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IP Roundup: Panasonic, Agilent Technologies, Attomarker, Hitachi, Affymetrix


Panasonic of Osaka, Japan, has received US Patent No. 8,388,820, "Biosensor, biosensor chip and biosensor device." The claimed biosensor includes a working electrode, a counter electrode, a working electrode terminal; a working electrode reference terminal connected to the working electrode by wires, and a counter electrode terminal connected to the counter electrode by a wire. By employing this kind of structure with at least three electrodes, the inventors claim it is possible to assay a target substance without being influenced by the line resistance on the working electrode side.

Agilent Technologies of Santa Clara, Calif., has received US Patent No. 8,389,218, "Analysis of single nucleotide polymorphisms using a nicking endonuclease." The method includes contacting a double-stranded genomic DNA with a site-specific nicking endonuclease that recognizes a sequence comprising a single nucleotide polymorphism, in which the endonuclease nicks the genomic DNA at a nick site only if a first allele of the SNP is present; denaturing the genomic sample; contacting the denatured genomic sample with an array comprising a first probe and a second probe, in which nicking results in less binding of the denatured sample to the first probe relative to a sample that is not nicked; and comparing the amount of hybridization to the first probe to the amount of hybridization to said second probe, in which decreased binding of the denatured genomic samples to the first probe relative to the second probe indicates that the first allele of the SNP is present.

Attomarker of Exeter, UK, has received US Patent No. 8,389,299, "Photonic biosensor arrays." The arrays consist of transparent substrates having surfaces bearing assay spots for Plasmon-resonance sensing. Each of the assay spots consists of a discrete metallic island made up of metallic nanoparticles to which are attached functionalizing molecules for binding to biological targets.

Hitachi of Tokyo has received US Patent No. 8,389,959, "Fluorescence analyzing device and fluorescence analyzing method." The approach relies on a substrate consisting of regions capable of immobilizing biologically-related molecules in positions of lattice points of a lattice structure. This causes the fluorescence from a certain lattice point to be wavelength-dispersed in a direction other than the direction toward the adjacent closest lattice point. According to the patent, the number of pixels of a two-dimensional sensor required for fluorescence analysis of the regions with the biologically-related molecules immobilized can be set to several hundred times to fifty times smaller than that in the conventional case without degrading the measurement accuracy.

Affymetrix of Santa Clara, Calif., has received US Patent No. 8,391,582, "System and method for scanning of probe arrays." The system 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 of at least two focusing distances where the detectors further receive pixel intensity values based upon detected emissions from probe features disposed on the probe array at the best plane of focus; and an image generator that associates each of the pixel intensity values with at least one image pixel position of a probe array based upon one or more position correction values.

Affymetrix has also received US Patent No. 8,392,355, "Computer software for visualizing genotyping data." According to the patent, high-density SNP genotype data is obtained from related individuals in a family. A pedigree is created, haplotypes are reconstructed, and likely recombination breakpoints are identified with the use of publicly available computer programs. A software tool is then used facilitate the visualization of the recombination events in the family.

The Scan

Back as Director

A court has reinstated Nicole Boivin as director of the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, Science reports.

Research, But Implementation?

Francis Collins reflects on his years as the director of the US National Institutes of Health with NPR.

For the False Negatives

The Guardian writes that the UK Health Security Agency is considering legal action against the lab that reported thousands of false negative COVID-19 test results.

Genome Biology Papers Present Epigenetics Benchmarking Resource, Genomic Architecture Maps of Peanuts, More

In Genome Biology this week: DNA methylation data for seven reference cell lines, three-dimensional genome architecture maps of peanut lines, and more.