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Genetix Limited, Affymetrix, Zyomyx, Applied Gene Technologies, Aviva Biosciences


Genetix Limited of Hampshire, UK, received US Patent No. 6,597,500, “Adhesive label with grid for microscope slide.” The patent covers an adhesive label for attachment to a microscope slide. The label contains one or more grids or arrays to help an operator to spot a microscope slide in the manual microarraying of a 96-well microtiter plate. The inventors claim that the labels can withstand repeated heating and freezing and are resistant to corrosive chemicals and reagents.


Affymetrix received US Patent No. 6,596,856, “Nucleic acid labeling compounds.” The patent covers nucleic acid labeling compounds containing elements that are synthesized by condensing a heterocyclic derivative with a ribofuranose derivative. The labeling compounds are suitable for enzymatic attachment to a nucleic acid, either terminally or internally, to provide a mechanism of nucleic acid detection.


Zyomyx received US Patent No. 6,596,545, “Micro-devices for screening biomolecules.” The patent covers devices for the parallel, in vitro screening of biomolecular activity using miniaturized microfabricated devices. The biomolecules immobilized on the surface of the devices of the invention include proteins, polypeptides, polynucleotides, polysaccharides, phospolipids, and related unnatural polymers of biological relevance. These devices are useful in drug development, functional proteomics, and clinical diagnostics and are preferably used for the parallel screening of families of related proteins.


Applied Gene Technologies received US Patent No. 6,596,490, “Nucleic acid hairpin probes and uses thereof.” The patent covers an oligonucleotide probe for hybridization analysis. The probe is comprised of a nucleotide sequence that forms a hairpin structure with a double-stranded segment and a single-stranded loop, forming a region that is complementary to a target nucleotide sequence for hybridization. Arrays comprising the hairpin probes immobilized on a solid support and methods for nucleic acid hybridization analysis using the probes or array of immobilized probes are also described. Methods for transcribing and/or amplifying a probe DNA sequence using a hairpin probe are also included.


Aviva Biosciences received US Patent No. 6,596,143, “Apparatus for switching and manipulating particles and method of use thereof.” The patent covers a device for producing traveling wave electric fields that act as a particle switch to transport and/or re-direct microparticles that are in a fluid suspension and can be part of a biochip. The switch comprises at least three structural branches and the branches may be connected at a common junction. Particles can be transported along the branches as a result of the forces generated along that branch. Particles are transported into or out of the particle switch via the ends of the branches. Particles can be switched from one branch into one of the other branches. Depending on the properties of the particles, the transportation mechanism may be traveling-wave-dielectrophoresis or traveling-wave-electrophoresis.


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.