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The University of Köln, BioArray Solutions, Epocal, Eppendorf Array Technologies, Agilent Technologies

The University of Köln of Köln, Germany, has received European Patent No. 1770171, "DNA microarray for rapid identification of Candida albicans in blood cultures." The patent describes a DNA microarray for identification and characterization of microorganisms in a sample or clinical specimen. It claims a method for rapid identification and strain profiling of different microbial species in clinical specimens, preferably for the diagnosis of bacteremia, fungernia, or sepsis, especially blood cultures, using the described microarray. The method calls isolating the total DNA from the sample or clinical specimen and labeling the DNA with a reporter molecule, preferably a fluorochrome. The DNA is then hybridized to the gene probes of the microarray, and the DNA bound to the array is then detected by determining the amount of reporter molecule bound to the array. 

BioArray Solutions of Warren, NJ, has received European Patent No. 1769424, "Image processing and analysis of array data." The patent claims a method for automating the process of analyzing assay data recorded in the form of images from array signals that represent the strength of receptor-ligand interactions. The methods enable 1) grid alignment by locating grid edges in a fluorescent image; 2) segmentation by grid finding in a fluorescent image containing randomly distributed invisible sources; 3) determination of the maximum intensity in a grid field; and 4) automatic clustering of signal sources of the same type, following transformation of the fluorescent image by use of an adaptive template.

Epocal of Ottawa has received US Patent No. 7,201,833, “Integrated solid-phase hydrophilic matrix circuits and microarrays.” The patent describes analytical devices and microarrays with integral fluidic inputs and outputs. The devices are constructed from planar solid-phase hydrophilic matrix circuits containing dry chemical reagents overlaying integral electro-kinetic pumping electrodes, the patent’s abstract states. The hydrophilic matrix circuits are enclosed within a gas permeable electrical insulator. The devices are for use in microscale bioanalysis, mixture separation and reaction.

Eppendorf Array Technologies of Namur, Belgium, has received US Patent No. 7,202,026, “Identification of a large number of biological microorganisms groups at different levels by their detection on a same array.” The patent describes an identification and quantification method of a large number of biological organisms groups at different levels — family, genus, species — by a detection of their nucleotide sequence. The patent claims that the technology enables arrays to discriminate between homologous genetic sequences, like amino acid sequences and nucleotide sequences, belonging to several groups of organisms together with the identification of these groups as such.

Agilent Technologies has received US Patent No. 7,202,358, “Methods for producing ligand arrays.” The patent describes methods for producing ligand arrays, such as peptide and nucleic acid arrays, as well as the arrays produced. Methods for use of the arrays and kits are also claimed. According to the patent, one method claims a substrate that has a surface displaying acetate functional groups that produce surface bound hydroxyl functional groups upon hydrolysis. The acetate groups are then hydrolyzed to hydroxyl functional groups. In another claimed method, a substrate having a surface displaying alkenyl functional groups is provided, where the alkenyl functional groups are then converted to carboxylic functional groups. The resultant substrates are then contacted with ligands resulting in covalent attachment of the contacted ligands to the surface.

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.