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Syngenta Participations, Variagenics, Nanogen, Affymetrix


Syngenta Participations of Basel, Switzerland, received US Patent No. 6,586,190, “Parallel high-throughput method and kit.” The patent covers a system for the parallel, high-throughput discovery of small-molecule interactors of target proteins expressed from entire genomes or subsets. The target module is prepared by binding selectively a target protein, modified to allow its detection, to a surrogate ligand that is linked to an individually detectable bead. Sets of target modules are mixed together in each chamber of a multi-chamber container. A test compound or collection of test compounds is added to each chamber, and the interaction of a compound with each target module is observed. A compound that is specific for a particular target protein will displace that protein from its target module. The identity of the target module so disrupted is determined by identifying the particular bead to which the displaced target protein was attached.


Variagenics of Cambridge, Mass., received US Patent No. 6,582,923, “Method for analyzing polynucleotides.” The patent covers a method for synthesizing a polynucleotide by the incorporation of a modified nucleotide. According to the inventors, this is a simple, low-cost, rapid, yet sensitive and accurate, method for analyzing polynucleotides such as DNA, to determine both complete nucleotide sequences and the presence of variance(s). This system also enables the assembly of very long DNA sequences across repeat dense regions.


Nanogen received US Patent No. 6,569,382, “Methods and apparatus for the electronic, homogeneous assembly and fabrication of devices.” The patent covers a system and devices for the fabrication of microscale devices. The technology described includes a means of electronic transport of movable component devices through a fluidic medium to a target location on a substrate or motherboard. Forces include electrophoretic force, electroosmotic force, electrostatic force and/or dielectrophoretic force. In the preferred embodiment, free field electroosmotic forces are utilized.


Affymetrix received US Patent No. 6,582,938, “Amplification of nucleic acids.” The patent covers a method for the amplification of nucleic acids, preferably from mRNA. A primer and promoter are added to a target sequence to be amplified and then the target is amplified in an in vitro transcription reaction.



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.