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Yale University, Affymetrix, US Department of Health and Human Services


Yale University has received US Patent Number 6,344,329, “Rolling circle replication reporter systems,” for professor of pathology Paul Lizardi’s nucleic acid amplification technique. The patent, one of a growing family that Lizardi and Yale have been awarded, describes the method in which a nucleic acid molecule is formed into a circle, and then rolls off strands of copies. In the application the patent describes, these circles form in proportion to the amount of target sequence in a sample. Then the amplified probes from the circles are detected and quantified to determine the amount of the target sequence present.


Affymetrix has been awarded US Patent Number 6,344,316, “Nucleic acid analysis techniques.” The patent covers a method for detecting differences in expression levels between two or more samples of genes using an oligonucleotide array. It further provides two ways to end-label a nucleic acid. First, a labeled oligonucleotide can be enzymatically ligated to the nucleic acid. Alternatively, labeled nucleoside triphosphates can be attached to the nucleic acid using a terminal transferase.


The US Department of Health and Human Services and Affymetrix have been awarded US Patent Number 6,342,355 “Probe-based analysis of heterozygous mutations using two-color labeling.” The patent covers a method for detecting variant alleles of a nucleic acid. Probes are designed to be complementary to a homozygous reference allele. First, the reference and the target sample are labeled with two different-colored dyes, and hybridized to the probes. Next, the intensity of the two different labels is detected, and used as an indication of the presence of variant or reference alleles.

The Scan

Driving Malaria-Carrying Mosquitoes Down

Researchers from the UK and Italy have tested a gene drive for mosquitoes to limit the spread of malaria, NPR reports.

Office Space to Lab Space

The New York Times writes that some empty office spaces are transforming into lab spaces.

Prion Pause to Investigate

Science reports that a moratorium on prion research has been imposed at French public research institutions.

Genome Research Papers on Gut Microbe Antibiotic Response, Single-Cell RNA-Seq Clues to Metabolism, More

In Genome Research this week: gut microbial response to antibiotic treatment, approach to gauge metabolic features from single-cell RNA sequencing, and more.