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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

Tens of Millions Saved

The Associated Press writes that vaccines against COVID-19 saved an estimated 20 million lives in their first year.

Supersized Bacterium

NPR reports that researchers have found and characterized a bacterium that is visible to the naked eye.

Also Subvariants

Moderna says its bivalent SARS-CoV-2 vaccine leads to a strong immune response against Omicron subvariants, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Science Papers Present Gene-Edited Mouse Models of Liver Cancer, Hürthle Cell Carcinoma Analysis

In Science this week: a collection of mouse models of primary liver cancer, and more.