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Affymetrix and Genospectra


Affymetrix of Santa Clara, Calif., has received US Patent No. 6,953,663, "Polymorphism detection." The patent claims an invention and methods for analyzing polymorphic or biallelic markers, and arrays for carrying out these analyses. Specifically, the claimed methods employ arrays of oligonucleotide probes that are complementary to target nucleic acids that correspond to the marker sequences of an individual. The probes are typically arranged in detection blocks, each block being capable of discriminating the three genotypes for a given marker. The method permits automatable analysis of genetic linkage to polygenic traits.

Affymetrix has also received US Patent No. 6,954,699, "System and method for programmatic access to biological probe array data." The patent claims an application programming interface that includes code libraries. The patent states that the libraries enable the transfer of pixel data, intermediate results data, or both, from a data structure or data file directly or indirectly to a user-provided application. The pixel data and intermediate results data may include data from biological experiments-related probe arrays.

Genospectra of Fremont, Calif., has received US Patent No. 6,953,551, "Microarray fabrication techniques and apparatus." The patent claims a microarray printing system and methods of printing probe microarrays. The system has a print-head formed of one or more capillary bundle, such as light-guiding capillaries. The bundles can be bundles of capillaries that provide a large number of probes on the surface of a substrate. Methods of registering or correlating the distal and proximal ends of the capillaries are also claimed in the patent. Finally, the patent describes methods and equipment for identifying defective microarrays that are missing one or more probes from the surface of the microarray.


The Scan

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For Martian Fuel

Researchers have outlined a plan to produce rocket fuel on Mars that uses a combination of sunlight, carbon dioxide, frozen water, cyanobacteria, and engineered E. coli, according to Gizmodo.

To Boost Rapid Testing

The Washington Post writes that new US programs aim to boost the availability of rapid at-home SARS-CoV-2 tests.

PNAS Papers on Strawberry Evolution, Cell Cycle Regulators, False-Positive Triplex Gene Editing

In PNAS this week: strawberry pan-genome, cell cycle-related roles for MDM2 and MDMX, and more.