patent 7,701,138. Information acquisition method, information acquisition apparatus, and disease diagnosis method. Inventors: Hiroyuki Hashimoto; Katsuaki Kuge; Manabu Komatsu; Kumi Nakamura; Kazuhiro Ban; Takeshi Imamura; Shin Kobayashi; Tadashi Okamoto. Assignee: Canon

The method includes a step in which the target object is ionized using a substance for "promoting ionization of the target object to cause the target object to emit," and acquiring information on the mass of the target object using TOF-MS, according to the abstract.


US Patent 7,700,912. Mass spectrometry calibration methods. Inventors: Jonathan I. Amster; Richard L. Wong. Assignee: University of Georgia Research Foundation

One "exemplary" method covered includes acquiring a first mass spectrum of a sample using a first trapping potential "wherein the first mass spectrum is acquired from a low ion population, wherein the first mass spectrum includes a first set of mass ion values," according to the abstract. A second mass spectrum of the sample is also acquired using a second trapping potential.


US Patent 7,700,375. Fluorescent labeling of specific protein targets in vitro and in vivo. Inventors: Jeffrey W. Keillor; Stephen W. Michnick; Stephane Girouard. Assignee: Valorisation-Recherche
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Covers a method for analyzing dynamic expression and localization of gene products in living cells in which novel compounds bearing two maleimide groups attached directly to fluorescent cores will be prepared, "whose latent fluorescence is quenched until their malemide groups undergo a specific thiol addition reaction," according to the abstract.


US Patent 7,700,334. Photoswitchable method for the ordered attachment of proteins to surfaces. Inventors: Julio A. Camarero; James J. de Yoreo; Youngeun Kwon. Assignee: Lawrence Livermore National Security

Covers a method for attaching proteins to any solid support "with control over the orientation of the attachment," according to the abstract.


US Patent 7,700,307. Mitochondrial stress — 70 protein markers for colorectal cancer. Inventors: Graeme Ian Murray; Colin Matheson Telfer; William Thomas Melvin. Assignee: Auvation Limited; the University Court of the University of Aberdeen; Grampian Health Board

Covers previously uncharacterized biomarkers for cancers, in particular, colorectal cancer and uses of the markers for diagnostic and prognostic purposes. Also provided are methods and materials for use of the markers in therapeutic applications, for example, "to specifically target neoplastic cells without causing significant toxicity in healthy tissues, and to provide methods for the evaluation of the ability of candidate therapeutic compounds to modulate the biological activity of cancerous cells from the colon, rectum and other tissues," according to the abstract.


US Patent 7,700.306. Method for characterizing analytes. Inventors: Andrew H. Thompson; Christian Hamon; Karsten Kuhn; Markus Meyer; Schafer Juergen; Thomas Neumann

Using MALDI mass spectrometry, the analyte is labeled with a light-absorbing label that absorbs light at a pre-determined frequency to form a labeled analyte. The labeled analyte is embedded in a matrix formed from at least one compound that absorbs light, forming an embedded labeled analyte. The embedded labeled analyte is then desorbed by exposing it to light have a pre-determined frequency, forming a desorbed analyte. Lastly, mass spectrometry is used to detect the desorbed analyte.


US Patent 7,700,299. Method for predicting the response to a treatment. Inventors: Joachim Moecks; Andreas Strauss; Gerhard Zugmaier. Assignee: Hoffmann-La Roche

Covers a method of predicting the response to a treatment with a HER inhibitor "in a patient "comprising the steps of assessing a biomarker or a combination of biomarkers selected from the group consisting of amphiregulin, an epidermal growth factor, a transforming growth factor alpha, and a HER2 biomarker in a biological sample from the patient and predicting the response to the treatment with the HER inhibitor in the patient by evaluating the results of the first step," according to the abstract.


US Patent 7,696,361. Chemical reagents capable of selective attachment to and reaction with peptides and proteins. Inventors: Jesse L. Beauchamp; Ryan R. Julian; Brian M. Stoltz; Jeremy A. May. Assignee: California Institute of Technology

Pertains to biomimetic reagents "capable of selectively forming non-covalent complexes and initiating intermolecular reactions with peptides in the gas phase," according to the abstract. The reagents are especially useful in gas-phase peptide chemistry.

The Scan

Just Breathing

A new analysis suggests that most Mycobacterium tuberculosis is spread by aerosols from breathing, rather than by coughing, the New York Times reports.

Just Like This One

NPR reports that the World Health Organization has hired a South African biotech company to recreate mRNA vaccine for SARS-CoV-2 that is similar to the one developed by Moderna.

Slow Start

The Wall Street Journal reports that Biogen's Alzheimer's disease treatment had revenues for July through September that totaled $300,000.

Genome Research Papers on Cancer Chromatin, Splicing in the Thymus, Circular RNAs in Cancer

In Genome Research this week: analysis of bivalent chromatin sites, RBFOX splicing factors' role in thymic epithelial cells, and more.