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Infineon Technologies, Applera, SurroMed, Affymetrix


Infineon Technologies of Munich,Germany, received US Patent No. 6,580,831, “Compression of optical readout biomolecular sensory data.” The patent covers a system for compressing image data while preserving usable information while eliminating or reducing associated noise in the image data. The image data is transformed using a multiscale technique (such as the pyramidal median transform) such that the image data is represented as transform coefficients each having a corresponding weight. From the respective weights, those transform coefficients associated with noise are determined and extracted from the original number of transform coefficients. The remaining transform coefficients are subsequently quantized and coded.


Applera received US Patent No. 6,579,367, “Apparatus and method for spotting a substrate.” The invention provides a method and apparatus for dispensing a small volume of a selected liquid, such as a biological sample or reagent, onto a substrate. The device includes a tube adapted to contain the liquid. An elongated fiber is disposed within the tube for axial movement between raised and lowered positions. Upon shifting or oscillating the fiber between its raised and lowered positions, a liquid spot can be formed at a selected position on the substrate. The device is adaptable for the production of microarrays having a great number of individual spots.


SurroMed of Los Altos, Calif., received US Patent No. 6,579,726, “Instruments, methods and reagents for surface plasmon resonance,” and 6,579,721, “Biosensing using surface plasmon resonance.” The patents cover a system of methods and reagents for the enhancement of surface plasmon resonance (SPR)-based detection assays. The methods and reagents can be used in any molecular recognition assay that uses a solid support. The invention also provides an SPR instrument that operates in an imaging mode.


Affymetrix received US Patent No. 6,576,425, "Methods for testing oligonucleotide arrays." The patent covers ways to test the effect of various conditions on oligonucleotide arrays before, during, and after production for quality control. The patent covers a system for testing the efficiency of nucleotide coupling; testing for amounts of deprotected oligonucleotides; determining amounts of depurinated oligonucleotides; and detecting the presence of cleavable structural features.


The Scan

Back as Director

A court has reinstated Nicole Boivin as director of the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, Science reports.

Research, But Implementation?

Francis Collins reflects on his years as the director of the US National Institutes of Health with NPR.

For the False Negatives

The Guardian writes that the UK Health Security Agency is considering legal action against the lab that reported thousands of false negative COVID-19 test results.

Genome Biology Papers Present Epigenetics Benchmarking Resource, Genomic Architecture Maps of Peanuts, More

In Genome Biology this week: DNA methylation data for seven reference cell lines, three-dimensional genome architecture maps of peanut lines, and more.