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Able Signal LLC, Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research, Geneva University Hospital, Illumina, University of South Florida, Genesis Research & Development Corp, Via Lachia Bioscience


Perry Sandstrom, an engineer at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and the founder of Able Signal LLC, has received US Patent No. 6,545,758, “Microarray detector and synthesizer.” The patent describes spatial light modulators, including micromirror systems, that are used to synthesize and read microarrays.


David Sabatini of the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research, has been awarded US. Patent No. 6,544,790, “Reverse transfection method.” The patent, which MIT has exclusively licensed to Sabatini's cell-based microarray company Akceli, covers a method to introduce select DNA sequences into cells and arrays using reverse transfection.


Jacques Schrenzel of Geneva University Hospital and Jonathan Hibbs, formerly of the University of Albany, have received US Patent No. 6,544,777, “Non-cognate hybridization system.” The system is used to probe for nucleic acids of unknown target sequences. The results can point to specific diagnoses, such as infections, autoimmune diseases, or neoplasm; or more general diagnoses such as sepsis and tumor necrosis.


Illumina of San Diego has received US Patent No. 6,544,732, “Encoding and decoding of array sensors utilizing nanocrystals.” The patent covers assays that encode and decode nanocrystal microspheres.


David Fries, of the University of South Florida, has received US Patent No. 6,544,698, “Maskless 2-D and 3-D pattern generation photolithography.” The patent describes a reconfigurable photolithography system for microarray synthesis, which uses micromirrors in order to direct light onto specific spots on a photoreactive substrate. The pattern is designed and stored on a computer, and the micromirrors that direct the system are computer controlled.


Genesis Research & Development Corp. of Parnell, New Zealand, and Via Lachia Bioscience, of Auckland, New Zealand, have received US Patent No. 6,544,772, “Polynucleotides, materials incorporating them, and methods for using them.” The patent describes polynucleotide sequences, as well as probes, primers, and other genetic constructs of these sequences, from the bacterial species Lactobacillus rhamnosus.

The Scan

Octopus Brain Complexity Linked to MicroRNA Expansions

Investigators saw microRNA gene expansions coinciding with complex brains when they analyzed certain cephalopod transcriptomes, as they report in Science Advances.

Study Tracks Outcomes in Children Born to Zika Virus-Infected Mothers

By following pregnancy outcomes for women with RT-PCR-confirmed Zika virus infections, researchers saw in Lancet Regional Health congenital abnormalities in roughly one-third of live-born children.

Team Presents Benchmark Study of RNA Classification Tools

With more than 135 transcriptomic datasets, researchers tested two dozen coding and non-coding RNA classification tools, establishing a set of potentially misclassified transcripts, as they report in Nucleic Acids Research.

Breast Cancer Risk Related to Pathogenic BRCA1 Mutation May Be Modified by Repeats

Several variable number tandem repeats appear to impact breast cancer risk and age at diagnosis in almost 350 individuals carrying a risky Ashkenazi Jewish BRCA1 founder mutation.