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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

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A National Institutes of Health-led team reports in Science that a broadly neutralizing antibody HIV vaccine induced bnAb precursors in 97 percent of those given the vaccine.

Study Uncovers Genetic Mutation in Childhood Glaucoma

A study in the Journal of Clinical Investigation ties a heterozygous missense variant in thrombospondin 1 to childhood glaucoma.

Gene Co-Expression Database for Humans, Model Organisms Gets Update

GeneFriends has been updated to include gene and transcript co-expression networks based on RNA-seq data from 46,475 human and 34,322 mouse samples, a new paper in Nucleic Acids Research says.

New Study Investigates Genomics of Fanconi Anemia Repair Pathway in Cancer

A Rockefeller University team reports in Nature that FA repair deficiency leads to structural variants that can contribute to genomic instability.