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IP Roundup: Aushon Biosystems, Sony, Fluidigm, Eppendorf Array Technology

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Aushon Biosystems of Billerica, Mass., has received US Patent No. 8,246,760, "Continual flow pin washer." The patent describes a multi-chambered deposition pin wash station that includes a lower chamber and an upper drain basin connected by wash tubes. According to the patent, cleaning fluid is provided to the lower chamber and passes through the cleaning tubes into the upper drain basin. The cleaning tubes are adapted to clean a single deposition pin with a single tube per wash cycle, the inventors state.


Sony of Tokyo has received US Patent No. 8,246,805, "Micro-fluidic chip and flow sending method in micro-fluidic chip." The claimed microfluidic chip includes a hollow area into which a charged droplet is introduced, and an electrode configured toward the hollow area. According to the patent, the movement of droplets in the hollow area is controlled based on the electric force acting between a charge given to the droplet and the electrode. This configuration makes it possible to sort a microparticle contained in liquid into selected branch areas provided within the chip. According to the inventors, such branch areas can be filled with gel for cell culture.


Fluidigm of South San Francisco, Calif., has received US Patent No. 8,247,178, "Thermal reaction device and method for using the same." A microfluidic device is claimed for performing a matrix of reactions. The device supports the reaction of cells in communication with one of either a sample inlet or a reagent inlet through a via formed within an elastomeric block of the device. A method for forming vias in parallel in an elastomeric layer of an elastomeric block of a microfluidic device is also provided. It calls for the use of patterned photoresist masks and etching reagents to etch away regions or portions of an elastomeric layer of the elastomeric block.


Eppendorf Array Technologies of Namur, Belgium, has received US Patent No. 8,247,196, "Real-time PCR of targets on a micro-array." A microarray-based method is provided for monitoring PCR amplification of nucleotide molecules present in a solution. The method relies on a microarray consisting of capture molecules, as well as a reaction chamber. A solution containing the nucleotide molecules is first introduced into the reaction chamber, as are reagents for nucleotide molecule amplification and labeling. The solution is then submitted to thermal cycles in order to obtain labeled target nucleotide molecules by PCR amplification. The labeled molecules are subsequently incubated under conditions to allow specific binding between the target nucleotide molecules and their corresponding capture molecules. The light emission from the bound labeled target nucleotide molecules is then measured.

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.