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Dalsa Semiconductor, Whitehead Institute, 20/20 GeneSystems


Dalsa Semiconductor of Waterloo, Canada, received US Patent No. 6,602,791, “Manufacture of integrated fluidic devices.” The patent covers a system for fabricating a microstructure for microfluidics applications.


The Whitehead Institute received US Patent No. 6,602,665, “Referenced amplification of small quantities of RNA.” The patent covers a system for determining the amount of an RNA transcript in a test sample. The method described uses a reference sample with a known amount of a reference nucleic acid, labeled with cDNA primers, and a test sample comprising an amount of test RNA containing an RNA transcript of interest, also labeled with cDNA primer. The reference sample and the test sample are mixed and subjected to PCR amplification, followed by division of the amplified, mixed sample and continued amplification of the divided sample to produce nucleic acids containing amplified reference nucleic acid or amplified cDNA of the test RNA, from which cRNA can be generated by in vitro transcription. The amount of the test RNA, or of the RNA transcript of interest, in the sample correlates with a ratio of the amount of amplified cDNA of the test RNA (or of the RNA transcript of interest), over the amount of the amplified reference nucleic acid, multiplied by the known amount of the reference nucleic acid in the reference sample.


20/20 GeneSystems of Rockville, Md., and the US Department of Health and Human Services received US Patent No. 6,602,661, “Methods and arrays for detecting biomolecules.” The patent covers a device and a method for detecting biomolecules in a tissue section or other two-dimensional sample by creating “carbon copies” of the biomolecules eluted from the sample and visualizing the biomolecules on the copies, using antibodies or DNA probes having specific affinity for the biomolecules of interest. Thin membranes in a stacked or layered configuration are applied to the sample, such as a tissue section, and reagents and reaction conditions are provided so that the biomolecules are eluted from the sample and transferred onto each of the stacked membranes, thereby producing multiple replicas of the biomolecular content of the sample.

The Scan

Shape of Them All

According to BBC News, researchers have developed a protein structure database that includes much of the human proteome.

For Flu and More

The Wall Street Journal reports that several vaccine developers are working on mRNA-based vaccines for influenza.

To Boost Women

China's Ministry of Science and Technology aims to boost the number of female researchers through a new policy, reports the South China Morning Post.

Science Papers Describe Approach to Predict Chemotherapeutic Response, Role of Transcriptional Noise

In Science this week: neural network to predict chemotherapeutic response in cancer patients, and more.