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IP Roundup: U of Texas, Fluidigm, PARC, Omega Optics, Sony, Akonni, Cornell, and Others

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The University of Texas at Austin has received US Patent No. 8,617,470, "System for label-free quantitative detection of biomolecules." The system includes a light source configured to emit broadband Gaussian light, an optical fiber coupled to the light source, and an optical sensor. The patent also describes the use of the system in coherence domain multiplexing and time division multiplexing.


Fluidigm of South San Francisco, Calif., has received US Patent No. 8,617,488, "Microfluidic mixing and reaction systems for high efficiency screening." Microfluidic devices are described that include a rigid base layer, and an elastomeric layer on the base layer. According to the patent, the elastomeric layer may include a fluid channel for transporting a liquid reagent, and a vent channel that accepts gas diffusing through the elastomeric layer from the flow channel and vents it out of the elastomeric layer. The devices may also include a mixing chamber connected to the fluid channel, and a control channel overlapping with a deflectable membrane that defines a portion of the flow channel, where the control channel may be operable to change a rate at which the liquid reagent flows through the fluid channel.


Palo Alto Research Center of Palo Alto, Calif., has received US Patent No. 8, 617, 899, "Enhanced drop mixing using magnetic actuation." The patent provides a method for merging and mixing at least two separate and distinct fluid drops on a substrate. After two fluid drops are deposited on the substrate, a magnetic field is applied that induces them to move closer to each other and to mix.


Omega Optics of Austin, Texas, has received US Patent No. 8,623,284, "Photonic crystal microarray layouts for enhanced sensitivity and specificity of label-free multiple analyte sensing, biosensing, and diagnostic assay." The assay chips consist of photonic crystal microcavities arrayed along a single photonic crystal waveguide. An on-chip integrated microarray device that enables detection and identification of multiple species to be performed simultaneously using optical techniques leading to a high-throughput device for chemical sensing, biosensing, and medical diagnostics is also provided.


Sony of Tokyo has received US Patent No. 8,623,597, "Bioassay method, bioassay device, and bioassay substrate." The patent claims a bioassay method in which, by controlling the electric field formation in the reaction region where an interaction between substances, such as a hybridization, is performed, the efficiency of the interaction can be improved. Also disclosed is an apparatus in which the method can be carried out.


The Spanish National Research Council and the National Institute of Aerospace Technology, both of Madrid, Spain, have received US Patent No. 8,623,636, "Nanoparticle biosensor, method of preparing same and uses thereof." The patent describes nanoparticle biosensors that consist of a magnetic core, a silica layer, outer metal layers [that] can be of different types and deposited in an alternating manner and immobilized on the outer surface, and a layer of biosensor molecules that can bind to biomolecules. A method of preparing microarrays or micromatrixes, where each point in the array or matrix is a biosensor, is also described.


Akonni Biosystems of Frederick, Md., has received US Patent No. 8,623,789, "Integrated cartridge." The integrated cartridge contains a sample preparation chamber having a sample inlet and a sample outlet, and a sample purification chamber adapted to receive a replaceable sample purification unit containing a housing and an extraction filter inside the housing. The extraction filter specifically binds to a molecule of interest. The sample purification chamber has a sample inlet that is in fluid communication with the sample outlet of the sample preparation chamber. Also described is a microarray-based sample analysis system.


Cornell Research Foundation of Ithaca, NY, has received US Patent No. 8,624,016, "Detection of nucleic acid sequence differences using the ligase detection reaction with addressable arrays." 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.

The Scan

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.

US Survey Data Suggests Ancestry Testing Leads Way in Awareness, Use of Genetic Testing Awareness

Although roughly three-quarters of surveyed individuals in a Genetics in Medicine study reported awareness of genetic testing, use of such tests was lower and varied with income, ancestry, and disease history.

Coral Genome Leads to Alternative Amino Acid Pathway Found in Other Non-Model Animals

An alternative cysteine biosynthesis pathway unearthed in the Acropora loripes genome subsequently turned up in sequences from non-mammalian, -nematode, or -arthropod animals, researchers report in Science Advances.

Mosquitos Genetically Modified to Prevent Malaria Spread

A gene drive approach could be used to render mosquitos unable to spread malaria, researchers report in Science Advances.