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Princeton University, Corning, Applera, Affymetrix

Princeton University has received US Patent No. 7,216,660, “Method and device for controlling liquid flow on the surface of a microfluidic chip.” The patent claims a method and device for routing, mixing, or reacting droplets or liquid microstreams along the surface of a flat substrate. The flow of liquid microstreams or microdroplets along the designated pathways is confined by chemical surface patterning. Individually addressable heating elements, which are embedded in the substrate, can be used to generate flow via thermocapillary effects or to trigger or quench chemical reactions. The device can be used for microfluidic applications or as a surface reactor or biosensor, among other applications, according to the patent’s abstract.

Corning has received US Patent No. 7,217,512, “Reagent and method for attaching target molecules to a surface.” The patent claims a method and reagent composition for the attachment of target molecules onto the surface of a substrate, such as microwell plates, tubes, beads, microscope slides, silicon wafers, or membranes. In one embodiment, the method is used to immobilize nucleic acid probes onto plastic materials such as microwell plates for use in hybridization assays.

Applera has received US Patent No. 7,217,518, “Fluorescence polarization assay.” The patent claims a method for detecting an analyte in a sample. A fluorophore-labeled aptamer bound to a solid support is contacted with the sample and illuminated with polarized light. The fluorescence anisotropy of the fluorophore is then measured and the presence of the analyte is identified when the fluorescence anisotropy value is greater than an anisotropy value obtained in the absence of the sample.

Affymetrix has received US Patent No. 7,217,521, “Splicing factor target identification.” The patent claims a method of identifying one or more RNA transcripts that are bound by a splicing factor by obtaining a nucleic acid sample comprising pre-mRNA; contacting the nucleic acid sample with an array of nucleic acid probes to generate array-bound pre-mRNA, where the array comprises probes that are complementary to a plurality of introns; contacting the array-bound pre-mRNA with a splicing factor to allow formation of complexes comprising the splicing factor and array-bound pre-mRNA; and identifying one or more probes of the array that are in a complex comprising the splicing factor to identify one or more pre-mRNA that is bound by the splicing factor.

The Scan

Study Examines Insights Gained by Adjunct Trio RNA Sequencing in Complex Pediatric Disease Cases

Researchers in AJHG explore the diagnostic utility of adding parent-child RNA-seq to genome sequencing in dozens of families with complex, undiagnosed genetic disease.

Clinical Genomic Lab Survey Looks at Workforce Needs

Investigators use a survey approach in Genetics in Medicine Open to assess technologist applications, retention, and workforce gaps at molecular genetics and clinical cytogenetics labs in the US.

Study Considers Gene Regulatory Features Available by Sequence-Based Modeling

Investigators in Genome Biology set sequence-based models against observational and perturbation assay data, finding distal enhancer models lag behind promoter predictions.

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.