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Sukanti Banerjee, Penn State Research Foundation, Affymetrix, Bristol-Meyers Squibb, Fluidigm, Intel, University of Hawaii

Sukanti Banerjee of North Brunswick, NJ, and Hui Huang of Piscataway, NJ, have received US Patent No. 7,452,565, “Immobilization of bead-displayed ligands on substrate surfaces.” The patent claims two different approaches for immobilization of beads on a substrate, one of which involves forming a bead-nanoparticle composite by cross-linking of the bead mixture with nanoparticles. The other method involves surface modification of the substrate, using multi-layered polyelectrolytes. With either method, the beads are immobilized on the substrate in a manner suitable for viewing, as when the beads are used in assays and need to be analyzed following the assay. Different designs of depressions are also described, some of which are suitable for holding beads in place without any deposition of nanoparticles or polyelectrolytes.

Penn State Research Foundation of University Park, Penn., has received US Patent No. 7,452,659, “Methods of patterning a surface using single and multilayer molecular films.” The patent claims a method for manufacturing surface features using a single-layer or multi-layer molecular resist. The resist is preferably a selective-adsorption resist that allows a deposited material to penetrate it in such a way that it will reform on the top of the deposited material. Also, a nanofabricated system enables monitoring of the addition or removal of molecular species or proteins from a junction by monitoring the electronic properties of the junction.

Affymetrix has received US Patent No. 7,452,671, “Methods for genotyping with selective adaptor ligation.” The patent claims methods for reducing the complexity of a nucleic acid sample to interrogate a collection of target sequences. Such complexity reduction can be accomplished by fragmenting the nucleic acid sample with a restriction enzyme that has at least one variable position in the recognition sequence. In some aspects, adaptors that ligate to some but not all possible overhangs generated by digestion are ligated to the fragments. Selective adaptor ligation allows for selective amplification of a subset of the fragments using primers complementary to the adaptor sequence. In another aspect, primers that are complementary to a subset of the fragments after adaptor ligation are used for amplification. Reduced complexity samples generated by the disclosed methods may be interrogated for the genotypes of SNPs in the sample, according to the patent.

Bristol-Meyers Squibb of Princeton, NJ, has received US Patent No. 7,452,678, “Identification of biomarkers for liver toxicity.” The patent claims biomarker polypeptides, polynucleotides, and antibodies that can be used in predicting in vitro and/or in vivo hepatotoxicity of various drugs, compounds, or other therapeutic agents. Also related are screens, kits, microarrays, and cell culture systems that use the polypeptides, polynucleotides, and/or antibodies of the invention.

Fluidigm of South San Francisco, Calif., has received US Patent No. 7,452,726, “Microfluidic particle-analysis systems.” The patent describes systems, including apparatus, methods, and kits, for the microfluidic manipulation and/or detection of particles, such as cells and beads. According to the patent, these systems may allow a broad range of cell and particle assays, such as drug screens, cell characterizations, research studies, and/or clinical analyses, among others, to be scaled down to microfluidic size. Such scaled-down assays may use fewer samples and reagent material, may be less labor intensive, and may be more informative than comparable macrofluidic assays, the patent states.

Intel of Santa Clara, Calif., has received US Patent No. 7,453,916, “High throughput optical micro-array reader capable of variable pitch and spot size array processing for genomics and proteomics.” The patent claims an optical microarray reader system that includes: a) a microchip array including multiple sample spots to be separately analyzed; b) a vertical cavity surface-emitting laser array including multiple VCSELs disposed to simultaneously illuminate more than one of the multiple spots; c) a detector array for receiving optical emissions from the sample spots; and d) a microlens array for focusing the optical emission from the sample spots onto elements of the detector array, where the microlens array is located between the VCSEL and the detector array.

The University of Hawaii of Honolulu has received US Patent No. 7,454,293, “Methods for enhanced detection and analysis of differentially expressed genes using gene chip microarrays.” The patent claims a method for enhanced detection and statistical analysis of differentially expressed genes in gene chip microarrays. The method uses: a) transformation of gene expression data into an expression data matrix; b) wavelet denoising of expression data matrix values to enhance their signal-to-noise ratio; and c) singular value decomposition of the wavelet-denoised expression data matrix to concentrate most of the gene expression signal in primary matrix eigenarrays to enhance the separation of true gene expression values from background noise.

The Scan

Billions for Antivirals

The US is putting $3.2 billion toward a program to develop antivirals to treat COVID-19 in its early stages, the Wall Street Journal reports.

NFT of the Web

Tim Berners-Lee, who developed the World Wide Web, is auctioning its original source code as a non-fungible token, Reuters reports.

23andMe on the Nasdaq

23andMe's shares rose more than 20 percent following its merger with a special purpose acquisition company, as GenomeWeb has reported.

Science Papers Present GWAS of Brain Structure, System for Controlled Gene Transfer

In Science this week: genome-wide association study ties variants to white matter stricture in the brain, and more.