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California Institute of Technology Awarded US Patent

California Institute of Technology has been awarded US Patent 7,378,280, “Apparatus and methods for conducting assays and high-throughput screening.”
Inventors listed on the patent are Stephen Quake, Marc Unger, Hou-Pu Chou, Todd Thorsen, and Axel Scherer.
The patent provides microfluidic devices and methods for using them, according to its abstract. The devices include elastomeric components and comprise a main flow channel, branch flow channels, control channels, and valves. Each of the valves should comprise one of the control channels and an elastomeric segment that is deflectable into or retractable from the main or branch flow channel, and the valve should open and close the main or branch flow channel in response to an actuation force applied to the control channel.

The Scan

Should've Been Spotted Sooner

Scientists tell the Guardian that SARS-CoV-2 testing issues at a UK lab should have been noticed earlier.

For Martian Fuel

Researchers have outlined a plan to produce rocket fuel on Mars that uses a combination of sunlight, carbon dioxide, frozen water, cyanobacteria, and engineered E. coli, according to Gizmodo.

To Boost Rapid Testing

The Washington Post writes that new US programs aim to boost the availability of rapid at-home SARS-CoV-2 tests.

PNAS Papers on Strawberry Evolution, Cell Cycle Regulators, False-Positive Triplex Gene Editing

In PNAS this week: strawberry pan-genome, cell cycle-related roles for MDM2 and MDMX, and more.