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IP Roundup: Palo Alto Research Center, Grace Bio-Labs, Illumina, University of Giessen, Corning, and More


Palo Alto Research Center of Palo Alto, Calif., has received US Patent No. 8,287,744, "Capillary-channel probes for liquid pickup, transportation and dispense using stressy metal." Fluidic conduits are claimed that can be used in microarraying systems, dip pen nanolithography systems, fluidic circuits, and microfluidic systems. According to the patent, the conduits use channel spring probes that include at least one capillary channel. These probes are formed from spring beams that curve away from the substrate when released, and channels can either be integrated into the spring beams or formed on the spring beams. Capillary forces produced by the narrow channels allow liquid to be gathered, held, and dispensed by the channel spring probes.

Grace Bio-Labs of Bend, Ore., has received US Patent No. 8,287,822, "Reaction surface array diagnostic apparatus." The patent claims an array that can be used in diagnostics. It consists of a substrate supporting reaction surfaces; and a plate and a gasket, each having through bores alignable with one of the reaction surfaces and forming a fluid tight well about each reaction surface when the gasket and the plate are sealingly affixed to the substrate to form a stack. Clamp members engage opposite side edges of a stack to compress the gasket, according to the patent, and side-by-side disposed clamped stacks of plates, gaskets, and substrates are mounted in a tray in the standard footprint of a microtiter plate.

Illumina of San Diego has received US Patent No. 8,288,103, "Multiplex nucleic acid reactions." A method of detecting target sequences in a sample is claimed. It includes providing a first solid support consisting of a first and a second target sequence; contacting the first and second target sequences with first and second probes, where each of the first and second probes provide a first universal priming site, a target-specific domain substantially complementary to at least a portion of the target sequence, to form first and second hybridization complexes; removing unhybridized probes; contacting the first and second hybridization complexes with a first enzyme to form modified first and second probes; contacting the modified first and second probes with a first primer that hybridizes to the universal priming site NTPs, and an extension enzyme, where the first and second modified probes are amplified to form first and second amplicons; and detecting the amplicons.

The University of Giessen of Giessen, Germany, has received US Patent No. 8,288,108, "Expression profiles for predicting septic conditions." A method for predicting sepsis, or a condition similar to sepsis, in a mammal is claimed. It includes isolating RNA from a biological sample of a mammal; labeling the isolated RNA with a detectable marker; hybridizing the labeled isolated RNA with a number of specific genes or gene fragments that are spotted onto a microarray; quantitatively recording labeling signals of the hybridized RNA in an expression profile; comparing the expression profile with a control sample with respect to a stronger or weaker expression of genes or gene fragments that are specific for sepsis; and combining the expression profile with protein- and metabolite patterns of the biological sample.

Corning of Corning, NY, has received US Patent No. 8,288,113, "Method and device for protein delivery into cells." The method consists of providing a protein-containing mixture; depositing the mixture onto a surface at defined locations; affixing the protein-containing mixture to the surface as microspots; and plating cells onto the surface in sufficient density and under conditions for the proteins to be delivered into the cells. According to the patent, the protein-containing mixture can consist of any suitable amino acid sequence, including peptides, proteins, protein-domains, antibodies, or protein-nucleic acid conjugates, with a carrier reagent. The resulting protein-transfected cell arrays may be used for screening of protein or enzymatic functions or any given intracellular protein interaction in the natural environment of a living cell, as well as for high-throughput screening of other biological and chemical analytes, which affect the functions of these proteins, according to the inventors.

Eppendorf Array Technologies of Namur, Belgium, has received US Patent No. 8,288,128, "Real-time quantification of multiple targets on a microarray." A method is claimed for monitoring a real-time quantification of multiple target molecules during their binding on capture molecules of a microarray. The method consists of placing in a chamber a support that has a microarray of capture molecules bound to specific locations on its surface. A solution of labeled target molecules is then introduced into the chamber, and the solution is incubated under stable and controlled temperature conditions to allow binding between the target and capture molecules. An excitation light is then directed on the surface of the microarray, and the electromagnetic light emission is measured.

Gamida for Life of Rotterdam, the Netherlands, has received US Patent No. 8,288,155, "Biomolecular attachment sites on microelectronic arrays and methods thereof." Methods of attaching a biomolecules to electrodes are described. A permeation layer overlying selectively addressable electrodes is provided. It includes a reactive group that is adapted to bond to a biomolecule and that requires activation through a chemical transformation before bonding to the biomolecule. At least one of the electrodes is biased so that a pH change occurs in an overlying solution. The reactive group in a portion of the permeation layer above the electrode is then chemically transformed to an activated reactive group as a result of the pH change. A biomolecule is then bound to the permeation layer through the activated reactive group.

Inanovate of Somerville, Mass., has received US Patent No. 8,288,162, "Nano-particle biochip substrates." The described nano-particle biochip substrate includes a base of at least one surface, with the topmost surface patterned with clusters of nanoparticles. According to the patent, the nanoparticles are attached on the substrate surface so that they are stable. Methods of using attached nanoparticles on a surface, such as for immobilizing moieties such as bio-molecules and catalysts, along with associated biochip applications, are also claimed.

Fujirebio of Tokyo has received US Patent No. 8,288,166, "Sensor chip with connected non-metallic particles comprising a metallic coating." A chip is described that consists of a substrate with a surface, a layer of particles having a non-metallic core, and a coating made of a metal or a metal alloy. According to the patent, each non-metallic core, on average, forms a metal-surrounded contact point with at least one other non-metallic core and the substrate surface. The patent also provides a method for preparing the chip by adsorbing non-metallic particles on the surface of the substrate, and, subsequently, adsorbing colloids of a metal on the non-metallic particles to provide the shell made of a metal or a metal alloy. According to the inventors, the chip can be employed in optical devices for the detection of analytes.

Intel of Santa Clara, Calif., has received US Patent No. 8,288,167, "Chemiluminescence sensor array." A method of making an integrated device is claimed. Chemiluminescent material is applied to a substrate that includes a light detector. A biopolymer is then applied, where the biopolymer is configured to activate the chemiluminescent material and the light detector is configured to detect an activity of the chemiluminescent material.

Cornell Research Foundation of Ithaca, NY, has received US Patent No. 8,288,521, "Detection of nucleic acid sequence differences using the ligase detection reaction with addressable arrays." The patent describes a method for identifying sequences differing by single base changes, insertions, deletions, or translocations in target nucleotide sequences. The method includes a ligation phase, a capture phase, and a detection phase. The ligation phase relies on a ligation detection reaction between one oligonucleotide probe, which has a target sequence-specific portion and an addressable array-specific portion, and a second oligonucleotide probe, having a target sequence-specific portion and a detectable label. After the ligation phase, the capture phase is carried out by hybridizing the ligated oligonucleotide probes to a solid support with an array of immobilized capture oligonucleotides, at least some of which are complementary to the addressable array-specific portion. Following completion of the capture phase, a detection phase is carried out to detect the labels of ligated oligonucleotide probes hybridized to the solid support.

Affymetrix of Santa Clara, Calif., has received US Patent No. 8,288,522, "Detection of nucleic acids through amplification of surrogate nucleic acids." Methods for detecting and optionally quantitating target nucleic acids are provided, in which a surrogate nucleic acid is captured to each target nucleic acid, amplified, and detected. Compositions, kit, and systems related to the methods are also described.

The Scan

Harvard Team Report One-Time Base Editing Treatment for Motor Neuron Disease in Mice

A base-editing approach restored SMN levels and improved motor function in a mouse model of spinal muscular atrophy, a new Science paper reports.

International Team Examines History of North American Horses

Genetic and other analyses presented in Science find that horses spread to the northern Rockies and Great Plains by the first half of the 17th century.

New Study Examines Genetic Dominance Within UK Biobank

Researchers analyze instances of genetic dominance within UK Biobank data, as they report in Science.

Cell Signaling Pathway Identified as Metastasis Suppressor

A new study in Nature homes in on the STING pathway as a suppressor of metastasis in a mouse model of lung cancer.