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Amersham Biosciences, General Electric, Affymetrix, Silicon Genetics, Applied Biosystems, Zyomyx


Amersham Biosciences this week introduced the Human Whole Genome Bioarray to its CodeLink line of microarrays, becoming the third of the microarray industry’s trio of leaders to field the product, and perhaps marking the last microarray product introduction by the company, which on Thursday is expected to close its acquisition by General Electric. The new CodeLink array targets some some 57,347 transcripts, and approximately 45,674 well-defined and potential genes based on gene content from NCBI UniGene build No. 165 (Jan. 5, 2004 release), dbEST (Jan. 8, 2004 release), Ensembl, and Incyte, the company said. The majority of this content has been functionally validated results. The number of functionally validated probes is approximately 100 percent, the company said, with approximately 80 percent — or 44,000 transcripts — verified. The array detects transcripts at a level of 1:900,000 (around 0.3 copies per cell). The product is compatible with the existing CodeLink platform while the CodeLink Expression Analysis Software for data analysis has been improved and upgraded for analysis of these arrays. Data generated using the new CodeLink whole genome bioarray is backwards compatible with data generated with previous lower density CodeLink human arrays so researchers may continue using existing data in the future. The product lists for $795 per chip.

Affymetrix this week announced that its Mapping 100K GeneChip Array Set is now broadly available to early-access customers. The two-microarray set can genotype over 100,000 SNPs. The company’s previous mapping product, was capable of genotyping 10,000 SNPs. Formal launch of the product is planned for the summer, the company said. Pricing was not provided. The 100K set is part of the company’s effort to expand its offerings in DNA analysis, which include comparative sequencing, custom genotyping, and whole-genome SNP microarrays. About half of the SNPs on the 100K set are from public databases, while the other half are from the SNP database developed by Affymetrix spinout Perlegen Sciences. All of the SNPs on the 100K set have been released into the public domain, Affymetrix said in a statement.

Silicon Genetics last week rolled out Varia, a genetic analysis software for high-volume genetic variation analysis. The product includes: navigable displays of the human genome at the nucleotide scale, including some 7 million variations; linkage analysis tools for the association of variation-to-variation or of variation-to-disease, including linkage disequilibrium and transmission disequilibrium tests, genetic linkage scores, and case control calculations; and automated tools for building haplotype maps and constructing pedigrees from user-supplied genotype data.

Applied Biosystems on Monday announced that its long-awaited Expression Array System is now widely available. (For previous coverage, see BAN 2/4/2004). Company sources tell BioArray News that the instrument will list for an estimated $180,000.

Zyomyx last week rolled out its Murine Cytokine Biochip, a product for the protein-expression analysis of thirty mouse cytokines, chemokines, and growth factors using sample volumes of 40 microliters. Pricing was not disclosed.


The Scan

Interfering With Invasive Mussels

The Chicago Tribune reports that researchers are studying whether RNA interference- or CRISPR-based approaches can combat invasive freshwater mussels.

Participation Analysis

A new study finds that women tend to participate less at scientific meetings but that some changes can lead to increased involvement, the Guardian reports.

Right Whales' Decline

A research study plans to use genetic analysis to gain insight into population decline among North American right whales, according to CBC.

Science Papers Tie Rare Mutations to Short Stature, Immunodeficiency; Present Single-Cell Transcriptomics Map

In Science this week: pair of mutations in one gene uncovered in brothers with short stature and immunodeficiency, and more.