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Agilent Technologies, Beckman Coulter, Hitachi


Agilent Technologies of Palo Alto, Calif., has received US Patent No. 6,841,663, “Chemical arrays.” The patent covers methods, apparatus, and computer program products to form arrays of polymers each having a pattern of features on a surface of a flexible elongated web. Polymers or their precursor units are applied at an application station to the surface. Multiple features are covered at a reagent station with a continuous volume of reagent, which chemically reacts with precursors or the web. The flexible elongated web is driven in a lengthwise direction through the application station. This sequence may be repeated as needed to form the arrays along the web. Also provided is a method preparing a surface of a flexible elongated web to receive a biopolymer array.

Beckman Coulter of Fullerton, Calif., has received US Patent No. 6,841,379, “Conductive microplate.” The patent covers a conductive microplate device for the detection of target biomolecules in a sample. The microplate comprises an assembly of a porous substrate and a conductive layer, wherein the assembly is sealed into the bottom of at least some wells of the microplate. The porous substrate has a top surface and a bottom surface. The top surface comprises a plurality of covalently attached probe biomolecules that are reactive with the target biomolecules contained in the sample. The conductive layer, which is attached to the bottom surface of the porous substrate, is adapted to receive voltage. Microplates of the invention can be easily adapted for use with robotic workstations. Accordingly, in one embodiment, the power supply is incorporated into a robotic arm tool for fast microplate processing.

Hitachi of Tokyo has received US Patent No. 6,841,128, “DNA base sequencing system.” The patent covers a DNA sequencing system having a compact, simple, and convenient structure. In one embodiment of the invention, a reaction chamber module for pyrosequencing in which a multiple number of reaction chambers and reagent-introducing narrow tubes are integrated is formed in a device board. Reagents held in reservoirs mounted separately from this reaction chamber module are introduced into the reaction vessels via reagent-introducing narrow tubes (capillaries). The conductance of these capillaries for the reagent solution determines the injection speed of the solution.


The Scan

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A gene drive approach could be used to render mosquitos unable to spread malaria, researchers report in Science Advances.

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Finding Safe Harbor in the Human Genome

In Genome Biology, researchers present a new approach to identify genomic safe harbors where transgenes can be expressed without affecting host cell function.

New Data Point to Nuanced Relationship Between Major Depression, Bipolar Disorder

Lund University researchers in JAMA Psychiatry uncover overlapping genetic liabilities for major depression and bipolar disorder.