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Qiagen, Hitachi, Corning


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

Mosquitos Genetically Modified to Prevent Malaria Spread

A gene drive approach could be used to render mosquitos unable to spread malaria, researchers report in Science Advances.

Gut Microbiomes Allow Bears to Grow to Similar Sizes Despite Differing Diets

Researchers in Scientific Reports find that the makeup of brown bears' gut microbiomes allows them to reach similar sizes even when feasting on different foods.

Finding Safe Harbor in the Human Genome

In Genome Biology, researchers present a new approach to identify genomic safe harbors where transgenes can be expressed without affecting host cell function.

New Data Point to Nuanced Relationship Between Major Depression, Bipolar Disorder

Lund University researchers in JAMA Psychiatry uncover overlapping genetic liabilities for major depression and bipolar disorder.