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Nanomix, Nanogen, Iris Biotechnologies, Picoliter

Nanomix of Emeryville, Calif., has received European Patent No. 1831670, “Nanoelectronic devices for DNA detection and recognition of polynucleotide sequences.” The patent describes a nanotube device that is configured as an electronic sensor for a target DNA sequence. According to the patent’s abstract, a film of nanotubes is deposited over electrodes on a substrate. A solution of single-strand DNA is prepared so as to be complementary to a target DNA sequence. The DNA solution is deposited over the electrodes, dried, and removed from the substrate except in a region between the electrodes. The resulting structure includes strands of the desired DNA sequence in direct contact with nanotubes between opposing electrodes, to form a sensor that is electrically responsive to the presence of target DNA strands. Alternative assay embodiments are also described that employ linker groups to attach single-stranded DNA probes to the nanotube sensor device.

Nanogen has received US Patent No.  7,270,850, “Mesoporous permeation layers for use on active electronic matrix devices.” The patent describes improved synthetic polymer hydrogel permeation layers for use on active electronic matrix devices for biological assays. It claims methods for forming a permeation layer on an array of microelectrodes that include the steps of: a) attaching a linker to the surface of the array by treating the surface with a linker by vapor deposition; and b) providing a polymerization solution that includes at least one monomer having a polymerizable moiety, a modified streptavidin, a surfactant or porogen, and a cross-linking agent. The surface of the array is then contacted with the polymerization solution and the polymerization solution is then polymerized on the surface of the array to form a permeation layer that is attached o the surface of the array through the linker, the patent states.

Iris Biotechnologies of Santa Clara, Calif., has received US Patent No. 7,270,954, “Hybridization of target DNA with immobilized nucleic acid analogs.” The patent describes the immobilization of peptide nucleic acids onto solid surfaces for use in hybridization, purification, biosensing, and other biochemical applications. Specifically, the PNAs can be used to increase the thermal stability, specificity, and lifetime of devices based on in situ hybridization, the patent claims.

Picoliter of Cupertine, Calif., has received US Patent No. 7,270,986, “Ejection of localized volumes from fluids.” A method is claimed for acoustically ejecting from a channel or other container fluid droplets, each of which contains one or more particles or other localized volumes. The localized volumes, which can be living cells, are ejected towards sites on a substrate surface, a container, or a channel. An integrated cell sorting and arraying system is also claimed that is capable of sorting based upon cellular properties by the selective ejection of cells from a carrier fluid. The cells can be ejected with adjustable velocity and trajectory and the ejected cells can be directed to form an array, where each site of the array can contain a single cell.

The Scan

Facial Imaging-Based Genetic Diagnoses Appears to Get Boost With Three-Dimensional Approach

With data for more than 1,900 individuals affected by a range of genetic conditions, researchers compared facial phenotype-based diagnoses informed by 2D or 3D images in the European Journal of Human Genetics.

Survey Suggests Multigene Cancer Panel VUS Reporting May Vary Across Genetic Counselors

Investigators surveyed dozens of genetic counselors working in clinical or laboratory settings, uncovering attitudes around VUS reporting after multigene cancer panel testing in the Journal of Genetic Counseling.

Study Points to Tuberculosis Protection by Gaucher Disease Mutation

A mutation linked to Gaucher disease in the Ashkenazi Jewish population appears to boost Mycobacterium tuberculosis resistance in a zebrafish model of the lysosomal storage condition, a new PNAS study finds.

SpliceVault Portal Provides Look at RNA Splicing Changes Linked to Genetic Variants

The portal, described in Nature Genetics, houses variant-related messenger RNA splicing insights drawn from RNA sequencing data in nearly 335,700 samples — a set known as the 300K-RNA resource.