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New Product Watch: May 10, 2011

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Fluidigm this week announced the availability of assays and target-specific primers for use with its integrated fluidic circuit technology. Using the assays and primers, customers can create highly multiplexed panels using catalog and custom content focused on their particular research area.

The products are being marketed as DeltaGene Assays for gene-expression profiling; SNPtype Assays for SNP genotyping; and Access Array Target-specific Primers for target enrichment prior to next-generation sequencing.

As part of the program, Fluidigm will provide the assay primer locus sequences with every order, the company said. This information will make it easier for the results to be MIQE compliant.

MIQE, short for "minimum information for publication of quantitative real-time PCR experiments," was designed to provide guidelines for enhancing the reproducibility and transparency of quantitative real-time PCR assays.


HistoRx last week launched two new services for academic researchers interested in using its Aqua technology. The Aqua approach enables in situ analysis of biomarkers, including measurement of protein concentration with sub-cellular resolution in both whole tissue sections and tissue microarrays, according to the Branford, Conn.-based company.

In its new Access Aqua services program HistoRx will stain an investigator's slides, acquire digital fluorescent images, perform analysis, and provide the images and the scores for the biomarkers of the customer's choice. This program is ideal for those conducting one or two experiments, or to demonstrate proof of concept for a grant application, the firm said.

The company also now offers its AquaPrep services to "those with several experiments in mind." Through this second program, the academic laboratory first purchases a copy of Aqua software from HistoRx. HistoRx then stains the slides, acquires digital fluorescent images, and sends the data files to the researcher for analysis using the Aqua software.

This program "enables researchers and their staff to become familiar with the use of the Aquanalysis program prior to making an instrument investment," the company said.

The Scan

Researchers Develop Polygenic Risk Scores for Dozens of Disease-Related Exposures

With genetic data from two large population cohorts and summary statistics from prior genome-wide association studies, researchers came up with 27 exposure polygenic risk scores in the American Journal of Human Genetics.

US Survey Data Suggests Ancestry Testing Leads Way in Awareness, Use of Genetic Testing Awareness

Although roughly three-quarters of surveyed individuals in a Genetics in Medicine study reported awareness of genetic testing, use of such tests was lower and varied with income, ancestry, and disease history.

Coral Genome Leads to Alternative Amino Acid Pathway Found in Other Non-Model Animals

An alternative cysteine biosynthesis pathway unearthed in the Acropora loripes genome subsequently turned up in sequences from non-mammalian, -nematode, or -arthropod animals, researchers report in Science Advances.

Mosquitos Genetically Modified to Prevent Malaria Spread

A gene drive approach could be used to render mosquitos unable to spread malaria, researchers report in Science Advances.