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IP Roundup: Ventana Medical Systems, Micronics, Agilent Technologies

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Ventana Medical Systems, a member of the Roche Group, has received US Patent No. 8,329,401, "Enzyme-catalyzed metal deposition for the enhanced detection of analytes of interest." The patent provides methods for detecting an analyte of interest in situ, by immunoassay, or by array-based hybridization by binding an enzyme-labeled conjugate molecule to an analyte of interest in the presence of a redox-inactive reductive species and a soluble metal ion. According to the patent, the enzyme catalyzes the conversion of the inactive reductive species to an active reducing agent, which in turn reduces the metal ion to a metal atom, providing an enhanced means of detecting the analyte via metal deposition.


Micronics of Redmond, Wash., has received US Patent No. 8,329,453, "Portable high gain fluorescence detection system." The patent describes a microprocessor-controlled instrument for fluorometric assays in liquid samples. According to the patent, the system can support applications that include molecular biological assays based on PCR amplification of target nucleic acids and fluorometric assays, some of which require temperature control during detection.


Agilent Technologies of Santa Clara, Calif., has received US Patent No. 8,332,737, "Instrument control system and methods." The patent claims methods, systems and computer-readable media for controlling an instrument, including but not limited to a microarray scanner, in communication with a host computer. According to the patent, the operations of the instrument are controlled via a controller embedded in the instrument. A complete status packet is sent to a host computer from the embedded controller and, periodically, the embedded controller repeats the sending of a complete status packet to the host computer, where the status values in the complete status packet are updated with each iteration of sending a complete status packet.

The Scan

Wolf Howl Responses Offer Look at Vocal Behavior-Related Selection in Dogs

In dozens of domestic dogs listening to wolf vocalizations, researchers in Communication Biology see responses varying with age, sex, reproductive status, and a breed's evolutionary distance from wolves.

Facial Imaging-Based Genetic Diagnoses Appears to Get Boost With Three-Dimensional Approach

With data for more than 1,900 individuals affected by a range of genetic conditions, researchers compared facial phenotype-based diagnoses informed by 2D or 3D images in the European Journal of Human Genetics.

Survey Suggests Multigene Cancer Panel VUS Reporting May Vary Across Genetic Counselors

Investigators surveyed dozens of genetic counselors working in clinical or laboratory settings, uncovering attitudes around VUS reporting after multigene cancer panel testing in the Journal of Genetic Counseling.

Study Points to Tuberculosis Protection by Gaucher Disease Mutation

A mutation linked to Gaucher disease in the Ashkenazi Jewish population appears to boost Mycobacterium tuberculosis resistance in a zebrafish model of the lysosomal storage condition, a new PNAS study finds.