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Agilent Technologies, Nanogen, Invitrogen


Agilent Technologies received US Patent No. 6,591,196, “Method and system for extracting data from surface array deposited features.” The patent covers a method for extracting data signals from a scanned image of a molecular array. The positions of corner features are first located. Then, an initial feature coordinate grid is determined from the positions of the corner features. A refined feature coordinate grid is then calculated, based on the positions of strong features, and is used to iden-tify the positions of weak features and the positions of the local background regions. Finally, signal intensity values are extracted from the features and local background regions in the scanned image, and background-subtracted signal intensity values, background-subtracted and normalized signal intensity ratios, and variability information and confidence intervals are determined based on the extracted values.

The Palo Alto, Calif.-based company also received US Patent No. 6,589,739, “Biopolymer array inspection.” The patent covers a method and an apparatus for fabricating a biopolymer array. Light is directed through the substrate from the front side, back through a substrate on the back side, and a first set of deposited droplets on the first side, to an image sensor. The substrate may be mounted by means of a chuck with parallel channels, and a scanning operation of a droplet dispensing head, light source, and sensor conducted in unison in the direction of the channels.


Nanogen received US Patent No. 6,589,742, “Multiplex amplification and separation of nucleic acid sequences on a bioelectronic microchip using asymmetric structures.” The patent covers a method for amplifying nuc-leic acids where detection of amplified species is enhanced by the use of amplification made assymetric by using divergent ratios of amplification primers or by using non-extending and/or non-cleavable amplification primers. Detection of the amplicons is improved because maintenance of single-stranded species of amplicons during amplification facilitates their direct capture by immobilized probes without denaturing steps.


Invitrogen received US Patent No. 6,589,737, “Compos-itions and methods for labeling of nucleic acid molecules.” The patent covers methods for labeling nucleic acid molecules using reverse transcriptases, preferably multi-subunit reverse transcriptases such as ASLV reverse transcriptases.

The Scan

Octopus Brain Complexity Linked to MicroRNA Expansions

Investigators saw microRNA gene expansions coinciding with complex brains when they analyzed certain cephalopod transcriptomes, as they report in Science Advances.

Study Tracks Outcomes in Children Born to Zika Virus-Infected Mothers

By following pregnancy outcomes for women with RT-PCR-confirmed Zika virus infections, researchers saw in Lancet Regional Health congenital abnormalities in roughly one-third of live-born children.

Team Presents Benchmark Study of RNA Classification Tools

With more than 135 transcriptomic datasets, researchers tested two dozen coding and non-coding RNA classification tools, establishing a set of potentially misclassified transcripts, as they report in Nucleic Acids Research.

Breast Cancer Risk Related to Pathogenic BRCA1 Mutation May Be Modified by Repeats

Several variable number tandem repeats appear to impact breast cancer risk and age at diagnosis in almost 350 individuals carrying a risky Ashkenazi Jewish BRCA1 founder mutation.