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ChromaVision, Applera, Surface Logix, and AGY Thera Recently Awarded US Patents


ChromaVision Medical Systems has been awarded US Patent No. 6,920,239, "Method and apparatus for automated image analysis of biological specimens."

Inventors listed on the patent are James Douglass, Thomas Riding, and James Ring.

According to its abstract, the patent protects a method and apparatus for automated cell analysis of biological specimens that automatically scans at a low magnification to acquire images, which are analyzed to determine candidate cell objects of interest. The low-magnification images are converted from a first color space to a second color space, and the color space-converted image is then low-pass filtered and compared to a threshold to remove artifacts and background objects from the candidate object of interest pixels of the color-converted image, the abstract states. The pixels are morphologically processed to group [them] together, which are compared to blob parameters to identify candidate objects of interest which correspond to cells or other structures relevant to medical diagnosis of the biological specimen. The location coordinates of the objects of interest are stored and additional images of the candidate cell objects are acquired at high magnification, and these images are analyzed in the same manner as the low-magnification images to confirm the candidate objects of interest. A high-magnification image of each confirmed object of interest is stored for later review and evaluation by a pathologist, the abstract states.

Applera Corporation has been awarded US Patent No. 6,921,654, "Isolated human kinase proteins, nucleic acid molecules encoding human kinase proteins, and uses thereof."

Inventors listed on the patent are Jane Threideh-Abu, Beena Neelam, and Chunhua Yan.

According to its abstract, the patent protects amino acid sequences of kinase peptides that are encoded by genes within the human genome. The patent specifically protects isolated peptide and nucleic acid molecules, methods of identifying orthologs and paralogs of the kinase peptides, and methods of identifying modulators of the kinase peptides, the abstract states.

Surface Logix has been awarded US Patent No. 6,921,660, "Cell motility and chemotaxis test device and methods of using same."

Inventors listed on the patent are Gregory Kirk, Matthew Brown, Emanuele Otsuni, Enoch Kim, Bernardo Aumond, Olivier Schueller, Paul Sweetnam, and Brian Benoit.

According to its abstract, the patent protects a device for monitoring chemotaxis or chemoinvasion, including a housing comprising: a support member and a top member, the top member mounted to the support member by being placed in substantially fluid-tight conformal contact with the support member. The support member and the top member are configured such that they together define a discrete chamber adapted to allow a monitoring of chemotaxis or chemoinvasion therein, the abstract states. The discrete chamber includes a first well region including at least one first well configured to received a test agent therein; a second well region including at least one second well configured to receive a sample comprising cells therein; and a channel region including at least one channel connecting the first well region and the second well region. The second well region is preferably horizontally offset with respect to the first well region in a test orientation of the device, the abstract states.

AGY Therapeutics has been awarded US Patent No. 6,924,109, "High-throughput transcriptome and functional validation analysis."

Inventors listed on the patent are Thorsten Melcher, Keith McFarland, Li Gan, Shiming Ye, and Mirella Gonzalez-Zulueta.

According to its abstract, the patent protects methods for correlating genes and gene function. Such methods generally involve selecting a candidate gene that appears to be correlated with a particular cellular state or activity and then validating the role of the candidate gene in establishment of such a cellular state or activity. Certain methods utilize RNA interference techniques in the validation process, the abstract states.

The Scan

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Using interviews, researchers in the European Journal of Human Genetics qualitatively assess individuals' motivations for, and experiences with, direct-to-consumer polygenic risk score testing.

EHR Quality Improvement Study Detects Demographic-Related Deficiencies in Cancer Family History Data

In a retrospective analysis in JAMA Network Open, researchers find that sex, ethnicity, language, and other features coincide with the quality of cancer family history information in a patient's record.

Inflammatory Bowel Disease Linked to Gut Microbiome Community Structure Gradient in Meta-Analysis

Bringing together data from prior studies, researchers in Genome Biology track down microbial taxa and a population structure gradient with ties to ulcerative colitis or Crohn's disease.

Ancient Greek Army Ancestry Highlights Mercenary Role in Historical Migrations

By profiling genomic patterns in 5th century samples from in and around Himera, researchers saw diverse ancestry in Greek army representatives in the region, as they report in PNAS.