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New Product Watch: Jun 7, 2011

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Avantra Biosciences this week introduced a Rapid Assay Prototyping Service. The company allows researchers to design quantitative multiplex protein assays for use on its QPDx BioChip platform.

To provide its service, Avantra relies on pre-validated antibody pairs that can be further optimized for specific research needs. In addition, Avantra said it can design QPDx assays that use a client's own immunoassay reagents. The assays can be used for screening drug targets, pathway analysis, and disease state biomarker profiling.

Elizabeth Holland, vice president of business operations at the firm, told BioArray News this week that Avantra is "addressing the need for multiplex assays that are easily deployable to multiple locations" and that the service "avoids lab-to-lab variability that other platforms run into."

She said the firm's target customers include clinical researchers, academic labs, and biotech and pharmaceutical companies. "Since we are disease agnostic, the focus of the service will be customer driven," she added.

Woburn, Mass.-based Avantra launched its platform earlier this year (BAN 2/1/2011).


NanoInk this week launched its NanoArray Assay System for nanoscale protein analysis and discovery.

The desktop unit is based on NanoInk’s patented, tip-based Dip Pen Nanolithography technology, and is capable of creating protein arrays and then fluorescently imaging the resulting nanoarrays at high resolution.

Components of the NanoArray Assay System include the NanoArrayer 3000; the NanoScan 900 Scanner; and software for array patterning, data acquisition, and image analysis. Using the NanoArrayer 3000, proteins can be patterned into subarrays, and modified assay slides can be produced in 18, 48, and 96 sub-array formats.

The Skokie, Ill.-based firm claimed that its new system can be used for the detection, identification, and quantitation of clinically relevant proteins from a variety of sample types.

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.