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MDS Proteomics, Large Scale Biology Corporation, Picoliter, Cellomics


The US Patent and Trademark Office has granted MDS Proteomics US Patent 6,423,410, covering the composition and method for generating paramagnetic polymer particles for use in affinity separation of ligands. In this particular invention, entitled “Ultrasonically Generated Paramagnetic Polymer Particles,” the vinyl monomers are polymerized in the presence of high energy ultrasound. The particles contain vacuous cavities, a high percentage of evenly distributed magnetite, and are stable in both aqueous and organic solvents. Because these particles are paramagnetic, they are useful as tags when separating affinity-bound ligands from solution.


Large Scale Biology Corporation has been granted US Patent 6,416,644 for an integrated, automated, high-throughput system for 2D gel electrophoresis. The patent, entitled “Automated System for Two-dimensional Electrophoresis,” covers a system comprised of gel-making machines, gel-processing machines, gel compositions and geometries, gel handling systems, sample preparation systems, software, and methods. The system can operate continuously at high throughput, according to the patent.


The US Patent and Trademark Office has awarded Picoliter US Patent 6,416,164, entitled “Acoustic Ejection of Fluids Using Large F-number Focusing Elements.” The patent covers the device and method for dispensing droplets using acoustic energy generated by an external source and focused with a lens have a large “F-number,” which is a function of the focal length, diameter of the lens, and magnification ratio. In a statement, Picoliter said the invention is useful for precise dispensing of droplets into containers of varying size and shape, including those where the depth of the fluid is significantly greater than the width, as is the case with commercial microplate wells. The technology covered under the patent allows for extremely small volume transfers from high-density microplates, including those with 384, 864, 1,536, and 3,456 wells. “It works even when the fluid level is more than twice as high as the well is wide, the format of most high density well plates,” Picoliter CEO Elaine Heron said in a statement.


Scientists at Cellomics have been granted US Patent 6,416,959, entitled “System for Cell-based Screening,” covering the use of an optical screening and analysis system for determining the distribution, environment, and activity of fluorescently-labeled reporter molecules in cells. In one embodiment of the invention, the patent describes a system for generating cells containing fluorescent reporter molecules in an array of locations within the cell, treating the cells with one or more reagents, imaging the cells in various locations with fluorescence optics, converting the optical information into digital data, and interpreting the data in terms of the reagents’ effect on cell function.

The Scan

Wolf Howl Responses Offer Look at Vocal Behavior-Related Selection in Dogs

In dozens of domestic dogs listening to wolf vocalizations, researchers in Communication Biology see responses varying with age, sex, reproductive status, and a breed's evolutionary distance from wolves.

Facial Imaging-Based Genetic Diagnoses Appears to Get Boost With Three-Dimensional Approach

With data for more than 1,900 individuals affected by a range of genetic conditions, researchers compared facial phenotype-based diagnoses informed by 2D or 3D images in the European Journal of Human Genetics.

Survey Suggests Multigene Cancer Panel VUS Reporting May Vary Across Genetic Counselors

Investigators surveyed dozens of genetic counselors working in clinical or laboratory settings, uncovering attitudes around VUS reporting after multigene cancer panel testing in the Journal of Genetic Counseling.

Study Points to Tuberculosis Protection by Gaucher Disease Mutation

A mutation linked to Gaucher disease in the Ashkenazi Jewish population appears to boost Mycobacterium tuberculosis resistance in a zebrafish model of the lysosomal storage condition, a new PNAS study finds.