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IP Roundup: Palo Alto Research Center, National University of Singapore, Commissariat a l'Energie Atomique, and Others


Palo Alto Research Center of Palo Alto, Calif., has received US Patent No. 8,241,509, "Capillary-channel probes for liquid pickup, transportation and dispense using stressy metal." The patent describes fluidic conduits that can be used in microarraying systems, dip pen nanolithography systems, fluidic circuits, and microfluidic systems. These conduits rely on channel spring probes that include at least one capillary channel and are formed from spring beams that curve away from the substrate when released. According to the patent, capillary forces produced by the narrow channels allow liquid to be gathered, held, and dispensed by the channel spring probes.

The National University of Singapore has received US Patent No. 8,241,539, "Method of patterning and product(s) obtained therefrom." The claimed method includes providing a porous film and adding at least one structure to it. According to the patent, the method can be used to fabricate microarrays or nanoarrays. Additionally, any suitable porous film may be used.

Commissariat a l 'Energie Atomique of Paris has received US Patent No. 8,241,893, "Method and device for separating molecular targets in a complex mixture." The patent relates to a method of analyzing molecular targets contained in a complex mixture by bringing the mixture into contact with an array of different types of primary probes, where each probe binds to target analytes; optionally eliminating the probes that are not bound to the targets; separating the targets and the probes that are bound in a probe-target complex, in order to recover the array of primary probes; and quantitatively analyzing the primary probes eluted.

Lumencor of Beaverton, Ore., has received US Patent No. 8,242,462, "Lighting design of high quality biomedical devices." The patent describes the use of light sources to power a variety of applications including microarray readers. The method relies on a solid-state light engine that is adapted to analyze a sample having fluorescent tags. According to the patent, the engine includes a light pipe, a light source, and dichroic mirrors, all of which are used to produce a beam of excitation light that is adapted to selectively detect the fluorescent tags within a sample. Five solid state light sources are used with the mirrors to create an eight-color beam of excitation light.

Illumina of San Diego has received US Patent No. 8,242,463, "Compensator for multiple surface imaging." A method is claimed for imaging biological samples on multiple surfaces of a support structure. According to the patent, the support structure may be a flow cell through which a reagent fluid is allowed to flow and interact with the biological samples. Excitation radiation from a radiation source may be used to excite the biological samples on multiple surfaces, producing radiation that is captured and detected by detection optics and a detector. The detected fluorescent emission radiation may then be used to generate image data.

Fujifilm of Tokyo and Aichi Prefecture of Nagoya, Japan, have received US Patent No. 8,244,478, "Method of classifying gene expression strength in lung cancer tissues." A method is claimed for detecting a gene expression signature that is useful in the decision of a five-year survival rate. According to the inventors, the expression is preferably obtained using a microarray.

EMD Millipore of Billerica, Mass., has received US Patent No. 8,244,484, "Proteome epitope tags and methods of use thereof in protein modification analysis." Methods are provided for detecting the presence of proteins, including proteins with various post-translational modifications, such as phosphorylation, glycosylation, methylation, and acetylation, in a sample. According to the patent, the method is accomplished using capture agents that recognize and interact with recognition sequences in the sample that are characteristic of protein or proteome epitope tags, or PETs. Arrays of these capture agents or PETs are also provided.

The Scan

Study Finds Sorghum Genetic Loci Influencing Composition, Function of Human Gut Microbes

Focusing on microbes found in the human gut microbiome, researchers in Nature Communications identified 10 sorghum loci that appear to influence the microbial taxa or microbial metabolite features.

Treatment Costs May Not Coincide With R&D Investment, Study Suggests

Researchers in JAMA Network Open did not find an association between ultimate treatment costs and investments in a drug when they analyzed available data on 60 approved drugs.

Sleep-Related Variants Show Low Penetrance in Large Population Analysis

A limited number of variants had documented sleep effects in an investigation in PLOS Genetics of 10 genes with reported sleep ties in nearly 192,000 participants in four population studies.

Researchers Develop Polygenic Risk Scores for Dozens of Disease-Related Exposures

With genetic data from two large population cohorts and summary statistics from prior genome-wide association studies, researchers came up with 27 exposure polygenic risk scores in the American Journal of Human Genetics.