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University of Texas, Affymetrix, BioDiscovery, University of Hawaii

The University of Texas of Austin, Tex., has received US Patent No. 7,316,899, “Portable sensor array system.” The patent claims a system for the rapid characterization of multi-analyte fluids that includes a light source, a sensor array, and a detector. The sensor array is formed from a supporting member that contains cavities. A series of chemically sensitive particles are positioned within the cavities and the particles may be configured to produce a signal when a receptor coupled to the particle interacts with the analyte. Using pattern-recognition techniques, the analytes within a multi-analyte fluid may then be characterized using the invention.

The University of Texas has also received US Patent No. 7,316,907, “14-3-3 zeta over-expression as a poor prognosis factor, and a therapeutic target in multiple cancer types.” The patent claims a method of determining prognosis in a subject with breast cancer by determining over-expression of 14-3-3 zeta protein in a breast tumor sample compared to a normal sample. Over-expression of the 14-3-3 zeta protein indicates that the subject with breast cancer has a lower survival rate as compared to a subject with a breast cancer that does not over-express 14-3-3 zeta protein, the patent states. According to the patent, expression of 14-3-3 zeta protein can be measured by western blot analysis, immunohistochemistry, or protein array.

Affymetrix has received US Patent No. 7,317,415, “System, method, and product for scanning of biological materials employing dual analog integrators.” The patent claims a system for reducing a dark period between successive data acquisition periods associated with the detection of target molecules hybridized to a biological probe array. The system includes: a) a switch that alternately directs an analog signal between a first circuit and a second circuit, where a period of time is required to alternate between the first and second circuits; b) an integrator associated with the first circuit that integrates the analog signal to generate a first integrated value; c) a second integrator associated with the second circuit that integrates the analog signal to generate a second integrated value; and d) an analog-to-digital converter that produces a digital value for each of the first integrated value and the second integrated values.

BioDiscovery of El Segundo, Calif., has received US Patent No. 7,317,820, “System and method for automatically identifying sub-grids in a microarray.”  The patent claims a digital image processing-based system and method for quantitatively processing a plurality of nucleic acid species expressed in a microarray. The system includes a scanner that has a digital scanning sensor that scans the microarray and transmits from an output a digital image of the microarray. A computer is also described that receives the digital image of the microarray from the scanner and then processes the digital image, identifying each of the microarray's sub-grids.

University of Hawaii of Honolulu has received US Patent No. 7,317,216, “Ultrasensitive biochemical sensing platform.” The patent describes an electronic sensor array formed to analyze a sample for multiple targets. The sensor may be used to detect the presence of pathogens, polypeptides, nucleic acids, toxins and other biochemical and chemical agents. The sensor can be used in a variety of applications including medical diagnostics, agriculture, public health, environmental monitoring, and biomedical research.

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