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Nanogen/Becton Dickinson, Molecular Staging, Applera, Gilead Sciences


A Nanogen/Becton Dickinson partnership has received US Patent No. 6,531,302, “Anchored strand displacement amplification on an electronically addressable microchip.” The patent covers a system for amplifying one or more target nucleic acids using novel strand displacement amplification on a bioelectronic microchip as part of multi-step, multiplex nucleic acid sequence separation, amplification, and diagnostic analyses. The primer pair sets may be bound to capture sites or may comprise a branched primer pair. The anchored primers allow for the simultaneous multiplex capture, amplification and detection of a target nucleic acid derived from any sample source. The system can be used for disease diagnostics (infectious and otherwise), genetic analyses, agricultural and environmental applications, drug discovery, pharmacogenomics, and food andor water monitoring and analysis.


Molecular Staging of New Haven, Conn., received US Patent No. 6,531,283, “Protein expression profiling.” The patent covers a system for detecting small quantities of analytes such as proteins and peptides. The method produces an amplified signal, via rolling circle amplification, from any analyte, allowing spatial detection of the analyte. This system can be used to analyze proteins and peptides. Multiple proteins can be analyzed using microarrays, to which the various proteins are immobilized. This method can also be used to compare the proteins expressed in two or more different samples. The information generated is analogous to information gathered in nucleic acid expression profiles. The described method allows sensitive and accurate detection and quantitation of proteins expressed in any cell or tissue.


Applera of Norwalk, Conn., received US Patent No. 6,531,297, “Isolated human drug-metabolizing proteins, nucleic acid molecules encoding human drug-metabolizing proteins, and uses thereof.” The patent covers drug-metabolizing enzyme peptides and nucleic acid detection kits, such as microarrays of nucleic acid molecules, which are based on the sequence information. The microarrays are composed of a large number of unique, single-stranded nucleic acid sequences, usually either synthetic antisense oligonucleotides or fragments of cDNAs, fixed to a solid support. The oligonucleotides are most preferably about 20-25 nucleotides in length.


Gilead Sciences of Foster City, Calif., received US Patent No. 6,531,286, “Homogeneous detection of a target through nucleic acid ligand-ligand beacon interaction.” The patent covers a homogeneous assay that utilizes molecular beacons as the reporter, and nucleic acid ligands as the sensor, for the detection of target molecules in a test mixture. The concept of the ligand beacon assay was tested using several proteins to which high affinity and specific nucleic acid ligands are available. The range of the assay is dictated by the concentration of the nucleic acid ligand/ligand beacon pair used in the process. Target proteins were detected in buffer as well as in plasma, expanding its applicability to clinical use. This is a simple, fast assay format with the potential for automation for high throughput screening applications.

The Scan

US Booster Eligibility Decision

The US CDC director recommends that people at high risk of developing COVID-19 due to their jobs also be eligible for COVID-19 boosters, in addition to those 65 years old and older or with underlying medical conditions.

Arizona Bill Before Judge

The Arizona Daily Star reports that a judge weighing whether a new Arizona law restricting abortion due to genetic conditions is a ban or a restriction.

Additional Genes

Wales is rolling out new genetic testing service for cancer patients, according to BBC News.

Science Papers Examine State of Human Genomic Research, Single-Cell Protein Quantification

In Science this week: a number of editorials and policy reports discuss advances in human genomic research, and more.