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IP Update: Columbia University, Comprehensive Biomarker Center, University of California, and More

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Columbia University of New York has received US Patent No. 8,173,347, "Micropatterning of molecular surfaces via selective irradiation." The method includes forming a polymer on a surface, followed by a coating containing a second polymer capable of being converted by exposure to an acid. A second coating containing a photoacid generator is then formed on the first coating. The second coating containing the photoacid generator is selectively irradiated in one or more regions with a spatially varying intensity pattern to generate an acid in each irradiated region of the second coating. The acid converts the first functionalities of each region of the second polymer underlying a respective irradiated region of the second coating to second functionalities. A first molecular patterned surface having one or more regions of the first functionalities and one or more regions of the second functionalities is thus formed.


Sherri Boucher of Ottawa, Canada, and seven other inventors have received US Patent No. 8,173,367, "In situ dilution of external controls for use in microarrays." An external control feature for array data normalization has been developed to mimic the range of observed expression levels for a test set of oligos. According to the patent, the external control probes span a series of concentrations. They are spatially randomized across a grid of an array. The series of concentrations is duplicated in a given grid and the individual grid layout and number of control and external normalization features per grid have been designed to cope with sources of both systematic error and spatial variation.


Febit (now Comprehensive Biomarker Center) of Heidelberg, Germany, has received US Patent No. 8,173,368, "Programmable oligonucleotide synthesis." A method is claimed for isolating an individual nucleic acid that has a desired sequence from a mixture of nucleic acids. It includes providing a mixture of different nucleic acids; monoclonizing the different nucleic acids to form an array of monoclonized individual nucleic acids; parallel sequencing the monoclonized nucleic acids by sequencing-by-synthesis or sequencing-by-ligation; identifying an individual nucleic acid with the desired sequence from the nucleic acids; and isolating the nucleic acid by separating it with the desired sequence from the array of different nucleic acids.


The University of California of Oakland has received US Patent No. 8,173,369, "Peripheral gene expression biomarkers for autism." A method of identifying a test mammalian cell having a gene expression profile observed in individuals diagnosed with autism is provided. It includes observing an expression profile of at least one gene selected from a group of specified genes in the test mammalian cell, where an expression profile of a gene in the group that is at least two standard deviations from a mean expression profile of the gene in a control mammalian cell obtained from an individual not affected with autism identifies the test mammalian cell as having a gene expression profile observed in individuals diagnosed with autism. According to the patent, the expression profile of the test mammalian cell is observed using a microarray of polynucleotides.


North Carolina State University of Raleigh, NC, has received US Patent No. 8,173,377, "Methods and compositions for determining the purity of chemically synthesized nucleic acids." The patent describes a method of using an oligonucleotide array and compensating for the insufficient deprotection or insufficient elongation of the oligos on its array. A substrate is provided, as are distinct marks that record the presence of insufficient deprotection or insufficient elongation of the oligos. After hybridization with a test compound, the binding of the compound is detected and the degree of binding is determined. The marks record the presence of insufficient deprotection or insufficient elongation, so that insufficient deprotection or insufficient elongation is compensated for during the detection step.

The Scan

Steps for Quick Review

The US Food and Drug Administration is preparing for the quick review of drugs and vaccines for the Omicron variant, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Moving Away From Using Term 'Race'

A new analysis finds that geneticists are using the term "race" in their papers less than in years past, as Science reports.

Point of the Program

The Guardian writes that some scientists have called the design of a UK newborn sequencing program into question.

Science Papers Present Multi-Omic Analysis of Lung Cells, Regulation of Cardiomyocyte Proliferation

In Science this week: a multi-omic analysis of lung cells focuses on RIT1-regulated pathways, and more.