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IP Roundup: Dec 21, 2010


The United States of America has received US Patent No. 7,854,899, "Template methods and devices for preparing sample arrays." The patent claims a method for preparing a microarray. It includes placing at least one template over a first surface of the recipient block, where the template defines an array of openings and the recipient block has a number of receptacle holes, so that the openings in the array are aligned with the receptacle holes. A needle or punch that contains a sample is inserted through the openings of the template, and the sample then is inserted into the receptacle hole in the recipient block. A device is also claimed that includes a platform that includes a surface with a region configured to retain at least one recipient block, and a raised template defining an array of openings, secured to the surface of the platform and positioned above the region configured to retain the recipient block.

SomaLogic of Boulder, Colo., has received US Patent No. 7,855,054, "Multiplexed analyses of test samples." The patent claims methods for the detection of target molecules in a test sample by detecting and quantifying a nucleic acid, such as an aptamer. The described methods create a nucleic acid surrogate for a non-nucleic acid target, and allow nucleic acid technologies, including amplification, to be applied to protein targets. The patent also describes aptamer constructs that enable the use of aptamers in a number of analytical detection applications.

Samsung Electronics of Seoul, Korea, has received US Patent No. 7,855,069, "Method and apparatus for the rapid disruption of cells or viruses using micro magnetic beads and laser." The patent claims a method for rapidly disrupting cells or viruses using micro magnetic beads on a chip and a laser. According to the patent, cell lysis within 40 seconds is possible if the methods are followed, and the apparatus can be miniaturized using a laser diode, a DNA purification step can be directly performed after a disruption of cells or viruses, and a solution containing DNA can be transferred to a subsequent step after cell debris and beads to which inhibitors of a subsequent reaction are attached are removed with an electromagnet.

The University of North Carolina at Charlotte has received US Patent No. 7,856,320, "Systems for gene expression array analysis." The patent claims a method for applying independent component analysis and other advanced signal processing techniques to automatically identify an optimal number of independent gene clusters and to separate microarray gene expression data into biologically relevant groups. An interface that allows the user to review the results at various stages during the analysis is provided that can optimize the type of analysis performed for a specific experiment, the patent claims. Methods to mathematically define the relationship for gene expression within a group of interrelated genes are also provided.

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.