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Genocheck, PerkinElmer, Agilent Technologies

Genocheck of Gyeonggi-do, Korea, has received European Patent No. 1897958, “Method, polynucleotide probe, DNA chip and kit for identifying mutation of human mitochondrial DNA.” The patent claims a method, a polynucleotide probe, a DNA chip, and a kit for identifying a mutation of human mitochondrial DNA. The method comprises the steps of: a) isolating DNA from human blood, cells or tissues; b) subjecting the isolated DNA to polymerase chain reaction to produce a PCR product; c) hybridizing the PCR product with a polynucleotide probe comprising a base sequence identical or complementary to one of the DNA sequences; and d) examining hybridization between the PCR product and the polynucleotide probe to determine the mutation of the human mitochondrial DNA. Using this method, a plurality of mutations of human mtDNA and haplotypes of human mtDNA can be rapidly and accurately inspected on one slide, the patent states.

PerkinElmer has received US Patent No. 7,351,529, “Methods for detecting genetic mosaicisms using arrays.” The patent claims methods for identifying genetic mosaicisms in cell populations. Suitable cell populations include biopsy or body fluid samples or cultures of cancer cells. The method includes performing array-based comparative genomic hybridization, where a plurality of cloned genomic nucleic acid segments is provided in a plurality of identical replicas. Each cloned segment is immobilized to a discrete and known spot on a substrate surface to form the array, and the cloned genomic nucleic acid segments comprise a substantially complete first genome of a known first karyotype. The patent also provides methods for optimizing performance of array-based comparative genomic hybridization.

Agilent Technologies has received US Patent No. 7,353,116, “Chemical array with test dependent signal reading or processing.” The patent claims a method where an array identifier for a chemical array with probes at multiple feature locations is retrieved from a memory or read. The array identifier, a request for a test that requires an instruction on reading or processing the signal data read from the array, and payment information are all forwarded to a remote location. A method is also provided that includes retrieving an instruction on reading or processing signal data read from a chemical array. This is retrieved from a memory using a test request. The memory carries one or more instructions for the array, each retrievable with a different test request. Apparatus and computer program products are also provided.

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.