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Brandeis University, Biocrystal, and Aspira Biosystems


Brandeis University received US Patent No. 6,680,377, “Nucleic acid-based detection.” The patent covers methods for simultaneously detecting the presence and quantity of one or more different compounds in a sample using aptamer beacons — oligonucleotides that have a binding region that can bind to a non-nucleotide target molecule, such as a protein, a steroid, or an inorganic molecule. New aptamer beacons having binding regions configured to bind to different target molecules can be used in solution-based and solid, array-based systems. The aptamer beacons can be attached to solid supports, e.g., at different predetermined points in two-dimensional arrays.

Biocrystal of Westerville, Ohio, received US Patent No. 6,680,211, “Fluorescent nanocrystal-embedded microspheres for fluorescence analysis.” The patent covers a fluorescent microsphere comprised of fluorescent nanocrystals embedded in a polymeric microsphere; a kit prepared from the fluorescent microspheres; and a method of producing the fluorescent microspheres by swelling the polymeric microsphere so that into its pores can enter fluorescent nanocrystals, and then unswelling the polymeric microspheres so that the fluorescent nanocrystals become physically entrapped in the pores of the unswelled polymeric microsphere. Also provided is a method of using the fluorescent microspheres comprising an affinity ligand for determining the presence or absence of a predetermined number of analytes in a sample by contacting the sample with the fluorescent microspheres, and detecting the fluorescence signal pattern of excited fluorescent microspheres bound to one or more analytes of the predetermined number of analytes, if present in the sample.

Aspira Biosystems of South San Francisco received US Patent No. 6,680,210, “Compositions and methods for capturing, isolating, detecting, analyzing, and quantifying macromolecules.” The patent provides compositions useful for capturing, isolating, detecting and/or quantifying macromolecules in a sample, and methods for making and using them. Generally, the imprint compositions comprise a matrix that defines an imprint of a macromolecule of interest.

The Scan

US Supports Patent Waivers

NPR reports that the Biden Administration has announced its support for waiving intellectual property protections for SARS-CoV-2 vaccines.

Vaccines Versus Variants

Two studies find the Pfizer-BioNTech SARS-CoV-2 vaccine to be effective against viral variants, and Moderna reports on booster shots to combat variants.

CRISPR for What Ails You

The Wall Street Journal writes that CRISPR-based therapies could someday be used to treat common conditions like heart attacks.

Nature Papers Review Integration of Single-Cell Assay Data, Present Approach to Detect Rare Variants

In Nature this week: review of ways to integrate data from single-cell assays, and more.