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IP Roundup: Stanford University, Wayne State University, PerkinElmer, Corning, Illumina, Immucor

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Stanford University of Palo Alto, Calif., 8,614,056, "Microfluidic method for measurement or detection involving cells or biomolecules." The patent relates to devices for detecting or determining the concentration of of biomolecules. According to the patent, these devices consist of multiple channels fabricated with surfaces that functionalized with molecules that interact with biomolecules bound to microspheres. The device also includes a system that measures change in electrical impedance or optical microscopy as the microsphere moves through the channels.


Wayne State University of Detroit, Mich., has received US Patent No. 8,614,169, "Neoepitope detection of disease using protein arrays." The patent claims a method of determining efficacy of a pharmaceutical for treating a disease or staging disease by administering a pharmaceutical to a sample containing markers for a disease, detecting the amount of markers in the sample using protein arrays, and analyzing the amount of the markers in the sample, where the amount of markers correlates to pharmaceutical efficacy or disease stage. Informatics software for analyzing the arrays is also claimed.


PerkinElmer of Waltham, Mass., and Corning of Corning, NY, have received US Patent No. 8,614,789, "Microplate mount system and sensing methods." The patent describes a system for mounting a microplate relative to an optical reader, in order to control an angle of incidence of an interrogation beam at the microplate. The system includes a reference plane and a positioning mechanism that provides a reversible and predetermined separation in the z direction between a plane formed by the bottom of the microplate and the reader.


Illumina of San Diego has received US Patent No. 8,614,852, "Elongated microparticles having an optically detectable code configured to at least one of reflect or filter light." The patent described an encoded microparticle that includes an optical substrate comprised of a material that permits light to propagate through it. The optical substrate has an elongated body that extends in a direction along a central axis, as well as an outer region that extends about the central axis. The encoded microparticle also includes an optically detectable code that is disposed within the optical substrate and extends along the central axis.


BioArray Solutions (now part of Immucor) of Warren, NJ, has received US Patent No. 8,615,367, "Number coding for identification of subtypes of coded types of solid phase carriers." The patent provides for the number coding of pairs or small sets of solid-phase carriers that enable users to distinguish subtypes of the carriers. Such coding is useful for augmenting a coding system, such as a color code, effectively multiplying the number of colors, or distinguishable sub-types. It can be applied, for example, to determine whether a sample is homozygous or heterozygous at a number of different sites for one of two different alleles, where the same color code is applied for each of the two alleles, and the alleles with the same color code are distinguished by knowing how many carriers are associated with molecules which detect each different allele.

The Scan

Guidelines for Ancient DNA Work

More than two dozen researchers have developed new ethical guidelines for conducting ancient DNA research, which they present in Nature.

And Cleared

A UK regulator has cleared former UK Prime Minister David Cameron in concerns he should have registered as a consultant-lobbyist for his work with Illumina, according to the Financial Times.

Suit Over Allegations

The Boston Globe reports that David Sabatini, who was placed on leave from MIT after allegations of sexual harassment, is suing his accuser, the Whitehead Institute, and the institute's director.

Nature Papers on Esophageal Cancer, Origin of Modern Horses, Exome Sequencing of UK Biobank Participants

In Nature this week: genetic and environmental influences of esophageal cancer, domestic horse origin traced to Western Eurasian steppes, and more.