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Penn State, Schott, The Centre for Non-linear Dynamics, Hitachi, Ohio State University

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Penn State, Schott Introduce New Thin Substrate for Glass

Penn State University scientists last week announced a new thin coating for glass, developed in collaboration with Schott Glass Technologies, which has the potential for creating denser and less costly microarrays.

Schott of Duryea, Pa., has licensed the technology.

The coating binds to glass on one side, and on the other tethers DNA strands, a flexible lease that allows it to act as if it were free-floating, Carlo Pantano, professor of material science and director of Penn State’s Materials Research Institute, said in a statement.

The organic molecules that make up the coating have one end that attaches to the glass and the other end with three functional amine groups where DNA strands can interact and attach. Retention of DNA is more than 50 percent better than on DNA microarrays using traditional coatings, the school said.

The collaborators, included Pantano, working with Samuel Conzone and Daniel Haines, research scientists at Schott Glass Technologies, and EzzEldin Metwalli, a Penn State postdoctoral fellow. They chose a variety of glasses, including pure silicon dioxide, Borofloat, Schott product, and flat-panel display glass, to test for self fluorescence of the glass and the coated glass. The researchers found that the coating did not change the self-fluorescence of the slide.

The researchers found that silicon dioxide glass and Borofloat had exceptionally low self-fluorescence. Spin coating of liquid 3-trimethoxysilylpropyl diethylenetriamine, DETA, on the surface of the glass deposited a uniform mono-molecular layer coating on the glass and did not enhance self-fluorescence. The DNA strands were then pin spotted onto the surface and the surface subsequently exposed to ultraviolet light or heat so that the DNA would bind to the coating.


Summer School on Systems Biology

The Centre for Non-linear Dynamics of Montreal-based McGill University will hold a two-week seminar on systems biology on May 17-28, 2004. The curriculum calls for a introduction to the methods of non-linear science, ranging from differential equations to stochastic systems, illustrated by classic applications in cardiology and neural signal propagation, in the first week of the session. During the second week, the focus will turn to molecular biology and genomics, and will include modeling of biochemical pathways, microarray data analysis, and network inference. Financial support is available for attendees and more information is available at http://www.cnd.mcgill.ca/summerschool.


Hitachi’s AceGene Chip to Reach Japanese Market in March 2004: Report

Japan-based DNA Chip Research will market a whole-human chip and a whole-mouse genome chip beginning in March, according to a report published by the Japan Corporate News Network.

The AceGene Human Oligo Chip 30K and AceGene Mouse Oligo Chip 30K will contain a maximum of 30,000 genes and will be marketed by Hitachi Software Engineering, which is targeting annual sales of the chip equivalent to $18 million by 2006, according to the report.

The chip will only be available in the Japanese market (see BAN 10/18/2002).


Ohio State Unveils Equine Microarray

Ohio State University has announced the development of an Affymetrix-manufactured microarray that contains 3,288 expressed horse genes. The array was two years in development in an effort led by Alicia Bertone, a professor of veterinary clinical sciences, and Weisong Gu, a postdoctoral researcher in veterinary clinical sciences.

The team discovered and described 3,088 horse genes. They added these genes to the 200 already-known genes to create the chip. The new equine chip includes genes that regulate cell death, the cell cycle, cell signaling and development. The chip is around $350 to $450, the school said in a statement.

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.