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New Product Watch: May 25, 2010

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Luminex and High Throughput Genomics this week launched the qBead Gene Expression Assay, a custom gene expression product. The two companies co-developed the product, and have signed an exclusive distribution agreement in which Luminex will offer it to the research community.

The new assay combines HTG's qNPA quantitative nuclease protection chemistry on the Luminex xMAP Technology multiplexing platform, resulting in a high-throughput assay that requires no extractions, cDNA synthesis, or amplifications, the companies said. The qBead assay is being targeted to scientists who need to get high quality gene-expression data from degraded samples or difficult samples such as formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tissues.

Custom qBead assays employ Luminex’s MagPlex magnetic beads that allow multiplexed measurement of multiple gene expression signatures per sample using Luminex's 100/200 instruments. The assay can also be run on Luminex's high-throughput, 500-gene multiplexing FlexMap 3D instrument, the firm said.


Genedata this week launched Expressionist 6, the latest version of its data management software system.

Expressionist 6 includes a Refiner module for microarray and next-generation sequencing data that integrates classical expression data into the biomarker discovery and development workflow, the firm said.

It also includes an Analyst module for data analysis and visualization. Thirdly, a Refiner MS module has been added to support the analysis of data generated from mass spectrometry experiments.


The Allen Institute for Brain Science this week launched its Human Brain Atlas, a publicly available online atlas charting genes at work throughout the human brain.

The atlas is a multi-modal atlas of the human brain that integrates anatomic and genomic information to create a searchable, three-dimensional map of gene activity in the brain. Data modalities in this resource include magnetic resonance imaging, diffusion tensor imaging, and histology — providing information about gross neuroanatomy, pathways of neural connections, and microscopic anatomy, respectively — as well as gene expression data derived from multiple approaches, the institute said.

Specifically, the gene expression data include spatially mapped microarray data for over 700 distinct anatomic locations throughout the brain and contains information for over 62,000 gene probes with 93 percent of known genes represented by at least two probes. In all, the atlas provides nearly 50 million gene expression measurements from a single brain, according to the institute. It said it plans to add data from brainstem and additional brains in the future.

The Scan

Study Links Genetic Risk for ADHD With Alzheimer's Disease

A higher polygenic risk score for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder is also linked to cognitive decline and Alzheimer's disease, a new study in Molecular Psychiatry finds.

Study Offers Insights Into Role of Structural Variants in Cancer

A new study in Nature using cell lines shows that structural variants can enable oncogene activation.

Computer Model Uses Genetics, Health Data to Predict Mental Disorders

A new model in JAMA Psychiatry finds combining genetic and health record data can predict a mental disorder diagnosis before one is made clinically.

Study Tracks Off-Target Gene Edits Linked to Epigenetic Features

Using machine learning, researchers characterize in BMC Genomics the potential off-target effects of 19 computed or experimentally determined epigenetic features during CRISPR-Cas9 editing.