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UAB Research Foundation, Nikon

UAB Research Foundation of Birmingham, Ala., has received US Patent No. 7,244,396, “Method for preparation of microarrays for screening of crystal growth conditions.” The patent claims a method of screening solution conditions suitable for the crystallization of macromolecules with a picogram to a microgram of protein using picoliter or nanoliter volumes. The method comprises: a) preparing a plurality of recipe solutions in milliliter volumes; b) aspirating protein and recipe solutions, respectively, from a plurality of wells; and c) dispensing the protein and recipe solutions into a plurality of wells, covering the combined protein and recipe solutions with oil, and maintaining the solution wells until crystallization or precipitation occurs.


Nikon has received US Patent No. 7,244,611, “Methods and devices for hybridization and binding assays using thermophoresis.” The patent describes an apparatus and method for performing hybridization or binding assays under thermophoretic conditions. Specifically, an apparatus is claimed that comprises a container designed to hold a solution of DNA and an array to which oligonucleotide probes are attached at discrete, known locations. Also claimed is a temperature control system for creating a temperature gradient in the solution sufficient to cause at least a portion of the solution to be warmer than the remainder of the solution. This condition then allows at least a portion of the DNA to move from the warmer portion of the solution to the cooler portion of the solution, causing at least a portion of the DNA to be driven onto or off of the surface of the array.

The Scan

And Back

The New York Times reports that missing SARS-CoV-2 genome sequences are back in a different database.

Lacks Family Hires Attorney

A lawyer for the family of Henrietta Lacks plans to seek compensation from pharmaceutical companies that have used her cancer cells in product development, the Baltimore Sun reports.

For the Unknown

The Associated Press reports that family members are calling on the US military to use new DNA analysis techniques to identify unknown sailors and Marines who were on the USS Arizona.

PLOS Papers on Congenital Heart Disease, COVID-19 Infection Host MicroRNAs, Multiple Malformation Mutations

In PLOS this week: new genes linked to congenital heart disease, microRNAs with altered expression in COVID-19, and more.