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Affymetrix, MicroChips, Amersham Biosciences, Cartesian Technologies, Roche Diagnostics, Helix BioPharma


Affymetrix received US Patent No. 6,551,784, “Method of comparing nucleic acid sequences.” The patent covers a system for comparing and identifying differences in nucleic acid sequences and is an extension of the Santa Clara, Calif., company’s tract of intellectual property surrounding its methods of microarray analysis of gene expression. The company also received US Patent No. 6,551,817, “Method and apparatus for hybridization.” This patent covers a packaging system for a device containing probe molecules and methods for introducing fluids into it. The company also received US Patent No. 6,551,784, “Method of comparing nucleic acid sequences.” The patent covers a computer-implemented method for monitoring expression of genes.


MicroChips of Bedford, Mass., received US Patent No. 6,551,838, “Microfabricated devices for the storage and selective exposure of chemicals and devices.” The patent covers a microchip device with reservoirs containing catalysts and reagents, and a sensor. The microchip can be used for environmental sensing.


Amersham Biosciences received US Patent No. 6,551,839, “Method of merging chemical reactants in capillary tubes.” The patent covers a system that contains capillary plumbing to enable fluid motion in a system of fibers that are controllable, allowing chemical reactions, and analysis at microliter volumes.


Cartesian Technologies of Irvine, Calif., received US Patent No. 6,551,557, “Tip design and random access array for microfluidic transfer.” The patent covers a ceramic tip for the transfer of samples from a source plate to a target, and a printhead for the transfer of microfluidic quantities for applications such as microarraying.


Roche Diagnostics received US Patent No. 6,552,199, “Fluorescence dyes and their use as fluorescence markers.” The patent covers new xanthene derivatives suitable for use as fluorescence dyes for application in DNA analytics.


Helix BioPharma of Aurora, Ontario, Canada, announced that it has received two European patents for its molecular sensing technology and its heterodimer protein technology, in addition to two US patents previously granted. The company is using the inventions in creating protein biochip arrays.

The Scan

Dropped Charges

The US Justice Department has dropped visa fraud charges against five Chinese researchers, according to the Wall Street Journal.

More Kids

The Associated Press says Moderna is expanding its SARS-CoV-2 vaccine study to included additional children and may include even younger children.

PNAS Papers on Rat Clues to Human Migration, Thyroid Cancer, PolyG-DS

In PNAS this week: ancient rat genome analysis gives hints to human migrations, WDR77 gene mutations in thyroid cancer, and more.

Purnell Choppin Dies

Purnell Choppin, a virologist who led the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, has died at 91, according to the Washington Post.