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Qiagen, Hitachi, Corning

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Qiagen of Venlo, The Netherlands, has received US Patent No. 6,977,148, "Multiple displacement amplification." The patent claims a method for the amplification of nucleic acid sequences of interest. The described method generally involves replication of a target sequence such that, during replication, the replicated strands are displaced from the target sequence by strand displacement replication of another replicated strand.


Qiagen has also received US Patent No. 6,977,153, "Rolling circle amplification of RNA." The patent claims compositions and methods for amplification of RNA molecules. The method involves synthesizing first strand cDNA molecules from RNA molecules, circularizing the first strand cDNA molecules and replicating the circularized first strand cDNA molecules using rolling circle replication. According to the patent, the method can be aided by the use of specialized primers for cDNA synthesis and specialized probes for circularizing the first strand cDNA molecules. The method can also be used to replicate and amplify multiple RNA molecules, such as all RNA molecules in a sample or all mRNA molecules in a sample, or be used to replicate and amplify specific RNA molecules.


Hitachi of Tokyo, Japan, has received US Patent No. 6,977,149, "Biochemical reaction detection apparatus." The patent claims a biochemical reaction detection chip capable of controlling the temperature for biochemical reactions including hybridizations and its substrate. The function of the chip is performed by comprising a plurality of islands of a heat-conducting material on the membrane of the substrate, the islands being spaced from each other and individually provided with temperature controllers, and the probes immobilized on the substrate, according to the patent.


Corning of Corning, NY, has received US Patent No. 6,977,155, "Arrays of biological membranes and methods and use thereof." The patent describes an array comprising a plurality of biological membrane microspots associated with a surface of a substrate that can be produced, used, and stored in an environment exposed to air under ambient or controlled humidity.

The Scan

Dropped Charges

The US Justice Department has dropped visa fraud charges against five Chinese researchers, according to the Wall Street Journal.

More Kids

The Associated Press says Moderna is expanding its SARS-CoV-2 vaccine study to included additional children and may include even younger children.

PNAS Papers on Rat Clues to Human Migration, Thyroid Cancer, PolyG-DS

In PNAS this week: ancient rat genome analysis gives hints to human migrations, WDR77 gene mutations in thyroid cancer, and more.

Purnell Choppin Dies

Purnell Choppin, a virologist who led the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, has died at 91, according to the Washington Post.