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IP Roundup: University of California, Affymetrix, Canon, Cytec, and Others

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The University of California of Oakland has received US Patent No. 8,303,911, "Centrifugal microfluidic system for nucleic acid sample preparation, amplification, and detection." The described system includes a microfluidic compact disc, where the disc contains separate lysis chambers. A magnetic lysis blade and lysis beads are disposed in each of the lysis chambers and stationary magnets are disposed adjacent to and separate from the microfluidic CD. The stationary magnets are configured to magnetically interact with each of the magnetic lysis blades upon rotation of the microfluidic CD. According to the patent, each lysis chamber may have its own separate sample inlet port or, alternatively, the lysis chambers may be connected to one another with a single inlet port coupled to one of the lysis chambers. Downstream processing may include nucleic acid amplification using thermoelectric heating as well as detection using a nucleic acid microarray.


Affymetrix of Santa Clara, Calif., has received US Patent No. 8,305,565, "System, method, and product for multiple wavelength detection using single source excitation." A method for adjusting the system gain of a biological probe array scanner for a number of fluorophore species is claimed. It includes setting an excitation beam consisting of an excitation wavelength at a first power level that elicits an optimal signal-to-noise ratio response from a first fluorophore species; scanning a biological probe array with the excitation beam; setting the excitation beam at a second power level that elicits the optimal signal-to-noise ratio response from a second fluorophore species; and scanning the array with the excitation beam.


Thomas Treynor, Sood Anup, and Zhengyu Pang of Clifton Park, NY, and Michael Gerdes of Albany, NY, have received US Patent No. 8,305,579, "Sequential analysis of biological samples." Methods for probing multiple targets in a biological sample are provided. The methods include the steps of providing a sample containing multiple targets, binding at least one probe having a binder coupled to an enzyme to one or more targets present in the sample, reacting the bound probe with an enzyme substrate coupled to a fluorescent signal generator, and observing a signal from the fluorescent signal generator.


Canon US Life Sciences of Rockville, Md., has received US Patent No. 8,306,294, "Systems and methods for monitoring the amplification and dissociation behavior of DNA molecules." The patent describes a DNA analysis system that includes a chip containing a microchannel for receiving a nucleic acid sample; an image sensor having a pixel array, where at least a portion of the microchannel is within a field of view of the pixel array; and an image sensor controller configured to define a first window of the pixel array and to define a second window of the pixel array for both reading the first window of the pixel array at a time when the sample is within a field of view of the first window and for reading the second window of the pixel array at a time when the sample is within a field of view of the second window, where the center of the second window is spaced apart from the center of the first window.


Cytex Surface Specialties of Drogenbos, Belgium, has received US Patent No. 8,304,229, "Substrates, preparation and use." The patent describes a process for preparing a substrate that is reactive with the reactive groups of a molecular probe. The process includes applying to a substrate a material consisting of reactive sites with the ethylenically unsaturated double bond of a described formula, and covalently binding the reactive group of the molecular probe to the activated ethylenically unsaturated double bond of the reactive sites.

The Scan

Purnell Choppin Dies

Purnell Choppin, a virologist who led the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, has died at 91, according to the Washington Post.

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The New York Times reports that new Israeli data suggests a decline in Pfizer-BioNTech SARS-CoV-2 vaccine effectiveness against Delta variant infection, though protection against severe disease remains high.

To See Future Risk

Slate looks into the use of polygenic risk scores in embryo screening.

PLOS Papers on Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus, Bone Marrow Smear Sequencing, More

In PLOS this week: genomic analysis of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus pseudintermedius, archived bone marrow sequencing, and more.