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Packard Bioscience, Affymetrix, PE Corporation, Genomic Solutions

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Packard Bioscience (now PerkinElmer) has received US Patent Number 6,441,379, “Imaging system for an optical scanner.” The system comprises a radiation device for at least two different wavelengths, a lens for focusing, and a mirror such that the emission is directed to a detector and the collimated excitation is directed away from the detector.

Affymetrix has been awarded US Patent Number 6,440,667, “Analysis of target molecules using an encoding system.” The invention provides methods and apparatus for sequencing, fingerprinting, and mapping biological macromolecules. The methods make use of sequence specific recognition reagents, which can also be used for classification of biological samples and to characterize their sources.

PE Corporation has received US Patent Number 6,440,217, “Apparatus and method for spotting a substrate.” The invention provides a method and apparatus for dispensing a small volume of a selected liquid onto a substrate. The device includes a tube adapted to contain the liquid. An elongate fiber is disposed within the tube for axial movement between raised and lowered positions. Upon shifting or oscillating the fiber, a liquid spot can be formed at a selected position on the substrate. The device is readily adaptable for the production of microarrays.

Genomic Solutions (soon to merge with Harvard Bioscience) has received US Patent Number 6,432,696, “Thermal and fluidic cycling device for nucleic acid hybridization.” The apparatus includes a fluid control module and a temperature control module for precisely controlling fluid contacting and temperature of DNA samples. The DNA samples are typically arrayed on solid substrates, and the apparatus can process up to twelve slides at one time on a master unit; satellite units can be added to increase the number of slides. All slides can be processed in parallel.

The Scan

Shape of Them All

According to BBC News, researchers have developed a protein structure database that includes much of the human proteome.

For Flu and More

The Wall Street Journal reports that several vaccine developers are working on mRNA-based vaccines for influenza.

To Boost Women

China's Ministry of Science and Technology aims to boost the number of female researchers through a new policy, reports the South China Morning Post.

Science Papers Describe Approach to Predict Chemotherapeutic Response, Role of Transcriptional Noise

In Science this week: neural network to predict chemotherapeutic response in cancer patients, and more.