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IP Roundup: May 12, 2009


Aquamarijn of Hengelo, the Netherlands, has received US Patent No. 7,531,120, "Method of making a product with a micro- or nano-sized structure and product." The patent claims a method that uses a phase-separation technique to create perforated as well as non-perforated polymeric structures. By varying the phase-separation process, the patent claims, the properties of the molded structures can be tuned to be porous, non-porous, dense, or open skin. The patent's abstract claims that the invention is useful in the field of microfluidics, including microarrays and electrophoretic boards, as well as optics, polymeric solar cells, ball-grid arrays, and tissue engineering.

Samsung Electronics has received US Patent No. 7,531,138, "Device and method for rapidly lysing cells or viruses." The patent describes a cell-lysis device for lysing cells or viruses. The device includes: a) a cell-lysis tube with a sample inlet; b) a pump connected to the cell-lysis tube for transferring a sample into the tube; c) a sealing unit for reversibly sealing a specific region of the tube; and d) a laser source for generating a laser. The patent also claims a method of lysing cells or viruses using the cell-lysis device. The method calls for: a) introducing a sample containing cells or viruses and optionally magnetic beads to the cell-lysis tube through the sample inlet; b) transferring the sample to a specific region in the cell-lysis tube by means of the pump; c) temporarily sealing the region of the cell-lysis tube where the sample is placed with the sealing unit; d) irradiating the sample with the laser; e) removing the sealing unit from the cell-lysis tube; and f) discharging the sample from the cell-lysis tube by means of the pump.

Agilent Technologies has received US Patent No. 7,531,303, "Interrogating multi-featured arrays." The patent claims a method for scanning an interrogating light across multiple sites on an array package that includes an addressable array of multiple features of different moieties. Signals from the respective scanned sites emitted in response to the interrogating light are then detected. The interrogating light power may be altered for a first site on the array package during the array scan, based on location of the first site. It may also be altered based on a determination that the emitted signal from the first site will be outside a predetermined value absent the altering, which allows for protecting a detector against expected overly bright sites, or during the array scan based on the detected interrogating light power, which allows for compensating for light source drift during an array scan, according to the patent.

Autogenomics of Carlsbad, Calif., has recieved US Patent No. 7,531,305, "Human papilloma virus detection with DNA microarray." The patent provides a method of detecting the presence of HPV by: a) amplification and labeling part of the E1 HPV gene, in particular its 3' end; b) hybridizing the labeled fragment to a solid support containing microarrays with various HPV-specific capture probes; c) removing uncaptured labeled fragments; and d) detecting captured detectable moiety indicating the presence of HPV sequence DNA in a sample. A test kit for carrying out sthe described detection method is also claimed.

Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory of Cold Spring Harbor, NY, has received US Patent No. 7,531,307, "Use of representations of DNA for genetic analysis." The patent provides compositions and methods for using simple and compound representations of DNA in microarray technology. It is also directed to methods for producing high-complexity representations of the DNA from cells. A representation of DNA is a sampling of DNA produced by restricting endonuclease digestion of genomic or other DNA, followed by linking adaptors and then amplifying with primers complementary to the adaptors, the patent states. The DNA may be from any source. Sources from which representations can be made include, but are not limited to, genomic or cDNA from tumor biopsy samples, including breast cancer and prostate cancer biopsies, normal tissue samples, tumor cell lines, normal cell lines, cells stored as fixed specimens, autopsy samples, forensic samples, paleo-DNA samples, microdissected tissue samples, isolated nuclei, and fractionated cell or tissue samples. Representation of the genome results in a simplification of its complexity as well as for desirable hybridization kinetics. Probes from representations of genomic DNA can be used as the probe of the microarray, and as the labeled sample hybridized to any microarray, however derived, according to the patent. Because formation of a representation involves the step of amplifying the DNA via an amplification reaction, such as the polymerase-chain reaction or ligase-chain reaction, very small amounts of DNA can be used as starting material. The use of compound representations, defined as a representation of a representation, is also provided by the patent.

The Scan

Octopus Brain Complexity Linked to MicroRNA Expansions

Investigators saw microRNA gene expansions coinciding with complex brains when they analyzed certain cephalopod transcriptomes, as they report in Science Advances.

Study Tracks Outcomes in Children Born to Zika Virus-Infected Mothers

By following pregnancy outcomes for women with RT-PCR-confirmed Zika virus infections, researchers saw in Lancet Regional Health congenital abnormalities in roughly one-third of live-born children.

Team Presents Benchmark Study of RNA Classification Tools

With more than 135 transcriptomic datasets, researchers tested two dozen coding and non-coding RNA classification tools, establishing a set of potentially misclassified transcripts, as they report in Nucleic Acids Research.

Breast Cancer Risk Related to Pathogenic BRCA1 Mutation May Be Modified by Repeats

Several variable number tandem repeats appear to impact breast cancer risk and age at diagnosis in almost 350 individuals carrying a risky Ashkenazi Jewish BRCA1 founder mutation.