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RoboDesign International, Spectral Genomics, Baylor College of Medicine, Niles Scientific


RoboDesign International of Carlsbad, Calif., has received US Patent No. 6,979,425, "High capacity microarray dispensing." The patent claims a microarrayer for spotting solution onto slides in an automated microarray dispensing device. A method is also described for automatically moving microplates to a solution removal area, where a dispense head accesses each microplate at the solution removal area to remove solution from the microplate. The dispense head then moves to a slide positioning station to spot slides at the slide positioning station. According to the patent, the system also includes a light source capable of illuminating the slides, and a camera operating in conjunction with the at least one light source. The camera is capable of acquiring and transmitting slide image data to a computer that is programmed to receive the slide image and analyze it. The computer then generates post-analysis data based on the analysis of the slide image data that includes information relating to slide alignment, information relating to spot quality, and slide identification information.

Spectral Genomics and Baylor College of Medicine of Houston have received US Patent No. 6,979,728, "Articles of manufacture and methods for array based analysis of biological molecules." The patent describes biological molecules modified by reaction with a compound having the formula: R1-X-R2, where R1 is a cyclic ether group or an amino group, R2 is an alkoxysilane group and X is a moiety chemically suitable for linking the cyclic ether group or the amino group to the alkoxysilane group. The invention also claims microarrays comprising these modified biological molecules as well as methods for making and using these compositions.

Niles Scientific of Portola Valley, Calif., has received US Patent No. 6,980,677, "Method, system, and computer code for finding spots defined in biological microarrays." The patent claims a method and system for using information contained within the scanned microarray image to create process a data grid. According to the patent, the first step calls for the enhancement of the image, followed by locating the blocks of spots and each individual spot in each of the blocks. The method then uses a principal frequency filter, based on a mathematical determination of major periodic elements in the image, to eliminate noisy, non-periodic signals, and to produce smoothed intensity profiles of the filtered image data, the patent states.

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