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IP Update: Zenteris; Illumina; Falcon Genomics

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Zenteris of Jena, Germany, has received US Patent No. 8,110,157, "Heated reaction chamber for processing a biochip and method for controlling said reaction chamber." A cartridge consisting of an equalization chamber, an equalization passage, and heated reaction chamber for processing a biochip is claimed. According to the patent, the heated reaction chamber communicates with the equalization chamber via the equalization passage. The heated reaction chamber consists of a flexible printed circuit board forming a boundary wall of the reaction chamber, where a conductor serving as a heating device is formed on the flexible printed circuit board; and a measuring and control unit is connected to the conductor.


Falcon Genomics of Pittsburgh, Penn., has received US Patent No. 8,110,375, "High throughput assay for cancer cell growth inhibition." The patent describes a device for assaying cells that consists of a slide coated with a matrix that supports anchorage-independent, three-dimensional cell growth. Spots containing active agents are placed in or on the matrix, and cells are plated on the matrix and allowed to grow in the presence of the active agents. According to the patent, the slide may be of any type, including: glass slides, plastic slides, polystyrene slides, quartz wafers or combinations of types. Spots may be physically separated from one another and deter cell migration between spots on the slide by wells made up of orifices within the slide or may have a removable member with orifices within the member applied to one side of the orifices in order to define wells. Alternatively, etched demarcations in the slide may separate the spots and provide the physical barrier between spots. The matrix of the device is, generally, from about 0.1 mm to about 1 mm thick and provides an environment in which cancer cells can grow into discrete colonies.


Illumina of San Diego has received US Patent No. 8,110,363, "Expression profiles to predict relapse of prostate cancer." The inventors describe a method for preparing a reference model for cancer relapse prediction that they claim can provide higher-resolution grading than Gleason score alone. The method includes obtaining prostate carcinoma tissue samples of known clinical outcome representing different Gleason scores; selecting a set of signature genes having an expression pattern that correlates positively or negatively in a statistically significant manner with the Gleason scores; deriving a prediction score that correlates gene expression of each individual signature gene with Gleason score for each signature gene in the samples; deriving a prostate cancer gene expression score that correlates gene expression of the set of signature genes with the Gleason score based on the combination of independently derived prediction scores in the samples; and correlating the score with the clinical outcome for each prostate carcinoma tissue sample.

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.