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Brigham & Women s Hospital, The Regents of the University of California of Oakland, University of British Columbia of Vancouver, Seiko Epson, Qiagen, Yale University

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Brigham & Women’s Hospital of Boston, Mass., has recieved US Patent No. 6,868,342, “Method and display for multivariate classification.” The patent covers an approach to data analysis for multivariate classification, particularly as used in medical diagnostics. The invention is in part an intuitive decision-making tool for rapid classification of “objects” like cell, tissue, or tumor samples from evaluation of many simultaneous “variables” (e.g., quantitative gene expression profiles). The data analysis methods of the invention provide the end user with a simplified and robust output for diagnostic classification of objects based on identifying and evaluating multiple variables of predetermined diagnostic relevance.


The Regents of the University of California of Oakland, Calif., have recieved US Patent No. 6,867,420, “Solid-state detector and optical system for microchip analyzers.” The patent is for a miniaturized optical excitation and detector system for detecting fluorescently-labeled analytes in electrophoretic microchips and microarrays. The system uses miniature integrated components, light collection, optical fluorescence filtering, and an amorphous alpha-Si:H detector for detection. The collection of light is accomplished with proximity gathering and/or a micro-lens system. Optical filtering is accomplished by integrated optical filters. Detection is accomplished utilizing alpha-Si:H detectors.


The University of British Columbia of Vancouver, Canada, has recieved US Patent No. 6,867,035, “Cell libraries indexed to nucleic acid microarrays.” The patent covers a method for selecting a clone of an ES cell containing a mutation in a gene that is expressed in a test cell comprising: (a) providing cDNA obtained by reverse transcription of mRNA of the test cell; (b) providing a collection of cultured ES cells organized into individual clones, wherein each clone is of an ES cell having a mutation in an exon in its genome, the mutation being in a different exon in cells of different clones; (c) providing an array of different single-stranded polynucleotides, the polynucleotides being fragments of exons containing mutations in (b); (d) exposing the cDNA to the array under conditions permitting hybridization of polynucleotides in the array to nucleic acids; (e) detecting hybridization of cDNA to a polynucleotide on the array; and, (f) selecting a clone in the collection from which a hybridizing polynucleotide detected at (c) is an exon fragment. This invention also provides a system for testing expression of a gene in a test cell. Also provided is a preferred exon trap vector for mutating ES cells.


Seiko Epson of Tokyo, Japan, has received US Patent No. 6,860,589, “Jetting apparatus.” The patent covers a jetting head with several rows of nozzles, and several pressure generating-elements associated with the nozzles to generate pressure to eject jetted objects from the nozzles. A head driver generates a drive signal and a ground signal to be supplied to each of the pressure-generating elements. A number of flexible flat cables include signal lines connecting the head driver and the jetting head. The jetting head is capable of ejecting various kinds of liquid in the form of droplets for use in an ink jet printer, a display manufacturing apparatus, an electrode forming apparatus, or a biochip manufacturing apparatus.


Qiagen of Hilden, Germany, has received US Patent No. 6,861,231, “Suppression of cross-reactivity and non-specific binding by antibodies using protein A.” The invention describes the structure, formation, and use of blocked antibodies, especially those blocked with Protein A, or active fragments it. Such blocked antibodies can achieve significant reduction in both specific cross-reaction and non-specific interaction, according to the patent, thereby increasing specificity and reactivity with targeted antigenic sites. The invention can be used in a microarray comprising a solid support attached to several blocked immunoglobulins. Such microarrays may be present as beads or microparticles and may be composed of porous or non-porous materials.


Yale University of New Haven, Conn., has received US Patent No. 6,861,222, “Nucleic acid detection using structured probes.” The patent covers compositions and a method for detection of nucleic acid sequences. The method uses a structured probe to distinguish between sequences. Structured probes are bifunctional molecules where one functions as a probe to a target nucleic acid sequence, the other one as a detection sequence to facilitate detection of the probe. Structured probes include a detection sequence, sequence complementary to a target sequence, and sequences that form duplex regions. The duplex region is stable unless the probe hybridizes to the target sequence. The method involves hybridizing the structured probe to a target sequence and detecting the detection sequence on the structured probe. The method is applicable to various areas, including RNA expression profiling and molecular haplotyping. Preferred uses include SNP detection on microarrays, on DNA fibers, and on genomic DNA arrays; RNA expression profiling; and molecular haplotyping.

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