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IP Roundup: Oct 12, 2010


University of Utah Research Foundation of Salt Lake City has received US Patent No. 7,811,754, "Detection of single nucleotide polymorphisms using planar waveguides." The patent claims a method of detecting SNPs in a gene of interest. According to the method, probes are immobilized on a planar waveguide, where the probes comprise sequences that are complementary to a wildtype sequence of the gene of interest and complementary to a sequence of a known SNP in the gene of interest. A fluorescently labeled analyte is then flowed over the planar waveguide, and the binding between the labeled analyte and each of the probes causes a change in the fluorescence signal. The SNP is subsequently detected by comparing the hybridization kinetics of the analyte with each of the probes.

The University of Rochester of Rochester, NY, has received US Patent No. 7,811,764, "Hybridization-based biosensor containing hairpin probes and use thereof." The patent describes a sensor chip that includes: a fluorescence-quenching surface; a nucleic acid probe that contains first and second ends with the first end bound to the fluorescence-quenching surface, and is characterized by being able to self-anneal into a hairpin conformation; and a first fluorophore bound to the second end of the first nucleic acid molecule. According to the patent, when the first nucleic acid molecule is in the hairpin conformation, the fluorescence-quenching surface quenches fluorescent emissions by the first fluorophore; and when the first nucleic acid molecule is in a non-hairpin conformation, fluorescent emissions by the fluorophore are substantially free of quenching by the fluorescence-quenching surface. Various nucleic acid probes, methods of making the sensor chip, biological sensor devices that contain the sensor chip, and their methods of use are also claimed.

Aviva Biosciences of San Diego and Tsinghua University and CapitalBio, both of Beijing, have received US Patent No. 7,811,768, "Microdevice containing photorecognizable coding patterns and methods of using and producing the same." The patent provides a microdevice that includes a substrate and a photorecognizable coding pattern on the substrate. According to the patent, the substrate includes a silicon layer and a metal layer made of nickel metal or cobalt-tantalum-zirconium alloy. Methods and kits for isolating, detecting and manipulating moieties, and synthesizing libraries using the microdevices, are also provided.

Vanderbilt University of Nashville, Tenn., has received US Patent No. 7,811,778, "Methods of screening for gastrointestinal cancer." The patent claims methods for diagnosing an upper gastrointestinal cancer in a subject by determining an amount of one or more biomarkers in a biological sample from the subject . According to the patent, the amount of select biomarkers present in a sample can be determined by using an RNA-measuring assay, such as a microarray of RNA hybridization probes or a quantitative PCR assay.

Inodiag of La Ciotat, France, has received US Patent No. 7,812,952, "Device for reading plates bearing biological reaction support microdepositions." The patent provides a method for reading slides bearing fluorescent deposits, such as used in serology or molecular biology analysis. The method includes incubating a slide with a sample of serum from a patient, and revealing antibodies in the sample bound to the deposits by labeled reagents. Label reading and analysis is then performed by a device including a slide positioner, light-emitting diodes arranged in illumination channels to provide oblique illumination at different wave lengths, and a collection optic for forming an image of the deposits on the sensor.

Illumina has received US Patent No. 7,813,013, "Hexagonal site line scanning method and system." A scanning technique for imaging sites in an array is described that includes illuminating or irradiating sites in lines of the array, and collecting returned radiation from the sites for imaging. According to the patent, the sites are sequentially scanned by means of confocally directed radiation lines from source optics. The orientation of the radiation lines with respect to the lines of sites in the array is such that the distance between nearest edges of sites in adjacent lines is greater than lines through those edges in a direction parallel to the radiation lines used for scanning. The inventors claim that the resulting system experiences "less crosstalk and a greater ability to distinguish between neighboring sites in resulting images."

The Scan

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A US Food and Drug Administration panel has voted to support the emergency use authorization of an antiviral pill for COVID-19 from Merck and Ridgeback Biotherapeutics, CNN says.

But Not Harm

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Effectiveness Drop Anticipated

Moderna's Stéphane Bancel predicts that that current SARS-CoV-2 vaccines may be less effective against the Omicron variant, the Financial Times reports.

Cell Studies of Human Chromatin Accessibility, SARS-CoV-2 Variants, Cell Signaling Networks

In Cell this week: chromatin accessibility maps of adult human tissues, modeling to track SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern, and more.