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Micrel, Corning, Nanosphere

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Micrel of San Jose, Calif., received US Patent No. 6,711,046, “Programmable optical array.” The patent covers a set of programmable semiconductor elements, such as Zener diodes, used in an optical array. The elements are formed on a substrate surface and selectively programmed to create a reflective filament between anode and cathode contacts of the diodes. Light is then applied to the surface. The reflected (or transmitted) light pattern may be used for conveying optical information or exposing a photoresist layer. The array may be used to selectively expose a photoresist layer, or to determine the genes expressed in a biochip device.


Corning received US Patent No. 6,710,877, “Apparatus and methods for determining biomolecular interactions.” The patent covers a set of methods, apparatus, and substrates for the detection of reactions between biomolecules or cells and a second compound. The invention detects interactions between ligands and receptors by detecting a diffusion of a species within a sensing area. Absorbance detection and diffraction sensors are utilized to monitor the rate of diffusion from the sensing area.


Nanosphere received US Patent No. 6,709,825, “Nanoparticles having oligonucleotides attached thereto and uses therefore.” The patent covers the use of nanoparticles with oligonucleotides attached for detecting complementary sequences of nucleic acids. Detectable change is created through hybridization of the oligos to nucleic acid. The patent also describes ways to sysnthesize nanoparticle oligonucleotides, and separate selected nucleic acid from other nucleic acids.

The Scan

Missed Early Cases

A retrospective analysis of blood samples suggests early SARS-CoV-2 infections may have been missed in the US, the New York Times reports.

Limited Journal Editor Diversity

A survey finds low diversity among scientific and medical journal editors, according to The Scientist.

How Much of a Threat?

Science writes that need for a provision aimed at shoring up genomic data security within a new US bill is being questioned.

PNAS Papers on Historic Helicobacter Spread, Brain Development, C. difficile RNAs

In PNAS this week: Helicobacter genetic diversity gives insight into human migrations, gene expression patterns of brain development, and more.