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Patent Watch: Dec 9, 2008

The California Institute of Technology of Pasadena has received US Patent No. 7,462,449, “Methods and apparatuses for analyzing polynucleotide sequences.”
The patent claims a method of deriving nucleotide sequence information from polynucleotide molecules by: a) immobilizing target nucleic acid template molecules on a 2-dimensional substrate, where the molecules are tagged with a first optically-detectable label; b) exposing the molecules to a polymerase and nucleotides comprising a second optically-detectable label; c) rinsing the substrate to remove unincorporated nucleotides; d) positioning the optically-detectable labels; e) associating each of the positions with a specific polynucleotide in the substrate; f) inactivating the second optically-detectable label; and g) determining the sequence of nucleotides in the template.
CalTech has also received US Patent No. 7,462,463, “Fusion protein microarrays and methods of use.” The patent claims a microarray having one or more fusion proteins non-covalently attached to a solid support. The non-covalent attachment is achieved by designing a fusion protein having a polyanionic domain attached to a subject protein, and attaching the fusion protein to a solid support having a polycationic coating, the patent states.

Agilent Technologies has received US Patent No. 7,462,450, “Chemical arrays.”
The patent claims methods, apparatus, and computer program products to form arrays of polymers each having a pattern of features on a surface of a flexible elongated web. In the method, polymers or their precursor units are applied at an application station to the surface. Multiple features are covered at a reagent station with a continuous volume of reagent which chemically reacts with precursors or the web. The flexible elongated web is driven in a lengthwise direction through the application station. This sequence may be repeated as needed to form the arrays along the web. Also provided is a method preparing a surface of a flexible elongated web to receive a biopolymer array.

The University of Chicago has received US Patent No. 7,463,353, “Modular, micro-scale, optical array and biodetection system.” The patent claims a modular, microscale, optical array and biodetection device for quantifying fluorescence intensities of a plurality of substantially separated, and dimensionally uniform elements of a bioarray. The optical module collecting light individually from the bioarray elements includes an optical member, a filter, and a sensor, such as a CCD chip. The optical member collects and transfers emitted light from the bioarray elements via the filter to the sensor. The filter transfers light from the elements having a predefined wavelength spectrum and blocks light outside the predefined wavelength spectrum. The sensor receives transferred light from the elements and produces a signal corresponding to respective elements of the bioarray.

Lumera of Bothell, Wash., has received US Patent No. 7,463,358, “Highly stable surface plasmon resonance plates, microarrays, and methods.” The patent claims an article, process, and method for surface plasmon resonance plates. A substrate is covered with a thin metal film onto which a second thin metal film is deposited. The surface of the second thin metal film is converted to the metal oxide which is used to covalently bond organosilanes to the surface. Reactive organosilanes containing terminal bonding groups are arranged in a plurality of spots that are surrounded by inert organosilanes. Biomolecule attachment to the binding group is then detected or measured from surface plasmon signals from the first thin metal film, according to the patent.

The Scan

Genome Sequences Reveal Range Mutations in Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells

Researchers in Nature Genetics detect somatic mutation variation across iPSCs generated from blood or skin fibroblast cell sources, along with selection for BCOR gene mutations.

Researchers Reprogram Plant Roots With Synthetic Genetic Circuit Strategy

Root gene expression was altered with the help of genetic circuits built around a series of synthetic transcriptional regulators in the Nicotiana benthamiana plant in a Science paper.

Infectious Disease Tracking Study Compares Genome Sequencing Approaches

Researchers in BMC Genomics see advantages for capture-based Illumina sequencing and amplicon-based sequencing on the Nanopore instrument, depending on the situation or samples available.

LINE-1 Linked to Premature Aging Conditions

Researchers report in Science Translational Medicine that the accumulation of LINE-1 RNA contributes to premature aging conditions and that symptoms can be improved by targeting them.