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Researchers Submit Patent Application, "Nucleic Acid-Labeled Tags Associated with Odorant", for Approval

August 26, 2014



By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Life Science Weekly -- From Washington, D.C., NewsRx journalists report that a patent application by the inventor Swartz, Mary F. (Stow, MA), filed on April 8, 2014, was made available online on August 14, 2014 (see also Src, Inc.).

The patent's assignee is Src, Inc.

News editors obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "The present invention relates to nucleic acid-labeled tags, and, more particularly, to the use of an odorant as a screening element for the detection of odorant-labeled nucleic acid-labeled tags.

"The physical characteristics of a nucleic acid molecule make it uniquely suitable for use as a secure information-storage unit. In addition to being odorless and invisible to the naked eye, a nucleic acid molecule can store vast amounts of information. It has been estimated that a single gram of deoxyribonucleic acid ('DNA') can store as much information as approximately one trillion compact discs ('Computing With DNA' by L. M. Adleman, Scientific American, August 1998, pg 34-41).

"Nucleic acid molecules are also resilient to decay, even in vitro. Although a nucleic acid molecule typically begins to breakdown when exposed to chemicals, radiation, or enzymes, some nucleic acid molecules can survive for thousands of years. For example, scientists have sequenced the Neanderthal genome using DNA molecules that were recovered from remains dating at least 38,000 years old.

"Lastly, nucleic acid molecules are both ubiquitous in nature and largely uncharacterized, with only a fraction of the world's organisms having been sequenced. As a result of this uncharacterized environmental background noise, inadvertent detection of a man-made nucleic acid molecule is unlikely.

"To employ the many beneficial characteristics of nucleic acids, these molecules can be incorporated into a secure tag. These tags can be composed of deoxyribonucleotides, ribonucleotides, or similar molecules composed of nucleic acids that are either artificial (such as nucleotide analogues) or are otherwise found in nature. The nucleic acids can range from very short oligonucleotides to complete genomes.

"Once a nucleic acid tag is created it can be used for numerous unique security applications including to: (i) detect illicit tampering with physical objects; (ii) secure the privacy of a room or building; (iii) send encoded messages between individuals; (iv) detect a tagged individual or object at a distance; (v) track the recent travel history of an individual or object; or (vi) monitor a location of interest.

"DNA tags have previously been used for other applications. For example, DNA tags have been removably attached to tangible assets to assist in the identification of ownership in the event the asset is lost or stolen. Additionally, it has been proposed that DNA tags be used to prevent counterfeiting by incorporating tags into items during or after production and using detection of such tags to authenticate the items."

As a supplement to the background information on this patent application, NewsRx correspondents also obtained the inventor's summary information for this patent application: "It is therefore a principal object and advantage of the present invention to provide a nucleic acid tag that can be used in numerous security-related applications.

"It is a further object and advantage of the present invention to provide a method of standoff detection using nucleic acid tags.

"It is yet another object and advantage of the present invention to provide a method of determining whether an object has traveled through a location using seeded nucleic acid-labeled tags.

"It is a further object and advantage of the present invention to backtrack or identify an object's point of origin or recent geographic course using seeded nucleic acid-labeled tags.

"It is yet another object and advantage of the present invention to provide an odorant-associated nucleic acid-labeled tag.

"It is a further object and advantage of the present invention to provide a nucleic acid-labeled tag that with an odorant that co-locates with the tag.

"It another object and advantage of the present invention to provide a nucleic acid-labeled tag that with an odorant that, with its presence or absence, indicates the presence or absence of the tag.

"It is yet another object and advantage of the present invention to provide a nucleic acid-labeled tag that with an odorant that cannot be discerned by a human without the aid of an odorant detection device.

"It is a further object and advantage of the present invention to provide a nucleic acid-labeled tag that with an odorant that is covert, non-toxic, and which does not inhibit PCR analysis.

"It is another object and advantage of the present invention to provide a nucleic acid-labeled tag that with an odorant that cannot be detected with odor detection equipment unless the equipment has been trained to identify the odorant in an operational setting.

"Other objects and advantages of the present invention will in part be obvious, and in part appear hereinafter.

"In accordance with the foregoing objects and advantages, the present invention provides a nucleic acid tag, the tag comprising: a nucleotide-support platform attached to a nucleic acid molecule; and an odorant. According to one embodiment, the odorant is a synthetic chemical, although it can be any chemical known to be capable of detection with or without the aid of an odorant detection device.

"Another embodiment of the present invention provides for a nucleic acid tag, the tag comprising: a nucleotide-support platform attached to a nucleic acid molecule; an odorant; and an encapsulant, where the encapsulant is adapted to prevent degradation of the nucleic acid molecule.

"A further embodiment of the present invention provides a method of determine whether an item has moved through a geographic location, the method comprising: seeding a geographic location with a nucleic acid tag comprised of a nucleotide-support platform attached to a nucleic acid molecule, and further comprising an odorant; and screening the item for the presence or absence of the nucleic acid tag.

"Another embodiment of the present invention provides a method of determine whether an item has moved through a geographic location, the method comprising: seeding a geographic location with a nucleic acid tag comprised of a nucleotide-support platform attached to a nucleic acid molecule, and further comprising an odorant; and screening the item for the presence or absence of the nucleic acid tag, where the step of screening comprises the steps of screening the item for the presence of the odorant, and if the odorant is present, characterizing the nucleic acid tag.

"Yet another embodiment of the present invention is a method for backtracking the travel history of an item, the method comprising: seeding a first geographic location with a first nucleic acid, the first nucleic acid tag comprising a first nucleotide-support platform attached to at least a first nucleic acid molecule and further comprising an odorant; seeding a second geographic location with a second nucleic acid, where the second nucleic acid tag comprises a second nucleotide-support platform attached to at least a second nucleic acid molecule and further comprising an odorant; screening the item for the presence or absence of one or more nucleic acid tags; and identifying the geographic location associated with each nucleic acid tag detected on the item.

"A further embodiment of the present invention is a method for backtracking the travel history of an item, the method comprising: seeding a first geographic location with a first nucleic acid, the first nucleic acid tag comprising a first nucleotide-support platform attached to at least a first nucleic acid molecule and further comprising an odorant; seeding a second geographic location with a second nucleic acid, where the second nucleic acid tag comprises a second nucleotide-support platform attached to at least a second nucleic acid molecule and further comprising an odorant; screening the item for the presence or absence of one or more nucleic acid tags, where the step of screening further comprises the steps of screening the item for the presence of the odorant, and if the odorant is present, characterizing the one or more nucleic acid tags; and identifying the geographic location associated with each nucleic acid tag detected on the item.

"Another embodiment of the present invention is a method for determining the point of origin of an item, the method comprising: seeding each of two or more geographic locations with a unique nucleic acid tag, the tag comprising a nucleotide-support platform attached to at least one nucleic acid molecule, and further comprising an odorant; screening the item for the presence or absence of one or more nucleic acid tags; identifying the geographic location associated with each nucleic acid tag detected on the item; and extrapolating the point of origin.

"Yet another embodiment of the present invention is a method for determining the point of origin of an item, the method comprising: seeding each of two or more geographic locations with a unique nucleic acid tag, the tag comprising a nucleotide-support platform attached to at least one nucleic acid molecule, and further comprising an odorant; screening the item for the presence or absence of one or more nucleic acid tags, where the step of screening further comprises the steps of screening the item for the presence of the odorant, and if the odorant is present, characterizing the one or more nucleic acid tags; identifying the geographic location associated with each nucleic acid tag detected on the item; and extrapolating the point of origin.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

"The present invention will be more fully understood and appreciated by reading the following Detailed Description of the Invention in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which:

"FIG. 1 is a schematic representation of nucleic acid tag production.

"FIG. 2 is a schematic representation of an embodiment of the method according to the present invention.

"FIG. 3 is a side view of an encapsulated nucleotide tag complex.

"FIG. 4 is a side view of encapsulated nucleotide-derivatized nanoparticles.

"FIG. 5 is a side view of an encapsulated tag complex containing a retroreflector and nucleotide-derivatized nanoparticles.

"FIG. 6 is a side view of an encapsulated nucleotide tag complex with odorant trapped inside the tag by the encapsulant layer.

"FIG. 7 is a side view of an encapsulated nucleotide tag complex with odorant incorporated into the encapsulant layer.

"FIG. 8 is a side view of an encapsulated nucleotide tag complex with odorant coating the outer surface of the encapsulant.

"FIG. 9 is a side view of an encapsulated nucleotide tag complex with odorant coating the inner surface of the encapsulant.

"FIG. 10 is a side view of an encapsulated nucleotide tag complex with odorant incorporated into the nanoparticles.

"FIG. 11 is a side view of an encapsulated nucleotide tag complex with separate marker elements.

"FIG. 12 is a side view of an encapsulated nucleotide tag complex with marker elements coating the outer surface of the encapsulant.

"FIG. 13 is a side view of an encapsulated nucleotide tag complex with marker elements incorporated into the encapsulant layer.

"FIG. 14 is a side view of an encapsulated nucleotide tag complex with marker elements incorporated into the nanoparticles.

"FIG. 15 is a side view of an encapsulated nucleotide tag complex with marker elements trapped inside the tag by the encapsulant layer."

For additional information on this patent application, see: Swartz, Mary F. Nucleic Acid-Labeled Tags Associated with Odorant. Filed April 8, 2014 and posted August 14, 2014. Patent URL: http://appft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-adv.html&r=3043&p=61&f=G&l=50&d=PG01&S1=20140807.PD.&OS=PD/20140807&RS=PD/20140807

Keywords for this news article include: Src Inc, DNA Research, Nanoparticle, Nanotechnology, Emerging Technologies.

Our reports deliver fact-based news of research and discoveries from around the world. Copyright 2014, NewsRx LLC


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Source: Life Science Weekly


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