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Affymetrix, Nanogen, Agilent Technologies, Arrayjet

Affymetrix has received US Patent No. 7,130,458, “Computer software system, method, and product for scanned image alignment.” The patent claims a computer program capable of analyzing an image including features that correspond to emissions detected from a biological probe array. According to the patent’s abstract, the program aligns grids, each having one or more grid cells, with the image; selects a grid cell to be associated with features based on distributions of pixel intensity values within the grid cells; locates a shape, such as a circle, in each selected grid cell based on distributions of pixel intensity values; and associates the intensity values with a feature based on intensities of feature pixels within the shape. The features may correspond to spots of biological material such as nucleic acid, peptides, antibodies, and proteins, the abstract state.

Nanogen has received US Patent No. 7,129,229, “Hydrazide building blocks and hydrazide modified biomolecules.” The patent describes attachment chemistries for binding macromolecules to a substrate surface or to other conjugation targets. More particularly, this patent relates to attachment chemistries involving branched or linear structures having one or more hydrazide attachment moieties for binding the macromolecules to a substrate surface, or for other conjugation reactions. Novel modifying reagents are also provided for the introduction of protected hydrazide attachment moieties or precursor forms of such hydrazides to the macromolecule, either as a single hydrazide or as multiple hydrazides.

Agilent Technologies has received US Patent No. 7,129,046, “Linking to chemical array assemblies with metal layers.” The patent claims a method of producing a front surface modified substrate where the substrate includes a metal layer which is useful in the fabrication of an array of multiple probes.
The method includes contacting the front surface of the substrate with linker molecules that each has a group that can bind the linker molecule to the front surface. The binding is produced by a reaction with a surface-displayed functional group. To fabricate an array, the front surface may be contacted with the probes or probe precursors to bind the probes or probe precursors to the front surface bound linker molecules.

Agilent has also received US Patent No. 7,128,398, “Pulse jet print head assembly having multiple reservoirs and methods for use in the manufacture of biopolymeric arrays.” The patent describes pulse jet printhead assemblies that have multiple reservoirs and multiple printhead dies, as well as methods for their use in the deposition of fluids onto a substrate surface. The printheads are characterized by having a multiple printhead, a die printhead, and a multiple-reservoir housing fixed to the multiple die printhead. The invention works when the firing chambers of the printhead assembly are loaded with a volume of fluid that includes a biopolymer and the loaded printhead assembly is then placed in opposing relation to a surface of a substrate and actuated to deposit a volume of fluid on the substrate.

Arrayjet of Edinburgh, UK, has received US Patent No. 7,128,393, “Highly parallel fabrication of microarrays by ink jet printheads.” The patent describes a method of operating an ink-jet printhead, where the printhead has manifolds connected to more than one chamber with each chamber being associated with a nozzle and capable of ejecting drops. It works by introducing a number of different liquids larger than the number of manifolds into the printhead via the nozzles. The volume of the liquid printed from each nozzle is then less than the volume of the chamber associated with that nozzle, and also less than the volume of liquid introduced into that chamber.

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.