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New Lab & IT Products for Integrated Biology: May 1, 2006



ChemSense cheminformatics platform

InforSense released its chem-informatic platform, a vendor-neutral, enterprise-wide integrative tool that enables researchers to establish competitive advantage by quickly and accurately identifying compound leads based on relationships found in complex, heterogeneous data. ChemSense, an extension of InforSense KDE, provides easy access for both informaticians as well as bench-level scientists to chemical information and software tools via analytic workflows with unprecedented depth of functionality for conducting drug discovery research.


GenomeQuest 3.0

This tool is an easy-to-use biological search solution that accepts text or sequence queries to search continuously updated sequence databases and renders results computed by a large-scale sequence comparison engine. The new release includes sequence patent content that previously could not be searched, including more than 25 million sequences found in 148,000+ patent documents, consistently annotated and organized. An additional 278,000 patent documents are referenced and organized into 85,000 patent families. The release also adds search methods to find SNPs, motifs, RNAi probes, diagnostic primers, microarray targets, and whole genes, enabling quick translation of research discoveries into intellectual property opportunities.



Proxeon announced the product launch of ProteinCenter, the world’s first protein-centric data warehouse. ProteinCenter integrates the contents of a large number of public protein sequence databases, your own experimental systems biology data, and a number of bioinformatics tools to form a comprehensive bioinformatics analysis tool for scientists who look at protein and sequence information.

Proxeon Biosystems

Sequencher 4.6

The latest version of this DNA sequence analysis and assembly program adds new capabilities including expanded handling of confidence scores throughout the program, improved protein translation capabilities, and extensive user customization, so the user can adapt Sequencher to his or her personal working style. The new Variance Table allows rapid and easy identification of SNPs and heterozygotes across large collections of sequences. The integration of GenBank features is also significantly improved, letting the user completely customize how features are imported and displayed on their sequences. Current Sequencher users can upgrade for free, or at reduced cost.

Gene Codes


ChromXP columns

Eksigent expands its ChromXP chromatography column line to include eight new stationary phases. The 300 µm i.d. columns are optimized to deliver maximum performance on the company’s ExpressLC-100 and -800 HPLC Systems, and are compatible with all capillary LC instruments. ChromXP columns are now offered in C4, C8 and C18 reversed phases, including a C8 and C18 embedded polar phase. There is also a C18 for use with highly aqueous mobile phases, to separate compounds unretained on traditional C18 columns.  Each column is offered in lengths of 30, 50, 100 and 150 mm.

Eksigent Technologies

EZChrom Elite Chromatography Data System

Agilent Technologies and Jasco announced the release of EZChrom Elite Chromatography Data System to control the new Jasco X-LC/HPLC liquid chromatography system. The new version of EZChrom Elite is designed to optimize specific features of the Jasco X-LC , including instrument control of the X-LC 3085 pump, X-LC 3070 and 3075 UV detectors, X-LC 3020 fluorescence detector, X-LC 3095 CD detector, and X-LC column oven.  In addition, special “full download” software control exists to maximize throughput of samples while operating the X-LC.

Agilent Technologies and Jasco

LC Control Software v2.07

Eksigent releases an upgrade to its LC Control Software, expanding quantification capabilities with graphical peak detection, ease-of-use features, and new mass spectrometry integration. The software works with all the company’s NanoLC and ExpressLC systems, and may also be integrated directly with many mass spec vendors’ data systems. Other key capabilities of the tool include real-time flow rate monitoring, rapid sample loading, integrated peak parking, metered injection, and automated diagnostics.

Eksigent Technologies

Prominence 2-Dimensional HPLC Series

Shimadzu recently announced a new HPLC series, which includes the 2D Micro-HPLC System for Proteome Analysis, the 2D HPLC for Bioanalysis, and the 2D HPLC for NMR Sample Preparation. All three feature the Shim-pack MAYI Restricted Access Media column, a newly developed bio-sample pretreatment column that achieves highly efficient deproteinization and long-term stability through optimization of particle diameter and newly developed coating technology.

Shimadzu Scientific Instruments


GenomeLab SNPStart primer extension kit

The GenomeLab SNPStart primer extension kit is for simplified single nucleotide polymorphism detection on Beckman Coulter’s CEQ 8000 Series Genetic Analysis System. Based on single-based primer extension technology, SNPStart is validated and optimized for multiplexing up to 10 SNPs in a single tube.  Ideal for low- to medium-throughput applications, this new kit provides a fast alternative to one-at-a-time, four-color SNP detection. Updated software to support the new kit is also available. The single-based primer extension technology eliminates secondary steps such as ligation and enzymatic cleavage for further simplicity and time savings. The SNPStart kit contains a master mix with four labeled terminators and the necessary enzyme and buffers.

Beckman Coulter

Mass spec

OMNIC Professional Software Suite 7.3

With this software release, Thermo expands capabilities for its FT-IR, Raman, and FT-NIR spectrometers. OMNIC 7.3 provides new time-based experiment features, Raman productivity tools, enhanced data transferability, additional capabilities for regulatory compliance, and compatibility with Thermo’s dedicated FT-NIR systems. OMNIC software for time-based experiments has been significantly enhanced with new 2D and 3D data visualization tools, programmable data collection events, and integrated data processing and analysis functions, such as a new one-click spectral search feature, that enable users to more rapidly and accurately extract results from their experiments. It is especially useful for hyphenated techniques such as TGA-IR and GC-IR, or conducting kinetics and rapid-scan experiments using FT-IR or Raman spectrometers.

Thermo Electron


HumanHap550 Genotyping BeadChip

Illumina released the HumanHap550 Genotyping BeadChip for conducting genome-wide association research. It contains more than 550,000 SNP markers on a single microarray and provides the most comprehensive genomic coverage of any product currently available. Each of the new chips will contain roughly 555,000 markers derived principally from “tagSNPs” identified and validated in both phases of the International HapMap Project



Phusion Hot Start High-Fidelity DNA Polymerase

Finnzymes’ unique Phusion High-Fidelity DNA Polymerase with a dsDNA binding domain is now available with a hot start modification. Phusion Hot Start DNA Polymerase includes a new Affibody-based inactivation method that enhances the specificity of the polymerase. Thus, very high specificity is now an additional feature of Phusion Hot Start DNA Polymerase — in addition to the extreme fidelity and speed (15-30 s/kb). The hot start modification also delivers improved robustness to Phusion Hot Start DNA Polymerase. The error rate of Phusion Hot Start DNA Polymerase is equal to Phusion DNA Polymerase, 4.4 x 10-7, determined with a modified lacI-based method.



SampleJet robotics system

Bruker’s SampleJet is a versatile, high-end robotics system that suits both high-throughput NMR and walk-up operations. It uses state-of-the-art robotics technology to rapidly transfer NMR sample tubes arranged in 96-sample format racks into the NMR spectrometer. It has capacity for up to 480 sample tubes, which are arranged in five separate 96-sample format racks, which are compatible with automated sample preparation and allow handling of commonly used 5mm and 1mm sample tubes. For individual sample analysis, the SampleJet accepts single tube samples via a separate carousel that can hold up to 47 tubes.

Bruker BioSpin

Sample prep

CP7200 Colony Picker

Norgren Systems, a division of Appalachian Electronic Instruments, introduced its CP7200 colony picker. It offers users high-speed picking, ease of use, and ultimate reliability for less than $100,000. It features ultra-fast picking rates of up to 7,200 colonies per hour, advanced imaging software that makes it easy to go from plate to plate and even run to run without timely recalibration efforts, and the smallest footprint of 22”x 20” to optimize lab space. Users can easily change individual tungsten needles on the picking turret as necessary without having to remove the whole head. The system was designed to allow high-throughput users continuous workflow of picking and inoculation without sacrificing the ease of use and short startup time required by the average user.

Norgren Systems

DNAzol Direct

DNAzol Direct is a universal reagent for processing samples for direct PCR. No DNA isolation  is required. The procedure is simple, fast, and effective; lyse a sample in DNAzol Direct for 15 minutes, add an aliquot of the resulting lysate to a PCR mix, and perform amplification of a selected DNA fragment up to 8 kb long. This product eliminates the use of columns, centrifugation, and DNA precipitation. No neutralization or other manipulation of the lysate is required prior to its use in PCR. DNAzol Direct is designed to process a wide range of samples including animal, plant, fungi, yeast, bacterial and viral samples.

Molecular Research Center

EGFP-NFATc1 Translocation Assay

GE Healthcare announced the introduction of a new Green Fluorescent Protein assay, expanding its range of GFP-based live cell assays used to screen test compounds in drug discovery. The EGFP-NFATc1 Translocation Assay may be used to test compounds for their ability to bind to and activate NFATc1 transcription factors that reside in the cytoplasm, causing them to translocate to the nucleus where they can alter levels of gene expression.

GE Healthcare

miRacULS miRNA Isolation and Labeling Kit

Kreatech announces the latest in a line of labeling kits for small RNA/miRNA analysis applications and the first complete kit for miRNA isolation and labeling. This kit combines the upstream isolation of the small RNA from tissue or cultured cells and the reagents necessary to label these samples for DNA microarray analysis, thereby offering a more complete solution to scientists carrying out miRNA analysis. The miRacULS miRNA Isolation and Labeling kit is available with the ULS labeling molecule bound to Cy3 and Cy5 dyes licensed from GE Healthcare.

Kreatech Biotechnology  

Protea Explorer

Protea released a new protein sample preparation instrument system that integrates, into a single in-line system, the various steps of protein sample preparation, from a single gel-spot to the mass spectrometer. The entire processing time has been reduced to a few hours. The system includes many innovative components, including components that remove protein samples from gels and then separate proteins by molecular weight. Downstream, there are elements that allow you to simultaneously electrospray and collect the same protein fractions for future use.

Protea Biosciences

Sorvall RC-6 Plus Super-speed Centrifuge

Thermo recently announced this high-speed, floor-model centrifuge, based on its Sorvall RC-6 centrifuge platform. This enhanced model combines a small footprint, superior functionality, increased safety, and improved speed for the efficient harvesting of cells, homogenate clarification, isolation of subcellular fractions (including nucleic acids), and pelleting protein and virus precipitates. Its increased operating speeds of up to 22,000rpm and rapid acceleration/deceleration rates mean faster separations, enabling users to process more samples in less time. 

Thermo Electron

The Scan

Follow-Up Data Requests to Biobank Participants Ineffective, Study Finds

An effort to recontact biobank enrollees for additional information reports low participation in a new BMJ Open study.

Study Finds Widespread Transmission of Resistant Bacteria in Vietnam Hospitals

A sequencing study in The Lancet Microbe finds widespread transmission of drug-resistant Escherichia coli, Klebsiella pneumoniae, and Acinetobacter baumannii in two Vietnam ICUs.

Novel Brain Cell Organoids Show Promise for Autism Research

University of Utah researchers report in Nature Communications on their development of brain cell organoids to study SHANK3-related autism.

Study Finds Few FDA Post-Market Regulatory Actions Backed by Research, Public Assessments

A Yale University-led team examines in The BMJ safety signals from the US FDA Adverse Event Reporting System and whether they led to regulatory action.