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Patent Watch: Dec 23, 2008

Agilent Technologies has received US Patent No. 7,468,160, “Devices and methods for performing array based assays.” Devices and methods for performing an array assay are provided. Embodiments of the subject array assay devices include (1) a base, (2) a cover, and (3) a clamping member for holding the cover to the base, wherein when the cover is operatively held to the base about a structure that includes an array assembly spaced apart from a backing element, the array assembly and the backing element are deflected to substantially the same curvature. Embodiments of the subject methods include contacting a sample with a backing element and placing the backing element supported sample in contact with an array assembly to form a structure that includes the backing element and array assembly. The structure is then held together using a subject array assay device and the array substrate and the backing element are deflected to substantially the same curvature.

The University of Southern Florida of Tampa has received US Patent No. 7,468,238, “Maskless photolithography for using photoreactive agents.” The patent describes a maskless photolithography system and method for creating molecular imprinted array devices, integrated microsensors and fluidic networks on a substrate, integrated circuits of conducting polymers, and patterns on substrates using photochemical vapor deposition. For creating molecular imprinted array devices, the patent claims a system and method for a) applying a photoreactive reagent comprising photopolymer receptors and extractable target compounds; and b) exposing the substrate to patterned light to activate the photopolymer to form molecular imprints of the target compounds corresponding to the pattern of incident light. For creating patterns on substrates using photochemical vapor deposition, the patent provides a system and method for exposing a substrate to photoreactive gases and patterned light to deposit chemicals on the substrate corresponding to the pattern of incident light.

Affymetrix has received US Patent No. 7,468,243, “2-aminopyrimidin-4-one nucleic acid labeling compounds.” The patent provides compounds containing a detectable moiety. It also provides methods of making these compounds and attaching the compounds to a nucleic acid. The nucleic acid labeling compounds are then incorporated into nucleic acids to provide readily detectable compositions that are useful for genetic analysis technologies, such as gene expression and the detection and screening of mutations and polymorphisms. Additionally, the nucleic acids to which the labeling compounds are attached maintain their ability to bind to a probe, such as a complementary nucleic acid.

Biocept of San Diego has received US Patent No. 7,468,249, “Detection of chromosomal disorders.” The patent claims methods and kits for detecting in an assay multiple chromosomal disorders that result from aneuploidy or certain mutations, particularly microdeletions. According to the methods, a) a polymerase chain reaction is carried out to amplify eukaryotic genomic DNA using primer oligonucleotide pairs, where one primer of each pair has a detectable label attached to the 5 prime end; b) the primer pairs are targeted to DNA segments of different chromosomes of interest which are indicative of potential chromosomal disorders, and one pair is targeted for a control gene; c) the amplified PCR products are purified, and single-stranded DNA having the detectable labels is obtained and hybridized with spots on a microarray, so that each contain DNA oligonucleotide probes having nucleotide sequences complementary to a nucleotide sequence of one strand of each segment; d) the microarray is imaged for the presence of labels on its respective spots; and e) the absence or presence of chromosomal disorders as indicated by one or more of the targeted DNA segments of interest is diagnosed by first comparing the imaging results to the imaging of spots specific to the control gene and then to results obtained from imaging normal DNA.

The Scan

Genetic Testing Approach Explores Origins of Blastocyst Aneuploidy

Investigators in AJHG distinguish between aneuploidy events related to meiotic missegregation in haploid cells and those involving post-zygotic mitotic errors and mosaicism.

Study Looks at Parent Uncertainties After Children's Severe Combined Immunodeficiency Diagnoses

A qualitative study in EJHG looks at personal, practical, scientific, and existential uncertainties in parents as their children go through SCID diagnoses, treatment, and post-treatment stages.

Antimicrobial Resistance Study Highlights Key Protein Domains

By screening diverse versions of an outer membrane porin protein in Vibrio cholerae, researchers in PLOS Genetics flagged protein domain regions influencing antimicrobial resistance.

Latent HIV Found in White Blood Cells of Individuals on Long-Term Treatments

Researchers in Nature Microbiology find HIV genetic material in monocyte white blood cells and in macrophages that differentiated from them in individuals on HIV-suppressive treatment.