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California Institute of Technology, University of California, Olink, Veridex, University of Arkansas

The California Institute of Technology and the University of California, Oakland, have received US Patent No. 7,306,672, “Microfluidic free interface diffusion techniques.” The patent claims a method where static fluids are positioned on either side of a closed valve structure in a microfluidic channel having a width that is tightly constrained in at least one dimension. The valve is then opened, and no-slip layers at the sides of the microfluidic channel suppress convective mixing between the two fluids along the resulting interface. Applications for the described microfluidic-free interfaces include protein solubility studies, determination of properties of fluidics systems, and a variety of biological assays such as diffusive immunoassays, substrate turnover assays, and competitive binding assays.

Olink of Uppsala, Sweden, has received US Patent No. 7,306,904, “Methods and kits for proximity probing.” The patent claims a method for detecting one or more analytes in solution by: a) binding two or more proximity probes to a respective binding site on one or more analytes that are not immobilized on a solid support; b) allowing the binding moiety to bind to the analytes and allowing the nucleic acids to interact with each other if they are in close proximity to each other; and c) detecting the degree of interaction between the nucleic acids.

Veridex of Raritan, NJ, has received US Patent No. 7,306,910, “Breast cancer prognostics.” The patent claims method of providing a prognosis of breast cancer by analyzing the expression of a group of genes using a variety of technologies such as microarrays. Specifically, the method enables the assessment of the likelihood of a recurrence or metastasis of breast cancer in a patient diagnosed with or treated for breast cancer. The method involves the analysis of a gene expression profile. The patent also claims gene expression profiles or representations of them that are fixed in machine-readable media such as computer-readable media.

The University of Arkansas in Little Rock has received US Patent No. 7,308,364, “Diagnosis of multiple myeloma on gene expression profiling.” The patent described a method of making a diagnosis for multiple myeloma based on differential expression of 14 genes, as well as prognostics for the four subgroups of multiple myeloma based on the expression of 24 genes, using microarray technology. The described gene expression profiling method also allows placing multiple myeloma into a developmental schema parallel to that of normal plasma cell differentiation. The development of a gene expression- or developmental stage-based classification system for multiple myeloma can then be used lead to the design of more accurate and sensitive diagnostics, prognostics, and tumor-specific therapies for multiple myeloma, the patent claims.

The Scan

Sick Newborns Selected for WGS With Automated Pipeline

Researchers successfully prioritized infants with potential Mendelian conditions for whole-genome sequencing or rapid whole-genome sequencing, as they report in Genome Medicine.

Acne-Linked Loci Found Through GWAS Meta-Analysis

Researchers in the European Journal of Human Genetics find new and known acne vulgaris risk loci with a genome-wide association study and meta-analysis, highlighting hair follicle- and metabolic disease-related genes.

Retina Cell Loss Reversed by Prime Editing in Mouse Model of Retinitis Pigmentosa

A team from China turns to prime editing to correct a retinitis pigmentosa-causing mutation in the PDE6b gene in a mouse model of the progressive photoreceptor loss condition in the Journal of Experimental Medicine.

CRISPR Screens Reveal Heart Attack-Linked Gene

Researchers in PLOS Genetics have used CRISPR screens to home in on variants associated with coronary artery disease that affect vascular endothelial function.