Genetic ID of Fairfield, Iowa, has received US Patent No. 7,138,506, “Universal microarray system.” The patent claims a method for determining and quantifying differences in nucleic acid levels between two or more test mixtures without prior knowledge of the sequence of the nucleic acids of interest. The method involves providing a universal microarray containing a plurality of spots, where each spot contains a pool of different oligonucleotide probes that have three distinct portions: a universal sequence portion, a short central variable "wobble" sequence portion, and a unique sequence portion. A set of probes is then synthesized so that the universal sequence portion is the same for every probe, and all possible permutations of the wobble sequence and unique sequence portions are represented in approximately equal concentrations in the set. The probes are then pooled on the universal microarray. Primers complementary to the universal and wobble portions of the probes are then used to synthesize, for example, cDNA from an mRNA preparation. The cDNA is hybridized to the universal microarray, and through the use of differential labeling, is identified and/or quantified.
The Regents of the University of California of Oakland, Calif., have received US Patent No. 7,138,511, “Nucleic acids, kits and methods for the diagnosis, prognosis and treatment of glaucoma and related disorders.” The patent describes how the upstream sequences of the TIGR protein encoding sequence can be used to diagnose sensitivity to steroids and a risk for glaucoma or ocular hypertensive disorders. Methods, kits, and nucleic acids containing polymorphisms, base substitutions, or base additions located within the upstream region and within protein-encoding regions of the TIGR gene are also claimed. According to the patent summary, various methods of detecting nucleic acids can be used in these methods and with the kits, including solution hybridization, and hybridization to microarrays containing immobilized nucleic acids or other immobilized nucleic acids.