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IP Roundup: Feb 16, 2010


Bio-Rad Laboratories of Hercules, Calif., has received US Patent No. 7,661,593, "Moving coil actuator with expandable range of motion." The patent claims a coiled electrical conductor and a magnet assembly with magnetic poles separated by a gap large enough to receive the coiled conductor and to allow the conductor to move in a reciprocating manner. The described coil is mounted to a carrier and is connected to a power source that produces an electric current of alternating direction through the coil. The magnet assembly moves between two or more positions along a path of travel that is parallel to the path of travel of the reciprocating motion of the coil. The result is that the scanning range of the coil can be shifted by distances equal to the separation between the various positions of the magnet assembly, according to the patent. As the coil and magnet assembly are moved independently, and each is operated while the other is held stationary, the magnet assembly can be placed in a position that allows movement of the coil over a portion of the microarray and the coil is moved within that portion. The magnet assembly is then shifted to a different position corresponding to another portion of the microarray and the coil is moved within that portion. In some applications, two positions of the magnet assembly will suffice to cover the full width of the microarray, while in others three or more positions may be needed, according to the patent. In general, the magnet assembly is shifted a sufficient number of times to cover the full width of the microarray.

Affymetrix has received US Patent No. 7,662,559, "Capturing sequences adjacent to type-IIs restriction sites for genomic library mapping." The patent claims methods for sequencing and mapping genetic markers in polynucleotide sequences using Type-IIs restriction endonucleases. The methods result in the capturing and determination of specific oligonucleotide sequences located adjacent to Type-IIs restriction sites. The resulting sequences are useful as effective markers for use in genetic mapping, screening, and manipulation, according to the inventors.

Becton Dickinson has received US Patent No. 7,662,562, "Method for rapid identification of microorganisms." The patent claims a method for the detection of Staphylococcus aureus in a sample. The method includes: a) releasing RNA or DNA from at least one microorganism in the sample; b) contacting the RNA or DNA with capture probes capable of hybridizing to a target sequence of the RNA or DNA; and c) detecting the presence of the resulting RNA or DNA-capture probe hybrid complex by contacting the RNA or DNA with detector probes capable of hybridizing to a second target sequence of the RNA or DNA, to form a RNA or DNA-capture probe-detector probe hybrid complex indicating the presence of Staphylococcus aureus.

Samsung Electronics has received US Patent No. 7,662,614, "Biochip platform including dielectric particle layer and optical assay apparatus using the same." The patent claims a biochip platform for biochemically analyzing a DNA or protein sample. The platform includes a dielectric particle layer uniformly formed on a substrate that enables wavelength separation of fluorescence signal. The large surface area of the dielectric particle layer guarantees better amplification efficiency of fluorescence signal, according to the patent.

Purdue Research Foundation of West Lafayette, Ind., has received US Patent No. 7,663,092, "Method and apparatus for phase contrast quadrature interferometric detection of an immunoassay." The patent claims a phase contrast quadrature interferometric method for determining the presence or absence of a target analyte in a sample. The method includes probing a substrate exposed to the sample with a laser beam, where the substrate includes a reflecting surface with a first region having recognition molecules specific to the target analyte and a second region without recognition molecules. The method also includes probing the first and second region, and measuring time-dependent intensity on a photodetector at one or both of a pair of quadrature angles of a reflected diffraction signal. The patent also includes an apparatus composed of a laser source, a platform for receiving the planar array, an objective lens offset from the platform by approximately a focal length, and a split photodetector for measuring a first quadrature and a second quadrature in a signal resulting from reflection of the laser beam.

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.