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Agilent Technologies, Affymetrix, Cornell Research Foundation, Linden Technologies, Gyros

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Agilent Technologies of Palo Alto, Calif., has received US Patent No. 6,852,850, “Use of ionic liquids for fabrication of polynucleotide arrays.” The patent protects a method of fabricating polynucleotide arrays that includes dissolving a nucleotide monomer, oligonucleotide, or polynucleotide in a solvent containing ionic liquid and depositing the resulting solution on an array substrate. The method is particularly useful for fabricating an addressable array of polynucleotides on a substrate that carries moieties with hydroxyl groups. The process may be repeated at specific locations on the array to elongate the polynucleotide deposited on the array.


Affymetrix of Santa Clara, Calif., has received US Patent No. 6,852,488, “Identifying a base in a nucleic acid.” The patent covers devices and techniques for hybridizing nucleic acids and for determining their sequence. Arrays of nucleic acids are preferably formed by high resolution, light-directed techniques. Positions of hybridization of a target nucleic acid are determined by, e.g., epifluorescence microscopy. Devices and techniques are proposed to determine the sequence of a target nucleic acid more efficiently and more quickly through synthesis and detection techniques.


Affymetrix of Santa Clara, Calif., has received US Patent No. 6,852,490, “Methods of using an array of pooled probes in genetic analysis.” The patent protects arrays of polynucleotide probes with at least one pooled position. A typical array comprises a support with at least three discrete regions. The first region bears a pool of polynucleotide probes comprising first and second probes. The second region bears the first probe without the second probe and the third region bears the second probe without the first probe. A target nucleic acid with segments complementary to both the first and second probes shows stronger normalized binding to the first region than to the aggregate of binding to the second and third regions due to cooperative binding of pooled probes in the first region. The invention provides methods of using such arrays for e.g., linkage analysis, sequence analysis, and expression monitoring.


The Cornell Research Foundation of Ithaca, NY, has received US Patent No. 6,852,487, “Detection of nucleic acid sequence differences using the ligase detection reaction with addressable arrays.” The patent protects a method for identifying one or more sequences differing by one or more single base changes, insertions, deletions, or translocations in target nucleotide sequences. The method includes a ligation phase, a capture phase, and a detection phase. The ligation phase utilizes a ligation detection reaction between one oligonucleotide probe, which has a target sequence-specific portion and an addressable array-specific portion, and a second oligonucleotide probe with a target sequence-specific portion and a detectable label. After the ligation phase, the capture phase is carried out by hybridizing the ligated oligonucleotide probes to a solid support with an array of immobilized capture oligonucleotides at least some of which are complementary to the addressable array-specific portion. Following completion of the capture phase, the labels of ligated oligonucleotide probes hybridized to the solid support are detected. The ligation phase can be preceded by an amplification process. The present invention also relates to a kit for practicing this method, a method of forming arrays on solid supports, and the supports themselves.


Linden Technologies of Woburn, Mass., has received US Patent 6,852,494, “Nucleic acid amplification.” The patent discloses an insoluble support that can be used, for example, for producing replicates of sample nucleic acids. The support includes attached oligonucleotides that contain a prokaryotic promoter sequence and a target annealing sequence 3’ of the promoter. The proximal end of the promoter sequence is spaced from the insoluble support by a distance greater than 10 nm. The invention is based, in part, on the discovery of a transcription-based method for amplifying nucleic acids.


Gyros of Uppsala, Sweden, has received US Patent No. 6,852,851, “DNA isolation method.” The patent covers a method and apparatus for isolating DNA or cell nuclei from cell samples in a CD device. Lysed cells are introduced into microchannels of a microfabricated apparatus. Each microchannels contains a barrier to impede the passage or flow of DNA and cell nuclei while allowing the passage of liquid through the micro-channel so that a mesh comprising DNA is formed in the channel.

The Scan

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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.