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IP Roundup: Mar 30, 2010


Bio-Rad Laboratories has received US Patent No. 7,683,299, "Extended dynamic range system design using a photomultiplier tube and solid state detector." The patent claims a means for detecting and measuring light emitted from a sample, where the light has a large dynaluminous intensity covering six or more orders of magnitude. The claimed system allows the simultaneous measurement of the emitted light in two intensity ranges using two detectors, one that includes a photomultiplier tube and another that includes a solid-state detector such as a photodiode. A beam-splitting element in the system directs light emitted from a sample to both detectors simultaneously so that a portion of the light impinges on the first detector and a second portion of the light impinges on the second detector. A processor receives output signals from the two detectors and provides an output representing the luminous intensity of the sample over a detection range greater than the detection range of each individual detector, according to the patent.

Cytonome of Boston has received US Patent No. 7,686,967, "Temperature controlled microfabricated two-pin liquid sample dispensing system." The patent describes a cooled liquid-sample dispensing system. The system is composed of a pair of pins for holding a droplet of liquid and a cooling element. Each pin includes a tip spaced a predetermined distance from the other pin to define a sample acquisition region. The pins acquire and hold a droplet of the liquid sample in the sample-acquisition region formed in the space between the tips and apply the droplet to a selected sample-handing system. The cooling element, when activated, cools the droplet of liquid to reduce evaporation, the patent states.

GeneOhm Sciences of San Diego has received US Patent No. 7,687,234, "Carbon electrode surface for attachment of DNA and protein molecules." The patent claims methods for the fabrication of a carbon electrode suited to nucleic acid hybridization detection. A microarray of carbon electrodes constructed using photolithography is also described. Biomolecules can be attached to the surface by exposing the surface to an alkaline solution, treating the surface with 1-ethyl-3-(3-dimethylaminopropyl) carbodiimide or dicyclohexylcarbodiimide and N-hydroxysuccinimide to form a surface-bound intermediate moiety; and contacting the intermediate moiety with the biomolecule to attach the biomolecule to the surface. The resulting electrode can be used to detect hybridization between the probe DNA and complementary target DNA.

Spire of Bedford, Mass., has received US Patent No. 7,687,256, "Surface activated biochip." The patent claims a substrate that contains micro-locations on its surface. Each micro-location has an effective dose of an ion beam treatment so that the micro-locations show an affinity to compounds that are different from the affinity of the remainder of the substrate surface to the same compounds. The described substrates can be used to form microarrays of biological molecules, including oligonucleotides or peptides. Such arrays can be used in applications such as mapping of genomes, monitoring of gene expression, DNA sequencing, genetic diagnosis, and genotyping of organisms, according to the patent.

Samsung Electronics has received US Patent No. 7,687,259, "Method for noncovalently immobilizing a biomolecule on a solid substrate and microarray produced according to the method." The claimed methods of this patent include: providing a solid substrate that contains a first functional group with a hydrogen bond-donating ability; and reacting a mixture of a compound having a hydrogen bond-accepting ability and a biomolecule functionalized with a second functional group, with the surface of the substrate in order to noncovalently immobilize the biomolecule on the substrate.

Roche Diagnostics has received US Patent No. 7,687,260, "Imaging fluorescence signals using telecentric optics." The patent claims an optical instrument for the parallel imaging of fluorescence intensities at a number of sites as a measure for DNA hybridization. Specifically, the device can be used to image multiplex real-time PCR or to read out DNA microarrays.

Affymetrix has received US Patent No. 7,689,022, "System, method, and product for scanning of biological materials." The patent claims a scanning system that includes optical elements that direct an excitation beam at a probe array; detectors that receive reflected intensity data responsive to the excitation beam, where the reflected intensity data is responsive to a focusing distance between an optical element and the probe array; a transport frame that adjusts the focusing distance in a direction with respect to the probe array; an auto-focuser that determines a best plane of focus based upon characteristics of the reflected intensity data; and an image generator that associates each of the pixel intensity values with image pixel positions of a probe array based upon position correction values.

The Scan

Octopus Brain Complexity Linked to MicroRNA Expansions

Investigators saw microRNA gene expansions coinciding with complex brains when they analyzed certain cephalopod transcriptomes, as they report in Science Advances.

Study Tracks Outcomes in Children Born to Zika Virus-Infected Mothers

By following pregnancy outcomes for women with RT-PCR-confirmed Zika virus infections, researchers saw in Lancet Regional Health congenital abnormalities in roughly one-third of live-born children.

Team Presents Benchmark Study of RNA Classification Tools

With more than 135 transcriptomic datasets, researchers tested two dozen coding and non-coding RNA classification tools, establishing a set of potentially misclassified transcripts, as they report in Nucleic Acids Research.

Breast Cancer Risk Related to Pathogenic BRCA1 Mutation May Be Modified by Repeats

Several variable number tandem repeats appear to impact breast cancer risk and age at diagnosis in almost 350 individuals carrying a risky Ashkenazi Jewish BRCA1 founder mutation.