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Rosetta Inpharmatics, Agilent Technologies, Agilent, ST Microelectronics, Eastman Kodak


Rosetta Inpharmatics of Seattle has received US Patent No. 7,013,221, "Iterative probe design and detailed expression profiling with flexible in-situ synthesis arrays." The patent claims methods and compositions for detecting and reporting a plurality of different target polynucleotide sequences in a sample, such as polynucleotides corresponding to a plurality of different genes expressed by a cell or cells. In particular, the patent claims methods for screening a plurality of candidate polynucleotide probes to evaluate both the sensitivity and the specificity with which each candidate probe hybridizes to a target polynucleoide sequence. Candidate polynucleotide probes can then be ranked according to both their sensitivity and specificity, and probes that have optimal sensitivity and specificity for a target polynucleotide sequence can be selected, according to the patent's abstract. The patent describes the use of microarrays as screening tools to detect genetic transcripts from the entire genome of an organism and certain selected genes.

Agilent Technologies of Palo Alto, Calif., has received US Patent No. 7,013,220, "Biopolymer array scanner with real-time saturation detection." The patent describes optical scanner system approaches where signal saturation data is produced in real time. The data generated may be used for tuning a subsequent scan, in protection of optical detector components from damage or otherwise, according to the patent's abstract. Approaches for obtaining and storing or expressing the data are also claimed, as well as methods of using the subject system in a biopolymer array-based application, including genomic and proteomic applications.

Agilent has also received US Patent No. 7,011,949, "Methods and compositions for producing labeled probe nucleic acids for use in array-based comparative genomic hybridization applications." The patent claims methods and compositions for producing labeled probe nucleic acids from a genomic nucleic acid template. According to the patent's abstract, a conserved coding consensus region primer is employed to enzymatically generate a select set of labeled probe nucleic acids corresponding to coding regions of genes from a genomic template via a primer extension protocol. The methods can be used in a variety of different applications, and are particularly suited for use in the preparation of labeled probe nucleic acids for use in array-based comparative genomic hybridization applications, the abstract continues. Also claimed are kits for use in practicing the methods.

ST Microelectronics of Agrate Brianza, Italy, has received US Patent No. 7,013,033, "System for the automatic analysis of images such as DNA microarray images." The patent claims a system that can be used for the automatic analysis of images, including images of DNA microarrays after hybridization. The system can be associated with, and preferably integrated into, a sensor for acquiring the images, the patent's abstract states. The system includes a circuit for processing the signals corresponding to the images, configured according to a cellular neural network architecture for the parallel analog processing of signals.

Eastman Kodak of Rochester, NY, has received US Patent No. 7,011,971, "Method of making random array of microspheres using enzyme digestion." The patent claims a method of making a microarray comprising the steps of providing a support; coating on the support a fluid composition containing microspheres and gelatin; immobilizing the microspheres in the gelatin coating; partially digesting the gelatin with an enzyme to expose surfaces of the microspheres; and removing the enzyme and digested gelatin from the coating.

Eastman Kodak has also received US Patent No. 7,011,945, "Random array of microspheres for the analysis of nucleic acids." The patent describes a method of identifying nucleic acid samples by providing a microarray comprising a substrate coated with a composition that includes a population of microspheres. The microspheres are dispersed in a fluid containing a gelling agent or a precursor to a gelling agent and immobilized at random positions on the substrate, according to the patent's abstract. At least one sub-population of said population microspheres containing an optical barcode generated from at least one colorant associated with the microspheres and including a nucleic acid probe sequence, the abstract continues. The array is contacted with a target nucleic acid sequence, and the reaction of the color barcode of the sub-population of micro-spheres is then measured.

The Scan

Shape of Them All

According to BBC News, researchers have developed a protein structure database that includes much of the human proteome.

For Flu and More

The Wall Street Journal reports that several vaccine developers are working on mRNA-based vaccines for influenza.

To Boost Women

China's Ministry of Science and Technology aims to boost the number of female researchers through a new policy, reports the South China Morning Post.

Science Papers Describe Approach to Predict Chemotherapeutic Response, Role of Transcriptional Noise

In Science this week: neural network to predict chemotherapeutic response in cancer patients, and more.