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Agilent Technologies, Able Signal, The Texas A&M University System, Genomic Health

Agilent Technologies has received US Patent No. 7,080,766, “Manufacture of singulated supports comprising arrays.” The patent claims an apparatus and methods for cutting a sheet of material into single supports where each of the single supports has an array area to which is bound an array of chemical compounds. The apparatus comprises an input conveyor, an output conveyor, a driver for moving the sheet from the input conveyor to the output conveyor, and a breaking mechanism for breaking the sheet into single supports. The input conveyor, the output conveyor and the driver are each adapted to move the sheet without contacting the array area and an area on a surface of the support opposite the array area. Likewise, the breaking mechanism breaks the sheet into the single supports along the score lines without contacting the array area and an area on a surface of the support opposite the array area, according to the patent.

Able Signal of Madison, Wis., has received US Patent No. 7,081,954, “Microarray detector and synthesizer.” The patent claims a system for detecting the presence of a sample on a microarray using a spatial light modulator with controllable elements configured to correspond optically with analytical sites on a microarray, a light source capable of providing light energy for interaction with the chemical constituents on the array, and a detector capable of detecting an optical signal obtained from the microarray.

The Texas A&M University System of College Station, Texas, has received US Patent No. 7,081,617, “Gas-phase purification of biomolecules by ion mobility for patterning microarrays and protein crystal growth.” The patent claims a method and device for the gas-phase separation of ionic biomolecules including peptide, and protein or inorganic cluster ions or nanoparticles by ion mobility and for depositing them intact on a surface for the purpose of constructing microarrays of biologically relevant materials or for promoting the growth of highly ordered protein crystals.

Genomic Health has received US Patent No. 7,081,340, “Gene expression profiling in biopsied tumor tissues.” The patent claims methods, including those using microarrays, to measure mRNA levels in biopsied tumor tissues, including archived paraffin-embedded biopsy material. The patent also claims breast cancer gene sets important in the diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer, and methods for assigning the most optimal treatment options to breast cancer patients based upon knowledge derived from gene expression studies.

The Scan

Interfering With Invasive Mussels

The Chicago Tribune reports that researchers are studying whether RNA interference- or CRISPR-based approaches can combat invasive freshwater mussels.

Participation Analysis

A new study finds that women tend to participate less at scientific meetings but that some changes can lead to increased involvement, the Guardian reports.

Right Whales' Decline

A research study plans to use genetic analysis to gain insight into population decline among North American right whales, according to CBC.

Science Papers Tie Rare Mutations to Short Stature, Immunodeficiency; Present Single-Cell Transcriptomics Map

In Science this week: pair of mutations in one gene uncovered in brothers with short stature and immunodeficiency, and more.