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Applera, Agilent Technologies, University of Michigan

Applera of Foster City, Calif., has received US Patent No. 7,211,148, "Apparatus and method for spotting a substrate." The patent claims a method and apparatus for dispensing a small volume of a selected liquid, such as a biological sample or reagent, onto a substrate. The device includes a tube adapted to contain the liquid. An elongated fiber is disposed within the tube for axial movement between raised and lowered positions. Upon shifting or oscillating the fiber between its raised and lowered positions, a liquid spot can be formed at a selected position on the substrate. The device is adaptable for the production of microarrays having a great number of individual spots, the patent's abstract states.

Agilent Technologies has received US Patent No. 7,211,384, "Comparative genomic hybridization assays using immobilized oligonucleotide targets with initially small sample sizes and compositions for practicing the same." The patent describes compositions for running comparative genomic hybridization assays. In the methods, at least first and second genomic templates are prepared from first and second genomic sources using an amplification reaction that employs a highly processive polymerase. The amplification reaction produces amplification products having an average molecular size of at least about 10 kb with substantially no amplification bias, the patent's abstract states. The resultant templates are then employed to produce at least first and second probe nucleic acid populations. The resultant probe nucleic acid populations are then contacted with a plurality of oligonucleotide target elements immobilized on a solid support surface and the binding of at least first and second populations is then evaluated. Also provided are kits for use in practicing the subject methods.


The University of Michigan of Ann Arbor,has received US Patent No. 7,211,654, "Linkers and co-coupling agents for optimization of oligonucleotide synthesis and purification on solid supports." A method of modulation of synthesis capacity on and cleavage properties of synthetic oligomers from solid support is described. The method uses linker molecules attached to a solid surface and co-coupling agents that have similar reactivities to the coupling compounds with the surface functional groups. The preferred linker molecules provide an increased density of polymers and more resistance to cleavage from the support surface. The method is particularly useful for synthesis of oligonucleotides, oligonucleotides microarrays, peptides, and peptide microarrays. The stable linkers are also coupled to anchor molecules for synthesis of DNA oligonucleotides usingsupport purification onto a substrate, eliminating time-consuming chromatography and metal cation presence. Oligonucleotides therefore obtained can be directly used for mass analysis, DNA amplification and ligation, hybridization, and many other applications, according to the patent.

The Scan

Comfort of Home

The Guardian reports that AstraZeneca is to run more clinical trials from people's homes with the aim of increasing participant diversity.

Keep Under Control

Genetic technologies are among the tools suggested to manage invasive species and feral animals in Australia, Newsweek says.

Just Make It

The New York Times writes that there is increased interest in applying gene synthesis to even more applications.

Nucleic Acids Research Papers on OncoDB, mBodyMap, Genomicus

In Nucleic Acids Research this week: database to analyze large cancer datasets, human body microbe database, and more.