PATENT WATCH | Sequencing on Compact Disc?

Burstein Technologies of Irvine, Calif., has entered the alternative sequencing strategy arena (see related article, Beyond Sanger: Toward the $1,000 Genome), winning patent protection for its hybridization-based sequencing approach, which employs the company's BioCompact Disc (BCDT) technology. (US patent 6,566,069, issued May 30, 2003)

"Oligonucleotide arrays hold great promise in gene sequencing," inventor Jorma Virtanen writes in the application. But applying these to de novo sequencing projects is problematic, in that the number and length of required oligos becomes prohibitive. Burstein's approach offers a technical workaround. One embodiment first determines all 16-mer sequences in the sample, followed by all 8-mer sequences that flank unknown 11-mers. The former dataset fleshes out the latter, allowing "almost unequivocal deduction of the original sequence," Virtanen writes. "Only some long repeat sequences are outside the capability of this method," and these can usually be deduced using custom-made...

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