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PerkinElmer, Applera, Genetrix, Congra Grocery Products

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PerkinElmer of Boston, Mass. has received US Patent No. 6,878,554, "Method and apparatus for automatic pin detection in microarray spotting instruments." The patent covers a method and apparatus for automatically sensing the presence or absence of spot dispensers such as pins in various possible mounting locations in the printhead of a microarray spotting instrument. Pin-location data obtained by the method and apparatus is provided to the computer controller of the patented instrument, which uses the data to control the motion of the printhead during operation of the instrument. The pin detection apparatus includes one or more sensor elements that automatically sense possible pin locations in the printhead for the presence of pins. The sensor elements are preferably arranged in an array corresponding to the array of pin locations in the printhead so that pin detection at each pin location can be performed simultaneously. Various types of sensor elements can be used to locate pins in a printhead. For example, sensors can be used that are remote from or attached to a printhead. Pin sensors can be used that sense pin locations from various positions relative to the printhead including above or below the printhead. Also, pin sensing can be by contact or non-contact mechanisms. The method and apparatus allow pin positions in a printhead to be quickly and accurately determined, and without significant risk of damaging the pins, which are fragile.


Applera of Norwalk, Conn. has received US Patent No. 6,878,808, "Isolated human transporter proteins, nucleic acid molecules encoding human transporter proteins and uses thereof." The patented invention provides amino acid sequences of peptides that are encoded by genes within the human genome, the transporter peptides of the present invention. It specifically provides isolated peptide and nucleic acid molecules, methods of identifying orthologs and paralogs of the transporter peptides, and methods of identifying modulators of the transporter peptides.

These peptide sequences, and nucleic acid sequences that encode these peptides, can be used as models for the development of human therapeutic targets, aid in the identification of therapeutic proteins, and serve as targets for the development of human therapeutic agents that modulate transporter activity in cells and tissues that express the transporter.


Genetrix of Haren, The Netherlands, has received US Patent No. 6,878,539, "Affinity sensor for detecting specific molecular binding events and use thereof." The patented invention relates to an affinity sensor for detecting specific molecular binding events, for use in the field of molecular biology, specifically in medical diagnostics, and especially in biosensor technology or in DNA microarray tests. The aim of the invention is to provide an affinity sensor of this type for detecting the presence of bioactive molecules, and to provide special applications for an affinity sensor of this type. The affinity sensor consists of a support substrate which is provided with at least two electrodes. The electrodes are situated equidistantly from each other and cover an area on both sides, at least this area being provided for receiving immobilized specific binding partners which are capable of coupling complementary corresponding binding partners directly or with other specific binding molecules. The area is established with a minimum width in such a way that at least one complementary corresponding binding partner which is provided with an electroconductive particle can be received in the area in such a way as to guarantee the possibility of a tunnel-type contact junction forming between the particle and the electrodes in each case. The affinity sensor is used for biomonitoring.


Congra Grocery Products of Irvine, Calif. has received US Patent No. 6,878,517, "Multispecies food testing and characterization organoleptic properties." The patent covers a testing system useful for food products that employs a multispecies testing array to test for presence or amount of a plurality of organisms in a sample by detecting plural characteristic sequences for each of plural organisms to form a multispecies distribution output or microbial profile. This is processed or used in conjunction with data mining or other processing to provide trend, warning or other data. The processor correlates and stores information relating to taste, smell, texture, processing conditions, quality or source of a component or ingredient, potential pathogenicity or other factor, with correlations on a multidimensional space yielding new preconditions or warning indications. It also provides a mechanism for specialization of the species distribution data for specific products, as well as for incorporation or development of process changes and company trade secrets.

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