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IP Roundup: Mar 24, 2009

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Quest Diagnostics of Wilmington, Del., has received US Patent No. 7,507,539, "Substractive single label comparative hybridization." The patent claims methods of determining the differences between nucleic acids in a test sample and a reference sample. In certain embodiments, the methods are used for detecting and mapping chromosomal or genetic abnormalities associated with various diseases or with predisposition to various diseases, or to detecting the phenomena of large scale copy number variants, the patent states. Specifically, methods of performing array-based comparative hybridization are claimed. The methods are useful for the detection or diagnosis of particular disease conditions such as cancer, and detecting predisposition to cancer based on detection of chromosomal or genetic abnormalities and gene-expression level. The methods are also useful for the detection or diagnosis of hereditary genetic disorders or predisposition to such disorders, especially in prenatal samples, the patent states. Finally, the methods are useful for the detection or diagnosis of de novo genetic aberrations associated with post-natal developmental abnormalities.


Yokogawa Electric of Tokyo has received US Patent No. 7,508,516, "Biochip reading apparatus and biochip reading method." According to the patent, a site position on a biochip can be detected using transmitted light or reflected light that does not include an excitation wavelength. When the reflected light is used, a light source is actuated. Light from the light source passes through a barrier filter and is bent by a dichroic mirror. The light passes through the dichroic mirror and illuminates the biochip. The reflected light in the biochip then enters a CCD camera. An output signal of the CCD camera is sent to a computation part and a position of a site on the biochip is detected in the computation part.


Illumina has received US Patent No. 7,508,608, "Lithographically fabricated holographic optical identification element." The patent describes a method for fabricating an optical identification element, where a removable plate or substrate having photosensitive material is provided, and where one or more gratings are written on the photosensitive material. Lines are then etched to create one or more separate optical identification elements on the substrate. The gratings may be written by exposing the photosensitive material to ultraviolet light and the lines may be etched to create the one or more separate optical identification elements by photolithography.

The Scan

Comfort of Home

The Guardian reports that AstraZeneca is to run more clinical trials from people's homes with the aim of increasing participant diversity.

Keep Under Control

Genetic technologies are among the tools suggested to manage invasive species and feral animals in Australia, Newsweek says.

Just Make It

The New York Times writes that there is increased interest in applying gene synthesis to even more applications.

Nucleic Acids Research Papers on OncoDB, mBodyMap, Genomicus

In Nucleic Acids Research this week: database to analyze large cancer datasets, human body microbe database, and more.