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Affymetrix, Agilent Technologies, Agilent, Eastman Kodak, Enzo Life Sciences, California Institute of Technology


Affymetrix of Santa Clara, Calif., has received US Patent No. 6,949,638, "Photolithographic method and system for efficient mask usage in manufacturing DNA arrays." The patent claims systems, methods, and products for synthesizing probe arrays of polymers. According to the patent, a mask is used that includes reticle areas, each of which includes a number of reticles associated with a same synthesis area on a substrate. The mask is aligned with respect to the substrate so that the first reticle of the first reticle area is aligned with the first synthesis area and so on. Monomers are then coupled on the first synthesis area at locations determined by the first reticle. Finally, the mask is realigned with respect to the substrate so that the second reticle is aligned with the first synthesis area and the monomers are coupled on the first synthesis area at locations determined by the second reticle. The monomers may be, for example, nucleotides, amino acids or saccharides, according to the patent.

Agilent Technologies of Palo Alto, Calif., has received US Patent No. 6,946,285, "Arrays with elongated features." The patent claims arrays having multiple biopolymer features on a substrate, including elongated features which have a length/width ratio greater than 1.3 or more. The majority of features on the array may be elongated features and the lengths of the elongated features may be oriented in a common direction. A method for fabricating such arrays is also claimed using a patented drop deposition head system to deposit multiple drops onto the substrate while the head system is spaced from the substrate and moved so as to fabricate the array with the elongated features. In addition to claiming the deposition apparatus and system, a computer program product is also claimed which may be used with an apparatus for fabricating an elongated array.

Agilent has also received US Patent No. 6,950,756, "Rearrangement of microarray scan images to form virtual arrays." The patent claims a system and methods for selecting single-features from a microarray scan image of genomic data and rearranging the selected single-features or image cells into a format or arrangement that is more relevant or informative to the analyst or user. The resulting microarray image is referred to as a "virtual" image array. All of the single features of a microarray may be selected for rearrangement into one or more virtual arrays and the virtual array may provide for any number of single-features rearranged or reorganized in any logical or relevant permutation. A computer-readable medium carrying one or more sequences of instructions from a user of a computer system for converting an original microarray scan image into a virtual array is also provided.

Eastman Kodak of Rochester, NY, has received US Patent No. 6,947,142, "Color detection in random array of micro spheres." The patent describes a method of determining one or more color characteristics of a colored microsphere, or bead, by using a microarray of beads — at least one of which has a color characteristic, and capturing the microarray with an electronic color image sensor assembly having a matrix of pixels to produce an electronic microarray image. The location of a bead within the captured microarray image is then detected, and a color characteristic of the detected bead is identified. The method uses a combination of an optical microscope together with a multi-color sensing electronic sensor based digital camera.

Enzo Life Sciences of New York has received US Patent No. 6,949,659, "Dye labeling composition." The patent claims labeling reagents, labeled targets and processes for preparing labeling reagents. The labeling reagents can take the form of cyanine dyes, xanthene dyes, porphyrin dyes, coumarin dyes or composite dyes, the patent's abstract states. These labeling reagents are useful for labeling probes or targets, including nucleic acids and proteins and can be usefully applied to protein and nucleic acid probe based assays. They are also applicable to real-time detection processes, according to the patent.

California Institute of Technology of Pasadena, Calif., has received US Patent No. 6,947,846, "Non-metric tool for predicting gene relationships from expression data." The patent describes techniques for processing gene expression data and predicting gene relationships. The method for processing gene expression ratios may include discretizing a first expression ratio for a first gene and a second expression ratio for a second gene for each of a plurality of experiments into one of three indications, calculating the probability that the combination of the discretized expression ratios for each of the plurality of experiments arises by random chance, and determining whether the first gene and the second gene are related.

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.