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Maven Technologies, Agilent Technologies, Lexicon Genetics

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Maven Technologies of Los Angeles, Calif., has received US Patent No 6,882,420, "Apparatus and method for imaging." The patent relates to the imaging of a biochip and is useful in applications that optically gather expression profile data. The invention covered by the patent describes methods for directing a polarized light beam through a transparent substrate and until it undergoes total internal reflection (TIR) at the surface of the substrate by a single reflection within the TIR member. The reflected light is detected by a polarization-sensitive, two-dimensional array detector or other type of detector. The changes of the local polarization state in the beam's cross-section caused by the total internal reflection are employed to obtain information about the presence and composition of substances in an array of substances on the substrate surface for each point of the surface.


Agilent Technologies of Palo Alto, Calif, has received US Patent No. 6,881,579, "Sample processing apparatus and methods." The patent covers an apparatus and methods for processing array experiment samples on the surface of supports that are contained in support housings. Biopolymer features are attached to the surfaces of the supports. The apparatus is comprised of an input element, a holding device for holding a plurality of support housings, one or more fluid dispensing stations, and an output element. Each of the support housings contains a support attached to a plurality of biopolymer features. The holding device is movably mounted with respect to other components of the apparatus. The holding device is adapted to receive a support housing from the input element. The output element is adapted to receive a support housing from the holding device. The apparatus described is adapted to index each support housing for a predetermined operation. In use, each of the support housings is moved to one or more processing stations by means of the movable holding device. The location and identity of each of the support housings is indexed. Fluid is then applied to the surface of each of the supports at the processing stations to process the samples. Each of the support housings is moved away from the fluid-dispensing stations, and fluid is physically removed from each of the supports within the support housings.


Lexicon Genetics of The Woodlands, Texas, has received US Patent No. 6,882,563, "Human proteases and polynucleotides encoding the same." The patent describes human polynucleotide and polypeptide sequences that can be used in therapeutic, diagnostic, and pharmacogenomic applications. The invention described relates to the discovery, identification, and characterization of nucleotides that encode novel human proteins and the corresponding amino acid sequences of these proteins. The novel human proteins (NHPs) described share structural similarity with animal proteases, and particularly aminopeptidases. The patented invention also encompasses agonists and antagonists of the described NHPs, including small molecules, large molecules, mutant NHPs, or portions thereof that compete with native NHPs, NHP peptides, and NHP antibodies, as well as nucleotide sequences that can be used to inhibit the expression of the described NHPs. Finally, the patented invention also relates to processes for identifying compounds that modulate NHP expression and/or NHP activity that utilize purified preparations of the described NHP and/or NHP product, or cells expressing the same. Such compounds can be used as therapeutic agents for the treatment of any of a wide variety of symptoms associated with biological disorders or imbalances.

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