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Patent Watch: Jan 13, 2009

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PamGene of Den Bosch, the Netherlands, has received US Patent No. 7,473,562, "Method for high-throughput integrated chemical and biochemical reactions." The patent claims methods for high-throughput monitoring of molecular reaction processes, using a substrate. The claimed substrate contains micro-channels, where each micro-channel has inlet and outlet open ends on opposing sides of the substrate. The method includes the steps of: a) contacting the micro-channels of the solid substrate with a sample; b) optionally removing excess of the sample via the outlet's open ends; c) contacting the retained analyte with at least one second reaction component under conditions that allow a molecular reaction to take place and produce a signal; and (d) detecting the signal and reading-out reaction results.


Fluidigm of South San Francisco, Calif., has received US Patent No. 7,476,363, "Microfluidic devices and methods of using same." The patent claims a microfluidic device for reacting a number of different samples with a number of different reagents. The device includes: a) a first layer; b) a second layer; and c) a number of of reaction cells located in the second layer. Each reaction cell includes: i) a first chamber located in the second layer; ii) a second chamber located in the second layer connected to the first chamber via an interface channel; and iii) a first valve in the interface channel between the first chamber and the second chamber that, when actuated, fluidically isolates the first chamber and the second chamber from each other.


Nanosphere of North Brook, Ill., has received US Patent No. 7,476,550, "Method for attachment of silylated molecules to glass surfaces." The patent claims a method for the immobilization of silylated molecules such as silylated oligonucleotides or proteins onto unmodified surfaces such as glass surfaces. Also included are compounds, devices, and kits for modifying surfaces such as glass surfaces. The method enables the attachment of molecules such as oligonucleotides onto unmodified surfaces such as a glass surface without the need for "laborious" synthetic steps, according to the abstract, but with increased surface loading densities, and with greater reproducibility and which avoids the need for pre-surface modifications.

The Scan

Interfering With Invasive Mussels

The Chicago Tribune reports that researchers are studying whether RNA interference- or CRISPR-based approaches can combat invasive freshwater mussels.

Participation Analysis

A new study finds that women tend to participate less at scientific meetings but that some changes can lead to increased involvement, the Guardian reports.

Right Whales' Decline

A research study plans to use genetic analysis to gain insight into population decline among North American right whales, according to CBC.

Science Papers Tie Rare Mutations to Short Stature, Immunodeficiency; Present Single-Cell Transcriptomics Map

In Science this week: pair of mutations in one gene uncovered in brothers with short stature and immunodeficiency, and more.