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IP Roundup: Apr 6, 2010


Bioforce Nanosciences has received US Patent No. 7,690,325, "Method and apparatus for depositing material onto a surface." The patent claims a method for depositing material on a surface using an elongated beam. According to the patent, the beam includes an aperture through which material is moved by passive adsorption. It can be substantially planar along its entire length, can be oriented at an acute angle with respect to the surface during deposition processes, and can have a length no greater than about 2 mm. Also, the aperture can be elongated, can extend from a material reservoir to a location short of the terminal end of the elongated beam or through the terminal end of the elongated beam, and can have a portion extending through the thickness of the elongated beam.

Fluidigm of South San Francisco, Calif., has received US Patent No. 7,691,333, "Microfluidic device and methods of using same." The patent claims elastomeric-based microfluidic devices and methods for using and manufacturing them. The claimed devices include arrays of reaction sites to facilitate high-throughput analyses. Some devices also include reaction sites located at the end of blind channels at which reagents have been previously deposited during manufacture. The reagents become suspended once sample is introduced into the reaction site, according to the patent. The described devices can be used with a variety of heating devices and in a variety of analyses requiring temperature control, including thermocycling applications such as nucleic acid amplification reactions, genotyping, and gene expression analyses, the inventors state.

SurModics of Eden Prairie, Minn., has received US Patent No. 7,691,787, "Target molecule attachment to surfaces." The patent claims a reagent composition for the covalent attachment of target molecules, such as nucleic acids, onto the surface of a substrate. The reagent composition includes groups capable of covalently binding to the target molecule and, optionally, the composition can contain photoreactive groups for use in attaching the reagent composition to the surface, according to the patent. The reagent composition can be used to provide activated slides for use in preparing microarrays of nucleic acids.

Affymetrix has received US Patent No. 7,691,330, "Combinatorial strategies for polymer synthesis." The patent claims a method and device for forming large arrays of polymers on a substrate. According to the patent, the substrate is contacted by a channel block that contains channels. Selected reagents are then delivered through the channels, the substrate is rotated by a rotating stage, and the process is repeated to form arrays of polymers on the substrate. The method may also be combined with light-directed methodologies, according to the inventors.

The Scan

Omicron's Emergence

The World Health Organization has called Omicron a SARS-CoV-2 "variant of concern," the Los Angeles Times writes.

Not as Much

Merck's pill to treat COVID-19 reduces the risk of hospitalization and death among COVID-19 patients by less than previously reported, the New York Times says.

Bats That Hang Together

Discover magazine writes that researchers have found a social microbiome among vampire bats.

PLOS Papers on CEWAS, Simian Varicella Virus Transcriptome, Dermatomyositis Markers

In PLOS this week: multi-omic approach to home in on genetic risk variants, transcriptomic analysis of the simian varicella virus, and more.