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Genset of Paris has been awarded US Patent Number 6,312,922, “Complementary DNAs.” The patent discloses the sequences of long cDNAs that encode secreted proteins, and can be used to express these proteins or to obtain antibodies to these proteins. They can also be used as diagnostic probes as well as forensic and chromosome markers, and in gene therapy. These cDNAs are purified to be electrophoretically homogeneous, and are not naturally occurring sequences.


LJL Biosystems of Sunnyvale, Calif., now a subsidiary of Sunnyvale-based Molecular Devices, has been awarded US Patent Number 6,310,687, “Light detection device with means for tracking sample sites.” The device described in the patent optically detects light that is transmitted from sample sites on a biochip or similar substrate. It includes a stage on which the substrate rests, and a detector that detects light from a specified region of the substrate, as well as an optical relay structure that transmits light from the substrate to the detector. A scanning mechanism moves the relay structure in the substrate between two positions on the detector, the detection initiation and detection termination position.

This optical detection mechanism is designed to read chips or other substrates at higher speed, and at an improved signal-to-noise ratio.


Agilent Technologies was granted US Patent Number 6,309,875, “Apparatus for biomolecular array hybridization facilitated by agitation during centrifuging.” The invention described in the patent takes advantage of the fact that subjecting a reaction chamber to a centrifugal force over 1G facilitates hybridization. The array, according to the invention, is situated orthogonal to the force, and is tilted back and forth along an axis that is ideally parallel to a centrifugal axis. The centrifugal force works to overcome non-specific binding forces, including viscous forces and others, and the tilting causes the sample liquid to wash across the array while the array remains protected by a thin film of liquid.


The now-defunct company Genometrix of The Woodlands, Texas, received US patent number 6,312,960, “Methods for fabricating an array for use in multiplexed biochemical analysis.” The patent covers methods to prepare a microplate to serve as a reaction substrate for an array. The capture probes in the array are deposited onto the substrate using a capillary bundle printer.

The Scan

Interfering With Invasive Mussels

The Chicago Tribune reports that researchers are studying whether RNA interference- or CRISPR-based approaches can combat invasive freshwater mussels.

Participation Analysis

A new study finds that women tend to participate less at scientific meetings but that some changes can lead to increased involvement, the Guardian reports.

Right Whales' Decline

A research study plans to use genetic analysis to gain insight into population decline among North American right whales, according to CBC.

Science Papers Tie Rare Mutations to Short Stature, Immunodeficiency; Present Single-Cell Transcriptomics Map

In Science this week: pair of mutations in one gene uncovered in brothers with short stature and immunodeficiency, and more.