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University of Illinois, Illumina, Northwestern University

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The Board of Trustess of the University of Illinois of Urbana, Ill., has received US Patent No. 6,890,719, "Fluorescence-based biosensor." The patent describes a biosensor that is capable of detecting the presence of an ion in the presence of other ions. The biosensor comprises a nucleic acid enzyme that includes at least one quencher, and a substrate that includes a ribonucleotide, at least one quencher, and at least one fluorophore. The patent also covers a method for detecting an ion in the presence of other ions in a sample, as well as a method for determining the concentration of an ion in the presence of other ions in a sample.


Illumina of San Diego, Calif. has received US Patent No. 6,890,764, "Encoding and decoding of array sensors utilizing nanocrystals." The patented invention describes a substrate with a surface comprising discrete sites, with a population of microspheres distributed on the sites. At least one of the microspheres is a nanocrystal. The nanocrystal can be embedded in the microsphere, for example using the sol-gel polymerization process, or it can be attached to the microsphere. The microspheres optionally comprise bioactive agents and/or identifier binding ligands. According to the patent, the population of microspheres comprises at least a first and a second subpopulation comprising a first and a second bioactive agent and a first and a second optical signature, capable of identifying each bioactive agent. At least one of the optical signatures comprises a nanocrystal. Finally, the patent covers a method of determining the presence of a target analyte in a sample comprising contacting the sample with a composition. The composition comprises a substrate with a surface comprising discrete sites and a population of microspheres comprising at least a first and a second subpopulation, each comprising a bioactive agent and an optical signature capable of identifying the bioactive agent.


Illumina has also received US Patent No. 6,890,741, "Multiplexed detection of analytes." The patented invention permits the multiplexed detection of target analytes. The protected method includes contacting target analytes with a composition comprising an amplification enzyme and first and second target probes. The first and second target probes comprising a first and second bioactive agent, respectively, that specifically bind to the first and second target molecules. The probes also comprise a first and second adapter sequence, respectively, such that the first adapter sequence identifies the first target molecule and the second adapter sequence identifies the second target molecule, and at least a first and second upstream universal priming sequence, respectively.


Northwestern University of Evanston, Ill., has received US Patent No. 6,890,556, "Controlled surface-associated delivery of genes and oligonucleotides." The patent covers a system and method for controlled gene delivery comprising condensed nucleic acids complexed with polylinkers, where the complexes are covalently and/or non-covalently bound to the surface of a substrate capable of supporting cell adhesion. The patented gene delivery system achieves temporal and spatial control of nucleic acid delivery to a target cell or cells through control of complex density on the surface of the support substrate, and reversibility of the attachment of the polylinker to the support substrate. The system and method of the invention can be used to create spatial patterns of gene expression, and in tissue engineering, high-throughput screening, and gene therapy applications.

The Scan

Germline-Targeting HIV Vaccine Shows Promise in Phase I Trial

A National Institutes of Health-led team reports in Science that a broadly neutralizing antibody HIV vaccine induced bnAb precursors in 97 percent of those given the vaccine.

Study Uncovers Genetic Mutation in Childhood Glaucoma

A study in the Journal of Clinical Investigation ties a heterozygous missense variant in thrombospondin 1 to childhood glaucoma.

Gene Co-Expression Database for Humans, Model Organisms Gets Update

GeneFriends has been updated to include gene and transcript co-expression networks based on RNA-seq data from 46,475 human and 34,322 mouse samples, a new paper in Nucleic Acids Research says.

New Study Investigates Genomics of Fanconi Anemia Repair Pathway in Cancer

A Rockefeller University team reports in Nature that FA repair deficiency leads to structural variants that can contribute to genomic instability.