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Affymetrix, Illumina, Exiqon, and Iris Biotechnologies


Affymetrix has received US Patent No. 7,056,666, "Analysis of surface immobilized polymers utilizing microfluorescence detection." The patent describes the means for simultaneous parallel sequence analysis of a large number of biological polymer macromolecules using fluorescent labels in repetitive chemistry to determine terminal monomers on solid phase immobilized polymers. The patent also claims reagents which specifically recognize terminal monomers for use in labeling polymers at defined positions on a solid substrate. According to the patent, the methods and apparatus are most applicable, but not limited, to linear macromolecules. Specific reagents for sequencing both oligonucleotides and polypeptides as well as an apparatus for automating the processes described are also claimed.

Illumina has received US Patent No. 7,060,431, "Method of making and decoding of array sensors with microspheres." The patent claims compositions and methods for decoding microsphere array sensors. Specifically, a substrate with a population of microspheres on its surface is described. According to the patent, the microsphere population contains a first and a second subpopulation, each comprising a bioactive agent, as well as an identifier binding ligand that will bind a decoder binding ligand in order to elucidate the identity of the bioactive agent. Additionally, the patent claims methods of determining the presence of a target analyte in a sample by contacting the sample with an array composition and determining the presence or absence of the target analyte.

Exiqon of Vedbaek, Denmark, has received US Patent No. 7,060,809, "LNA compositions and uses thereof." The patent claims locked nucleic acid compositions that can alter nucleic acid hybridization, synthesis, PCR, DNA restriction, and sequencing using modified nucleic acid compounds, particularly individual LNA monomers or oligomers that include LNA monomers that comprise one or more base groups. The modified nucleic acid monomers and oligomers described contain at least one LNA unit and/or at least one modified nucleobase or nucleosidic base. Typical modified bases of the claimed technology when incorporated into an oligonucleotide can be employed in a variety of applications involving a hybridization reaction, according to the patent.

Iris Biotechnologies of Santa Clara, Calif., has received US Patent No. 7,062,076, "Artificial intelligence system for genetic analysis." The patent claims an artificial intelligence system for the acquisition and analysis of nucleic acid array hybridization information. The system is divided into at least one central data processing facility and one or more user facilities, linked by encrypted network connections or similar links, according to the patent abstract. Each user facility may include an optical scanning system to collect hybridization signals from a nucleic acid array, an image processing system to convert the optical data into a set of hybridization parameters, a connection to a data network, and a user interface to display, manipulate, search, and analyze hybridization information, the abstract states. The system can read data from a DNA microarray or a proteomics chip, analyze test results based on maintained parameters, evaluate patient risk for various ailments, recommend methods of treatment, present information to medical and/or private individuals, and notify test participants when new treatment becomes available, the patent claims.

The Scan

Shape of Them All

According to BBC News, researchers have developed a protein structure database that includes much of the human proteome.

For Flu and More

The Wall Street Journal reports that several vaccine developers are working on mRNA-based vaccines for influenza.

To Boost Women

China's Ministry of Science and Technology aims to boost the number of female researchers through a new policy, reports the South China Morning Post.

Science Papers Describe Approach to Predict Chemotherapeutic Response, Role of Transcriptional Noise

In Science this week: neural network to predict chemotherapeutic response in cancer patients, and more.