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Affymetrix, Advanced Gene Technology, Monsanto Technology, Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Hitachi Software Engineering


Affymetrix received US Patent No. 6,646,243, “Nucleic acid reading and analysis system.” The patent covers a system for the preparation of a substrate containing a number of sequences. First, photoremovable groups are attached to a surface of a substrate. Then, selected regions of the substrate are exposed to light so as to activate the selected areas. A monomer, also containing a photoremovable group, is provided to the substrate to bind at the selected areas. The process is repeated using a variety of monomers such as amino acids until sequences of a desired length are obtained. Detection methods and apparatus are also included.

The company also received US Patent No. 6,643,076, “Attachment device.” The patent covers a device such as an optical element — a lens or a mirror — which is to be attached to a scanner. The device includes a base and two or more holding elements coupled to the base.

Further, the company received US Patent No. 6,643,015, “System, method, and product for symmetrical filtering in scanning of biological materials.” The patent covers a technology that includes an emission signal detector and a linear-phase signal filter. An excitation beam scans an array of biological materials, and the detector receives a signal. The signal received has substantially symmetrical rise and fall edges. Linear-phase filtering enables sampling of emission signals to be accomplished consistently irrespective of the scanning direction, and thus is particularly suited for bi-directional scanning applications.

Advanced Gene Technology of Taiwan received US Patent No. 6,645,719, “Herbal chip.” The patent covers a herbal chip comprising a plastic slide, a coating as a spacer on the plastic slide, and fractions or components obtained from herbs that are independently allocated in microarrays on the coating. The herbal chip is useful for screening for active ingredients contained in the herbs that have specific pharmacological or therapeutic functions.

Monsanto Technology of St. Louis received US Patent No. 6,645,765, “Plant regulatory sequences for control of gene expression.” The patent covers nucleic acid sequences that regulate gene expression in plants. In particular, the invention relates to 5’ regulatory sequences that are useful for regulating expression of heterologous DNAs in plants and methods for identifying multiple 5’ regulatory sequences that confer a particular expression profile when operably linked to DNA sequences. The invention also relates to expression vectors containing the 5’ regulatory sequences and to transgenic plants containing the expression vectors.

The Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute received US Patent No. 6,647,341, “Methods for classifying samples and ascertaining previously unknown classes.” The patent covers a method and a technology for classifying or predicting the classes for samples based on gene expression and a platform for ascertaining or discovering new classes based on gene expression.

Hitachi Software Engineering received US Patent No. 6,646,271, “Method and apparatus for reading fluorescence.” The patent covers a system for minimizing the influence of residual fluorescence emitted from adjacent spots, upon reading time-resolved fluorescence. The path of laser beam scan is set to be intermittent such that residual fluorescence from adjacent spots gives no effect.

The Scan

US Booster Eligibility Decision

The US CDC director recommends that people at high risk of developing COVID-19 due to their jobs also be eligible for COVID-19 boosters, in addition to those 65 years old and older or with underlying medical conditions.

Arizona Bill Before Judge

The Arizona Daily Star reports that a judge is weighing whether a new Arizona law restricting abortion due to genetic conditions is a ban or a restriction.

Additional Genes

Wales is rolling out new genetic testing service for cancer patients, according to BBC News.

Science Papers Examine State of Human Genomic Research, Single-Cell Protein Quantification

In Science this week: a number of editorials and policy reports discuss advances in human genomic research, and more.