In an online, advance Experimental and Molecular Pathology article, Ronald van Eijk and his colleagues at Leiden University Medical Center report their assessment of an automated DNA/RNA isolation system for FFPE samples. The system "can process 48 tissue samples in three [hours] and 15 [minutes] using silica-coated magnetic nanoparticles. The process integrates both lysis and deparaffinization by hydrophobic adsorption instead of offline xylene-based deparaffinization," van Eijk et al. write. They compared the quality of how the automated system could isolate and detect KRAS and BRAF mutations from tissue cores and microdissections to the current, manual approach. "The first results of using DNA obtained from the fully automated system in Sanger sequencing demonstrate that the overall quality of the sequences is higher than in the classical process," the researchers write. They note that Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics provided them with the kits needed to evaluate the system, and supported the manuscript preparation.
Also in Experimental and Molecular Pathology, researchers led by James Graham Brown Cancer Center's Joongho Joh say they have developed assays to detect and diagnose MusPV, a mouse papilloma virus, in laboratory mice. They designed primers specific for MusPV to detect the virus in mouse tumors using PCR. "The selected primer set, designated as MusPV-My09/11, amplified specifically MusPV without producing any non-specific bands," the researchers write. "This set of primers failed to bind to MnPV or MmiPV genomic DNAs, differentiating MusPV from other known rodent PVs, or DNAs from uninfected tail tissues." The researchers add that "it is important to develop and evaluate diagnostic methods to screen mouse colonies for the presence of MusPV because it is an emerging new mouse pathogen that might have deleterious effects on breeding as well as studies involving immunodeficient mice."