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IP Roundup: Regeneron, CalTech, X-Body, Cell ASIC, Corning, UT Austin, Affymetrix, Lumencor


Regeneron Pharmaceuticals of Tarrytown, NY, has received US Patent No. 8,255,167, "Non-hypergeometric overlap probability." Methods are provided for determining the probability that the size of an overlap gene set from two different microarrays occurs by chance. This is ascertained by selecting the overlap set from all entities common to both the first entity set and the second entity set, and dividing the results by the number of ways of selecting the first subset of entities from the first entity set and multiplying the subsequent result by the number of ways of selecting the second subset of entities from the second entity set.

California Institute of Technology of Pasadena has received US Patent No. 8,257,666, "Integrated active flux microfluidic devices and methods." A microfabricated device is claimed for the "rapid detection" of DNA, proteins or other molecules associated with a particular disease. In the microfabricated device, the presence of molecules is detected by a hybridization signal from an optically detectable reporter associated with the bound molecules. The hybridization signals can be detected by "any suitable means" and can be "stored in a computer as a representation of the presence of a particular gene," according to the patent abstract.

X-Body of Waltham, Mass., has received US Patent No. 8,257,936, "High resolution label free analysis of cellular properties." A method of detecting a change in a cell growth pattern is claimed. It includes adding cells that express adhesion proteins on their surface to a colorimetric resonant reflectance optical biosensor; detecting a first colorimetric resonant reflectance optical peak wavelength, or PWV, value for the cells; incubating the cells for a period of time; detecting a second PWV; and comparing the first PWV and second PWV, where a difference between the first PWV in relation to the second PWV indicates a change in the cell growth pattern in the cells.

Cell ASIC of San Leandro, Calif., has received US Patent No. 8,257,964, "Microwell cell-culture device and fabrication method." The patent describes a microarray culture system. The system includes a substrate that contains a series of microfluidic passageways. Each passageway has a well for receiving particles, such as cells; an inlet channel segment; an outlet channel segment; a channel intersection segment; and a porous barrier through which fluid, but not cells, in the well can perfuse from the well into the channel. Microvalves are used to control the flow of fluids through the channels.

Corning of Corning, NY, has received US Patent No. 8,257,965, "Arrays of biological membranes and methods and use thereof." The inventors describe an array that can be produced, used and stored in an environment exposed to air under ambient or controlled humidities. According to the patent, the array may consist of membrane-bound proteins, such as a G-protein coupled receptor, a G protein, an ion channel, a receptor serine/threonine kinase, and a receptor guanylate cyclase or a receptor tyrosine kinase. The array substrate may be made of glass, silicon, metal or polymeric materials and can be configured as a chip, slide, or microplate.

The University of Texas at Austin has received US Patent No. 8,257,967, "Method and system for the detection of cardiac risk factors." A system is described for characterizing multi-cardiovascular risk factor analytes in fluids. The system includes a light source, a sensor array, and a detector. According to the patent, the sensor array is provided on a support in which cavities are formed. A series of chemically sensitive particles are positioned within the cavities and may produce a signal when a receptor, coupled to the particle, interacts with the cardiovascular risk factor analyte.

Affymetrix of Santa Clara, Calif., has received US Patent No. 8,258,199, "Photoacid generators for the synthesis of oligo-DNA in a polymer matrix." The patent describes methods of generating acid by exposing specific compounds to light of an appropriate wavelength. The patent also provides methods of fabricating arrays of polymers by providing a solid substrate that hosts a reactive group protected by an acid labile protective group; coating the substrate with a film that consists a photoacid generator represented by formulas claimed in the patent, and, optionally, an acid scavenger; activating the photo acid generator in selected regions of the substrate by selective application of light; exposing the reactive group on the substrate to the acid in the presence of the scavenger so that the protective group is removed to provide an exposed reactive group; reacting the exposed reactive group with a monomer; and repeating the steps of coating, activating, exposing and reacting to produce the array of polymers.

Lumencor of Beaverton, Ore., has received US Patent No. 8,258,487, "Lighting design of high quality biomedical devices." The patent claims methods for converting the output of a specific color LED and generating a broader band of wavelengths of emission that include not only the specific color but additional color output. The described approach "minimizes backward directed light while increasing the total range of wavelengths emitted," according to the inventors. The method can be used in a variety of applications, they claim, including microarray scanning.

The Scan

Shape of Them All

According to BBC News, researchers have developed a protein structure database that includes much of the human proteome.

For Flu and More

The Wall Street Journal reports that several vaccine developers are working on mRNA-based vaccines for influenza.

To Boost Women

China's Ministry of Science and Technology aims to boost the number of female researchers through a new policy, reports the South China Morning Post.

Science Papers Describe Approach to Predict Chemotherapeutic Response, Role of Transcriptional Noise

In Science this week: neural network to predict chemotherapeutic response in cancer patients, and more.