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New Product Watch: Apr 7, 2009

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BioDiscovery last week launched Nexus Copy Number Version 4, a platform-independent application for DNA copy number analysis of microarray-derived data.

The latest version of the Nexus Copy Number software includes a new algorithm for SNP arrays that combines log ratio and B-allele frequency values to segment the genome; detection of loss of hetrozygosity and allelic imbalance calls for SNP array data; predictive power analysis for continuous data types; a query tool for listing genomic events for multiple genes or regions; and a one-click data loading tool.

Nexus Copy Number can integrate and process together data from commercial array platforms such as Agilent, Affymetrix, Illumina, and Roche NimbleGen, as well as custom arrays, BioDiscovery said.

The software is available in two editions. The standard edition enables copy number analysis of CGH and SNP arrays including customizable reports listing aberrant regions and copy number and allele event calls, minimum regions of aberration among a set of samples, individual sample results, and a genomic browser with customizable annotation tracks; Meantime, the discovery edition enables clustering based on similar aberration profiles, identification of statistically different regions of change between sample sub-groups, gene ontology enrichment analysis, survival analysis, and integration of external data such as gene expression.


Fluidigm last week launched SlingShot, a sample-quantification system that allows researchers to sequence their libraries of rare samples for use in second-generation DNA sequencing applications.

SlingShot relies on Fluidigm's integrated fluidic circuit microfluidic chips to detect only amplifiable molecules within the sample mixture. Since IFCs use small amounts of sample, SlingShot opens up the ability to sequence rare libraries where suboptimal amounts of the tissue are available. Using digital PCR, users can also count individual molecules using Fluidigm's technology, eliminating the need for library titration in preparation for sequencing, the company said.

Fluidigm's SlingShot kit includes an IFC chip, library-specific assays for second-generation DNA-sequencing platforms, the sample-loading agent, and the assay-loading agent.

The Scan

Shape of Them All

According to BBC News, researchers have developed a protein structure database that includes much of the human proteome.

For Flu and More

The Wall Street Journal reports that several vaccine developers are working on mRNA-based vaccines for influenza.

To Boost Women

China's Ministry of Science and Technology aims to boost the number of female researchers through a new policy, reports the South China Morning Post.

Science Papers Describe Approach to Predict Chemotherapeutic Response, Role of Transcriptional Noise

In Science this week: neural network to predict chemotherapeutic response in cancer patients, and more.