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Nanogen, The Children s Mercy Hospital, The Regents of the University of Michigan, Hitachi, Molecular Devices


Nanogen of San Diego has received US Patent No. 6,824,740, “Apparatus for active biological sample preparation.” The patent covers systems and methods for the electronic sample preparation of biological materials utilizing the differential charge-to-mass ratio and/or the differential affinity of sample constituents to separate materials for sample preparation. An integrated system is provided for performing some or all of the processes of: receipt of biological materials, cell selection, sample purification, sample concentration, buffer exchange, complexity reduction and/or diagnosis and analysis. A sample is pre-prepared and densified, applied to the conductive polymer, and electrophoresed so as to move nucleic acids into the conductive polymer and move undesired material away from the conductive polymer. Integrated systems are described in which cell separation, purification, complexity reduction, and diagnosis may be performed together. In the preferred embodiment, cell separation and sample purification are performed in a first region, while the steps of denaturation, complexity reduction, and diagnosis are performed in a second region.

The Children’s Mercy Hospital of Kansas City, Mo., has received US Patent No. 6,828,097, “Single copy genomic hybridization probes and method of generating same.” The patent covers nucleic acid hybridization probes that comprise a labeled, single-copy nucleic acid that hybridizes to a deduced single-copy sequence interval in a target nucleic acid of known sequence. The probes, which are essentially free of repetitive sequences, can be used in hybridization analyses without adding repetitive sequence-blocking nucleic acids. This allows rapid and accurate detection of chromosomal abnormalities. The probes are preferably designed by first determining the sequence of at least one single-copy interval in a target nucleic acid sequence, and developing corresponding hybridization probes which hybridize to at least a part of the deduced single-copy sequence. The single-copy probes can be developed by any variety of methods, such as PCR amplification, restriction, or exonuclease digestion of purified genomic fragments, or direct synthesis of DNA sequences.

The Regents of the University of Michigan of Ann Arbor, Mich., have received US Patent No. 6,828,098, “Method of using a DNA library using positional amplification based on the use of adaptors and nick translation.” The patent covers general and specific methods to use the primer extension/nick translation (PENT) reaction to create an amplifiable DNA strand, called a PENTAmer. A PENTAmer can be made for the purpose of amplifying a controlled length of DNA located at a controlled position within a DNA molecule, a process referred to as positional amplification by nick translation (PANT). In contrast to PCR, which amplifies DNA between two specific sequences, PANT can amplify DNA between two specific positions. PENTAmers can be created to amplify very large regions of DNA (up to 500,000 bp) as random mixtures, or as molecules sorted according to position. PANT is fast and economical, because PENTAmer preparation can be multiplexed. A single PENTAmer preparation can include very complex mixtures of DNA such as hundreds of large-insert clones, complete genomes, or cDNA libraries. Subsequent PCR amplification of the preparation using a single specific primer can positionally amplify contiguous regions along a specific clone, along a specific genomic region, or along a specific expressed sequence.

Hitachi of Tokyo has received US Patent No. 6,826,212, “Module for optical communications.” The patent covers a module for optical communication intended for decreasing the consumption power of a modulator integrated laser, in which a multiple-quantum well constituting a laser active layer region keeps the reliability and optical power level even when a chip is kept at a high temperature. The difference of wavelength between the oscillation wavelength and the band-gap wavelength of the modulator and the laser should be made greater in proportion with the elevation of the chip setting temperature for maintaining the transmission performance, by which the temperature difference between the module case temperature and the chip-setting temperature is reduced to decrease the module consumption power.

Molecular Devices of Sunnyvale, Calif., has received US Patent No. 6,825,921, “Multi-mode light detection system.” The patent covers an apparatus and methods for combining multiple modes and methods of optical detection, post-processing, and/or feedback loops in bioanalytical measurements. The methods may include positioning a composition at an examination site in a multi-mode instrument; detecting light transmitted from the composition using the multi-mode instrument in a first optical measurement mode; detecting light transmitted from the composition using the multi-mode instrument in a second optical measurement mode, the second mode being different than the first mode; and computing a quantity related to a property of the composition using the light detected in at least one of the optical measurement modes.


The Scan

For Better Odds

Bloomberg reports that a child has been born following polygenic risk score screening as an embryo.

Booster Decision Expected

The New York Times reports the US Food and Drug Administration is expected to authorize a booster dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech SARS-CoV-2 vaccine this week for individuals over 65 or at high risk.

Snipping HIV Out

The Philadelphia Inquirer reports Temple University researchers are to test a gene-editing approach for treating HIV.

PLOS Papers on Cancer Risk Scores, Typhoid Fever in Colombia, Streptococcus Protection

In PLOS this week: application of cancer polygenic risk scores across ancestries, genetic diversity of typhoid fever-causing Salmonella, and more.