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IP Roundup: Panasonic, Agilent Technologies, Maxwell Sensors, Harvard University, and More


Panasonic of Osaka, Japan, has received US Patent No. 8,231,768, "Biosensor, biosensor chip and biosensor device." The described biosensor includes a working electrode, a counter electrode, and terminals attached to the respective electrodes by wires. According to the inventors, by employing a structure with at least three electrodes, 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. 8,232,055, "Comparative genomic hybridization assays using immobilized oligonucleotide features and compositions for practicing the same." The described comparative genomic hybridization assays rely on solid support immobilized oligonucleotide feature elements. Different nucleic acid populations are prepared from genomic templates and then contacted with distinct oligonucleotide feature elements immobilized on the solid support surface. The binding of the populations is then evaluated.

Maxwell Sensors of Santa Fe Springs, Calif., has received US Patent No. 8,232,092, "Apparatus and method for digital magnetic beads analysis." The patent describes assays that rely on microbeads that have digitally coded structures that are partially transmissive and opaque to light. According to the patent, the pattern of transmitted light can be determined to decode the bead. The coded beads may be coated or immobilized with a capture or probe to effect a desired bioassay and the beads can be deposited in microplate wells, allowing multiple-analyte tests to be performed in each well.

Harvard University of Cambridge, Mass., has received US Patent No. 8,232,584, "Nanoscale sensors." A nanoscale electrical sensor array device is described that includes an n-doped semiconductor nanoscale wire and a p-doped semiconductor nanoscale wire, each having a reaction entity immobilized on it. According to the patent, the binding of an analyte to the immobilized reaction entity causes a detectable change in the electrical property of the nanoscale wire.

Affymetrix has received US Patent No. 8,233,735, "Methods and apparatus for detection of fluorescently labeled materials." Following the methods described in the patent, fluorescently marked targets are bound to a substrate synthesized with polymer sequences at known locations. The targets are then detected by exposing selected regions of the substrate to light from a light source and detecting the photons from the light fluoresced. The steps of exposure and detection are repeated until the substrate is completely examined. The resulting data can be used to determine binding affinity of the targets to specific polymer sequences.

The Agency for Science, Technology and Research of Singapore has received US Patent No. 8,234,079, "Method and/or apparatus of oligonucleotide design and/or nucleic acid detection." The method includes identifying regions of a target nucleic acid to be amplified, where the regions have a higher than average efficiency of amplification; and designing oligonucleotides capable of hybridizing to the selected regions. According to the patent, the method can be used to detect the presence of a pathogen, for example a virus, in a human biological sample, and the probes may be placed on a support, such as a microarray.

The Scan

Study Examines Insights Gained by Adjunct Trio RNA Sequencing in Complex Pediatric Disease Cases

Researchers in AJHG explore the diagnostic utility of adding parent-child RNA-seq to genome sequencing in dozens of families with complex, undiagnosed genetic disease.

Clinical Genomic Lab Survey Looks at Workforce Needs

Investigators use a survey approach in Genetics in Medicine Open to assess technologist applications, retention, and workforce gaps at molecular genetics and clinical cytogenetics labs in the US.

Study Considers Gene Regulatory Features Available by Sequence-Based Modeling

Investigators in Genome Biology set sequence-based models against observational and perturbation assay data, finding distal enhancer models lag behind promoter predictions.

Genetic Testing Approach Explores Origins of Blastocyst Aneuploidy

Investigators in AJHG distinguish between aneuploidy events related to meiotic missegregation in haploid cells and those involving post-zygotic mitotic errors and mosaicism.