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Amersham Biosciences, Affymetrix, Novozymes Biotech


Amersham Biosciences, now GE Healthcare, of Piscataway, NJ, has received US Patent No. 6,943,242, "Design of artificial genes for use as controls in gene expression analysis systems." The patent describes a method of producing controls for use in gene expression analysis systems such as macroarrays, real-time PCR, northern blots, SAGE, and microarrays. The controls are generated either from near-random sequence of DNA, or from inter- or intragenic regions of a genome. Ten specific control sequences are also disclosed in the patent. Also claimed are methods of using these controls, including as negative controls, positive controls, and as calibrators of a gene expression analysis system.

Affymetrix of Santa Clara, Calif., has received US Patent No. 6,943,034, "Combinatorial strategies for polymer synthesis." The patent describes methods and devices for synthesizing high-density arrays of diverse polymer sequences such as diverse peptides and oligonucleotides. In addition, methods and devices for delivering and immobilizing available libraries of compounds on specific regions of a substrate are claimed in the patent.

Novozymes Biotech of Davis, Calif., has received US Patent No. 6,942,973, "Methods for isolating genes from microorganisms." The patent claims methods for isolating a gene encoding an enzyme. According to the patent's abstract, a mixture of labeled first nucleic acid probes from a microbial strain and labeled second nucleic acid probes from a microbial strain are added to an array of random nucleic acid fragments of the microbial strain where the labeled nucleic acids hybridize to complementary sequences of the genomic fragments in the array. The array is examined under conditions where the relative expression of the genes of the microbial strain is determined by the observed hybridization reporter signal of each spot in the array. Finally, a gene is isolated from the microbial strain that encodes an enzyme that degrades the substrate. The patented invention also relates to isolated genes obtained by such methods.

The Scan

Another Resignation

According to the Wall Street Journal, a third advisory panel member has resigned following the US Food and Drug Administration's approval of an Alzheimer's disease drug.

Novavax Finds Its Vaccine Effective

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Can't Be Used

The US Food and Drug Administration says millions of vaccine doses made at an embattled manufacturing facility cannot be used, the New York Times reports.

PLOS Papers on Frozen Shoulder GWAS, Epstein-Barr Effects on Immune Cell Epigenetics, More

In PLOS this week: genome-wide association study of frozen shoulder, epigenetic patterns of Epstein-Barr-infected B lymphocyte cells, and more.