Scientists who study sheep now have a new tool at their disposal.

Gen-Probe (Hologic) has been awarded US Patent No. 8,501,461, "System for performing multi-formatted assays."
Byron Knight and Haitao Li are named as inventors.

Olink of Uppsala, Sweden, has been awarded US Patent No. RE44,265, "Nucleic acid amplification method," a reissue of US Patent No. 7,790,388 of the same name.
Ulf Landegren and Mats Gullberg are named as inventors.

HandyLab (Becton Dickinson) has been awarded US Patent No. 8,088,616, "Heater unit for microfluidic diagnostic system."
Kalyan Handique is named as inventor on the patent.

The research collaborations will focus on rice and wheat, and researchers from the two institutions will share their latest research findings and determine areas where joint efforts may accelerate scientific discovery.

The technique, called acoustic microstreaming, improves cDNA yields from reverse transcription of single-cell quantities of RNA 10- to 100-fold over standard methods by promoting better reagent mixing — or "micromixing" — in standard PCR tubes.

Four genome sequencing and comparison studies are offering insights into the various strategies that plant pathogens have devised for infecting their hosts.

The three-year, $1.46 million project is expected to result in the acceleration of lupin crop improvements, such as drought tolerance, disease tolerance, and optimal flowering time.

Benitec said that it has also re-obtained a royalty stream paid by Sigma-Aldrich stemming from a license to its expressed RNAi technology for use in making and selling research products.


Thermo Fisher Scientific says it will no longer sell machines in China's Xinjiang region, according to the Wall Street Journal.

New Scientist reports that 20 percent of human and yeast proteins are uncharacterized.

The University of Zurich's Ruedi Aebersold and his colleagues analyzed a dozen HeLa cell lines to find differences in gene expression, protein levels, and more.

In Nature this week: protein-coding variants associated with body-fat distribution, and more.