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IP Roundup: Mar 9, 2010


Rohm of Kyoto, Japan, has received US Patent No. 7,671,996, "Surface plasmon resonance sensor and biochip." The patent claims a surface plasmon resonance sensor that has a first dielectric layer, a metal layer disposed on the first dielectric layer, and a second dielectric layer covering the metal layer. The surface plasmon resonance sensor includes a sensor main body provided with an opening for exposing a part of a surface of the metal layer on a side facing the second dielectric layer, and for allowing a measurement sample to be brought into contact with this surface; a light source for introducing a beam into the metal layer from one end of the metal layer in a longitudinal direction of the metal layer; and a detection unit detecting a beam emitted from the other end of the metal layer.

The University of South Florida of Tampa has received US Patent No. 7,674,581, "Autonomous genosensor apparatus." The patent describes an autonomous genosensor apparatus for the analysis of ambient chemical, biochemical, biologic, biogenetic, and radiologic materials under field conditions in fluid or gaseous environments, such as marine or aquatic environments or industrial processes. Autonomous genosensors provide integral, self-contained units that automatically extract environmental samples, prepare those samples for analytical studies, analyze those samples using studies such as DNA or biomarker analysis, and store or transmit the data produced to a remote computer or computer network, according to the patent.

Boston Probes of Bedford, Mass., has received US Patent No. 7,674,585, "Methods, kits and compositions pertaining to combination oligomers and libraries for their preparation." The patent describes a method for the block synthesis of combination oligomers in the absence of a template. The method includes reacting a first oligomer block, a second oligomer block, and optionally a condensation reagent or reagents under condensation conditions to form a combination oligomer. The formed combination oligomer is capable of hybridizing to a target sequence without a gap or a gap base, where the first and second oligomer blocks are each independently a peptide nucleic acid oligomer, PNA chimera, or PNA combination oligomer; neither of the first nor the second oligomer block is support bound; and the combination oligomer forms in the absence of a template.

Affymetrix has received US Patent No. 7,674,587, "Polymorphism detection." The patent describes a method for analyzing polymorphic or biallelic markers, and arrays for carrying out these analyses. In general, the methods employ arrays of oligonucleotide probes that are complementary to target nucleic acids that correspond to the marker sequences of an individual. The probes are typically arranged in detection blocks, each block being capable of discriminating the three genotypes for a given marker, for instance, the heterozygote or either of the two homozygotes, according to the patent. The method allows for automatable analysis of genetic linkage to even complex polygenic traits, the inventors claim.

The Scan

Just Breathing

A new analysis suggests that most Mycobacterium tuberculosis is spread by aerosols from breathing, rather than by coughing, the New York Times reports.

Just Like This One

NPR reports that the World Health Organization has hired a South African biotech company to recreate mRNA vaccine for SARS-CoV-2 that is similar to the one developed by Moderna.

Slow Start

The Wall Street Journal reports that Biogen's Alzheimer's disease treatment had revenues for July through September that totaled $300,000.

Genome Research Papers on Cancer Chromatin, Splicing in the Thymus, Circular RNAs in Cancer

In Genome Research this week: analysis of bivalent chromatin sites, RBFOX splicing factors' role in thymic epithelial cells, and more.