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IP Roundup: Stanford University, Illumina, Micronit Microfluids

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Stanford University of Palo Alto, Calif., has received US Patent No. 8,524,061, "On-chip hybridization coupled with ITP based purification for fast sequence specific identification." According to the patent, isotachophoresis can be employed to simultaneously focus the target and ligand of an assay into the same ITP focus zone. The target and ligand can bind to each other in the ITP focus zone, and then the resulting bound complex can be detected. The inventors claim that the sensitivity of this approach can be increased by the enhanced concentration of both target and ligand that ITP provides in the focus zone.


Illumina of San Diego has received US Patent No. 8,524,450, "Microvessels, microparticles, and methods of manufacturing and using the same." According to the patent, the microvessels can include a respective microbody and a reservoir core configured to hold a substance in the reservoir core. The microbody can include a material that surrounds the reservoir core and facilitates detection of a characteristic of the substance within the reservoir core. Optionally, the material can be transparent so as to facilitate detection of an optical characteristic of a substance within the reservoir core. The microbody can include an identifiable code associated with the substance. The method can also include determining the corresponding codes of the microvessels.


Micronit Microfluids of Enschede, the Netherlands, has received US Patent No. 8,522,413, "Device and method for fluidic coupling of fluidic conduits to a microfluidic chip, and uncoupling thereof." According to the patent, the fluidic conduits are connected mechanically to a first structural part and the microfluidic chip is carried by a second structural part. The structural parts are moved perpendicularly toward and away from each other by means of a mechanism. The inventors claim that this enables "accurate realization of fluidic coupling and uncoupling without the occurrence of undesirable moments of force and with minimal risk of damage to the fluidic conduits or the connecting openings."

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.