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DREAMing of a patent-free human genome for clinical sequencing

Can methylation be the key to challenging the interpretation of existing gene patent claims? And can a novel PCR method be used to enable the sequencing of hundreds of genes?

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Figure 1: Agilent High Sensitivity chip of Haloplex assays after 15 cycles of PCR with (blue) and without (red) 5me-dCTP used in the PCR.
Figure 2: Illumina MiSeq V2.
Figure 3: Plot of a quantitative PCR assay run on various DREAM PCR libraries and controls.
Figure 4: Depiction of natural DNA, conventional four-nucleotide PCR DNA and DREAM PCR DNA.


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We would like to thank C. Gunter, T. Harkins, S. Grimmond and R. McKernan for valuable editorial advice. We would like to thank E. Dimalantis for constructive discussions regarding MspJI.

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Correspondence to Kevin J McKernan.

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The authors are employed by Courtagen Life Sciences, which is a CLIA and CAP-certified next-generation DNA sequencing facility. The company sequences gene panels and exomes of children with mitochondrial disease, epilepsy and autism. The opinions expressed by the authors on gene patents are their own and may not reflect those of Courtagen.

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McKernan, K., Spangler, J., Helbert, Y. et al. DREAMing of a patent-free human genome for clinical sequencing. Nat Biotechnol 31, 884–887 (2013).

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