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DeCode Genetics, Decision Biomarkers, Corning, Yokogawa Electric

DeCode Genetics of Reykjavik, Iceland, has received US Patent No. 7,384,736, “Methods for predicting drug sensitivity in patients afflicted with an inflammatory disease.” The patent claims methods for predicting the efficacy of a drug for treating an inflammatory disease in a human patient. The methods include: a) obtaining a sample of cells from the patient; b) obtaining a gene expression profile of the sample in the absence and presence of in vitro modulation of the cells with specific cytokines and/or mediators; and c) comparing the gene expression profile of the sample with a reference gene expression profile, where similarities between the sample expression profile and the reference expression profile predict the efficacy of the drug for treating the inflammatory disease in the patient.

Decision Biomarkers of Waltham, Mass., has received US Patent No. 7,384,742, “Substrates for isolating reacting and microscopically analyzing materials.” The patent claims a device for immobilizing biological material. The device includes a polymer substrate layer with biological immobilizing properties, preferably for protein or nucleic acid. The ultra-thin substrate layer, with a thickness of less than 5 micron, is deposited on a rigid support and has an outer deposit-receiving region exposed to receive the biological material, the patent states.

Corning of Corning, NY, has received US Patent No. 7,384,779, “Porous substrate plates and the use thereof.” The patent claims a device for performing multiple biological or chemical assays in parallel. The device addresses the problems of crosstalk and contamination associated with unitary porous bioassay substrates when multiple assay solutions or samples are applied onto the same substrate, according to the patent abstract. Because the device overcomes these cross-talk issues, it can extend the applications of porous substrates into a microarray format, the patent states. The device includes a planar substrate that forms the bottom support of a microtiter-well plate. The substrate has a number of individual porous patches or surfaces for attaching biological or chemical analytes. The individual porous patches form part of the bottom surface of each well. Since each porous patch is self-contained within a well, the likelihood of cross-contamination between wells is eliminated, according to the patent

Yokogawa Electric of Tokyo has received US Patent No. 7,384,780, “Hybridization method and hybridization equipment.” The patent describes a device that is capable of high-speed hybridization. The claimed equipment includes: a) a biochip prepared by fixing biopolymers onto a plurality of sites on a substrate; b) positive and negative electrodes for generating an electric field along the surface of the biochip substrate; and, c) a device for generating a magnetic field along the surface of the above biochip substrate. The device is configured to move biopolymers in fluid along the surface of the substrate to attract the biopolymers towards the surface of the substrate during hybridization.

The Scan

US Booster Eligibility Decision

The US CDC director recommends that people at high risk of developing COVID-19 due to their jobs also be eligible for COVID-19 boosters, in addition to those 65 years old and older or with underlying medical conditions.

Arizona Bill Before Judge

The Arizona Daily Star reports that a judge weighing whether a new Arizona law restricting abortion due to genetic conditions is a ban or a restriction.

Additional Genes

Wales is rolling out new genetic testing service for cancer patients, according to BBC News.

Science Papers Examine State of Human Genomic Research, Single-Cell Protein Quantification

In Science this week: a number of editorials and policy reports discuss advances in human genomic research, and more.