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IP Update: Fluidigm, Affymetrix, Population Genetics Technologies, Corning, Promega, Novozymes


Fluidigm of South San Francisco, Calif., has received US Patent No. 8,168,139, "Recirculating fluidic network and methods for using the same." The patent provides a variety of microfluidic devices and methods for conducting assays and syntheses. The devices include a solid substrate layer having a surface that is capable of attaching ligand and or anti-ligand, and an elastomeric layer attached to the surface. They also include deflectable membrane valves and pumps, for example, rotary pumps.

Affymetrix of Santa Clara, Calif., has received US Patent No. 8,168,368, "Miniaturized microparticles." A method for forming encoded microparticles is described. The system is capable of printing a first portion of a code of a microparticle, and then printing a second portion of the code of the microparticle afterward. A computer-readable medium for controlling the step-and-repeat exposure system that performs the method is also claimed.

Affymetrix has also received US Patent No. 8,170,808, "Methods and computer software for detecting splice variants." A computer-implemented method for identifying exons of a gene that are differentially expressed within at least three samples is claimed. It includes obtaining a gene signal for a gene in each sample; obtaining an exon signal for exons of the gene in each sample; calculating an expected exon signal for an exon of the gene; correlating the exon signal with the expected exon signal; and identifying the exon as differentially expressed based upon, at least in part, a low correlation between the exon signal and the expected exon signal.

Population Genetics Technologies of Cambridge, UK, has received US Patent No. 8,168,385, "Methods and compositions for tagging and identifying polynucleotides." Methods are claimed for attaching oligonucleotide tags to polynucleotides for the purpose of carrying out analytical assays in parallel and for decoding the tags. Words, or subunits, of oligo tags index submixtures are added to a growing tag. By identifying each word of an oligo tag, a series of submixtures is identified including the first submixture that contains only a single polynucleotide, thereby providing the identity of the selected polynucleotide. The analysis of the words of an oligo tag can be carried out in parallel, for example, by specific hybridization of the tag to its tag complement on an addressable array.

Corning of Corning, NY, has received US Patent No. 8,168,399, "Supports for assaying analytes and methods of making and using thereof." The claimed method includes immobilizing a biomolecule on a support via a binding polymer comprising a pre-blocked binding polymer with a supplied formula; contacting the support with the analyte, where the analyte is bound to the biomolecule on the support; and detecting the bound analyte.

Promega of Madison, Wis., has received US Patent No. 8,168,405, "Covalent tethering of functional groups to proteins and substrates therefor." A mutant hydrolase optionally fused to a protein of interest is provided. According to the patent, the mutant hydrolase is capable of forming a bond with a substrate for the corresponding nonmutant, or wild-type, hydrolase, that is more stable than the bond formed between the wild-type hydrolase and the substrate and has at least two amino acid substitutions relative to the wild-type hydrolase. Substrates for hydrolases consisting of one or more functional groups are also provided, as is a fusion protein capable of forming a stable bond with a substrate and cells that express the fusion protein.

Novozymes of Davis, Calif., has received US Patent No. 8,168,768, "Methods for monitoring multiple gene expression." Methods are claimed for monitoring the differential expression of genes in a first filamentous fungal cell relative to expression of the same genes in one or more second filamentous fungal cells. The expression is measured using microarrays containing Trichoderma reesei ESTs or SSH clones, or a combination. The patent also claims computer-readable media and arrays.

Novozymes has also received US Patent No. 8,168,773, "Methods for monitoring multiple gene expression." The patent describes methods for monitoring the differential expression of genes in a first Bacillus cell relative to expression of the same genes in one or more second Bacillus cells using microarrays containing Bacillus genomic sequenced tags. Computer-readable media and substrates containing arrays of Bacillus licheniformis or Bacillus clausii GSTs are also claimed.

The Scan

Push Toward Approval

The Wall Street Journal reports the US Food and Drug Administration is under pressure to grant full approval to SARS-CoV-2 vaccines.

Deer Exposure

About 40 percent of deer in a handful of US states carry antibodies to SARS-CoV-2, according to Nature News.

Millions But Not Enough

NPR reports the US is set to send 110 million SARS-CoV-2 vaccine doses abroad, but that billions are needed.

PNAS Papers on CRISPR-Edited Cancer Models, Multiple Sclerosis Neuroinflammation, Parasitic Wasps

In PNAS this week: gene-editing approach for developing cancer models, role of extracellular proteins in multiple sclerosis, and more.