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Affymetrix, Agilent Technologies, Bioarray Solutions, and Yokogawa Electric


Affymetrix of Santa Clara, Calif., has received US Patent No. 6,955,788, "Apparatus and method for aligning microarray printing head." The patent describes an alignment apparatus and method for depositing biological materials on a microscope slide or other substrate. The patent recommends using a first mounting assembly that enables rotation of deposit elements around a first axis perpendicular to the substrate surface using one or more bearing surfaces concentric with the first axis. A second mounting assembly enables rotation of the deposit elements around a second axis parallel to the depositing surface, and a third mounting assembly enables rotation of the deposit elements around a third axis that is parallel to the depositing surface and perpendicular to the second axis.

Affymetrix has also received US Patent No. 6,955,915, "Apparatus comprising polymers." The patent relates a synthetic strategy for the creation of large scale chemical diversity. Solid-phase chemistry and photolithography are used to achieve light-directed, spatially-addressable parallel chemical synthesis, according to the patent abstract. A reactor system, photoremovable protecting groups, and improved data-collection and -handling techniques are also claimed, as is a technique for screening linker molecules.

Agilent Technologies of Palo Alto, Calif., has received US Patent No. 6,956,203, "Scanning system with calibrated detection and method." The patent claims a self-calibrating scanning system and method for use in the analysis of biomolecules on a microarray. The patented system includes an excitation light source, an optical portion, a detection portion, and a calibration portion that includes a calibration apparatus and compensation portion. The calibration apparatus emits calibrated light that is measured by the detection portion of the scanning equipment. If the detection components are stable, the components will measure a constant output value for the calibrated light over time. As a detection component changes with time, the output value will change for the same calibrated light, the patent states. The method includes the steps of initially calibrating the detection portion of the scanning system and subsequently calibrating the detection portion to compensate for sensitivity changes.

Bioarray Solutions of Warren, NJ, has received US Patent No. 6,955,751, "Light-controlled electrokinetic assembly of particles near surfaces." The patent claims a method and apparatus for the manipulation of colloidal particulates and biomolecules at the interface between an insulating electrode such as silicon oxide and an electrolyte solution. The claimed invention enables interactive control over the creation and placement of planar arrays of several types of particles and biomolecules and the manipulation of array shape and size. It also enables sample preparation and handling for diagnostic assays and biochemical analysis in an array format, and the functional integration of these operations. In addition, the patented invention provides a procedure for the creation of material surfaces with desired properties and for the fabrication of surface-mounted optical components.

Yokogawa Electric of Tokyo has received US Patent No. 6,955,881, "Method and apparatus for producing biochips." The patent claims a method and apparatus for mass-producing biochips where a plurality of DNA molecules are amplified using a PCR method and transcribing the amplified DNA molecule to other substrates by contact.

The Scan

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New Data Point to Nuanced Relationship Between Major Depression, Bipolar Disorder

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