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Agilent Technologies, Affymetrix, Canon Kabushiki Kaisha, Phenogene Therapeutiques

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Agilent Technologies of Palo Alto, Calif., has received US Patent No. 6,832,163, “Methods of identifying heterogeneous features in an image of an array.” The patent covers methods for identifying heterogeneous features, including heterogeneous background regions, in an image of an array, e.g., in an image of a biopolymeric array, such as a nucleic acid array. The subject methods employ an algorithm that employs a different dispersity measure depending on whether the signal features are weaker or stronger. Also provided are computer-readable storage media that include an algorithm capable of performing the steps of the subject methods. The subject methods find use in the processing of images obtained from a variety of different types of arrays, including nucleic acid arrays.


Affymetrix of Santa Clara, Calif., has received US Patent No. 6,828,104, “Nucleic acid affinity columns.” The patent covers nucleic acid affinity matrices that bear a large number of different nucleic acid affinity ligands, allowing the simultaneous selection and removal of a large number of preselected nucleic acids from the sample. Methods of producing such affinity matrices are also provided in the patent.


Canon Kabushiki Kaisha of Tokyo has received US Patent No. 6,830,621, “Liquid discharge apparatus for producing probe carrier, apparatus for producing probe carrier and method for producing probe carrier.” The patent covers a liquid discharge apparatus for producing a probe carrier, having a configuration capable of supplying a discharge unit with plural probe solutions without increasing the dimensions of the apparatus. It also covers a method and apparatus for producing the probe carrier utilizing such a liquid discharge apparatus.


Phenogene Therapeutiques of Montreal has received US Patent No. 6,830,885, “Nucleic acid molecule, method and kit for selecting a nucleic acid having a desired feature.” The invention provides a dysfunctional viral genome capable of both expressing libraries of exogenous nucleic acids and selecting the sequences having a predefined characteristic or function within the cell, such as nucleic acids encoding signal peptides, secreted proteins, membrane bound proteins, proteases, and drug-resistance proteins. The patent also covers a method and a kit for selecting nucleic acids having a desired feature, wherein production of a viral particle is dependent on insertion of an exogenous nucleic acid having the desired feature into a dysfunctional viral genome or into a viral genome exposed to a substance inhibiting viral packaging function(s).

The Scan

Comfort of Home

The Guardian reports that AstraZeneca is to run more clinical trials from people's homes with the aim of increasing participant diversity.

Keep Under Control

Genetic technologies are among the tools suggested to manage invasive species and feral animals in Australia, Newsweek says.

Just Make It

The New York Times writes that there is increased interest in applying gene synthesis to even more applications.

Nucleic Acids Research Papers on OncoDB, mBodyMap, Genomicus

In Nucleic Acids Research this week: database to analyze large cancer datasets, human body microbe database, and more.