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Small Packages, Great Things


A new small package might be the next big thing in post-genomic research. As it happens, current standards for packaging and prepping nucleic acids samples are more ad hoc than absolute. And without good packaging, widespread genotyping in clinical practice might not be possible. In order to travel, DNA and RNA samples need protection against degeneration that lasts for days, better yet weeks, at room temperature.

Switzerland''s PreAnalytiX is on target for a mid-year product release that integrates technologies from BD and Qiagen, partners in the venture that kicked off in 1999. First generation efforts center on marrying BD’s packaging with Qiagen chemistry to stabilize nucleic acids in a single step. Future advances promise to add hooks for automating analysis — barcoding at the point of collection, better nucleic acid isolation and preparation, and linkages to any number of analytical platforms. Their hope: build the de facto transport standard for samples that connects clinic to lab, and lab to lab, improving R&D and care.

- Brad Stenger

The Scan

Y Chromosome Study Reveals Details on Timing of Human Settlement in Americas

A Y chromosome-based analysis suggests South America may have first been settled more than 18,000 years ago, according to a new PLOS One study.

New Insights Into TP53-Driven Cancer

Researchers examine in Nature how TP53 mutations arise and spark tumor development.

Mapping Single-Cell Genomic, Transcriptomic Landscapes of Colorectal Cancer

In Genome Medicine, researchers present a map of single-cell genomic and transcriptomic landscapes of primary and metastatic colorectal cancer.

Expanded Genetic Testing Uncovers Hereditary Cancer Risk in Significant Subset of Cancer Patients

In Genome Medicine, researchers found pathogenic or likely pathogenic hereditary cancer risk variants in close to 17 percent of the 17,523 patients profiled with expanded germline genetic testing.