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New Products: Affymetrix's Axiom Biobank Arrays; Agilent's Encore Multispan Liquid Handling System

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Affymetrix this week introduced Axiom Biobank Arrays, a new menu of chips for affordably genotyping large sample collections such as those screened at biobanks, genome centers, and core labs.

The arrays, available in both catalog and custom versions, incorporate multiple content categories including a genome-wide association study panel of markers for high-coverage analysis in major ethnic groups, rare coding SNPs and indel markers for exome analysis from Affymetrix's Axiom Exome Array, ADME and other clinically relevant markers, and newly discovered loss-of-function variants, including sequence insertions and deletions from recent exome sequencing initiatives.

According to Affy, each of the Axiom Biobank Arrays contains more than 600,000 variants. Customers can request the inclusion of up to 50,000 additional variants and also have the ability to interchange variants in any of the content categories to meet the needs of their specific studies.

In addition, the company said it plans to expand its menu of Axiom Biobank Arrays by building a range of chips optimized for screening various sample collections, including those focused on particular diseases, specific geographic populations or ethnicities, and other study groups.

Affy is now accepting orders for the new Axiom Biobank Arrays and said it can ship custom versions of the array within four to six weeks. BioArray News discussed the new product launch with company representatives last month (BAN 10/16/2012).


Agilent Technologies recently launched its Encore Multispan Liquid Handling System.

According to Agilent, the system includes a dual, multispan pipetting system with two individual banks of multiple pipettes where each moves independently in multiple axes; a software package featuring a three-dimensional simulator that provides researchers with the ability to set up, visualize, and optimize their protocols remotely and offline prior to running valuable experiments on the system; and a built-in robotic arm that enables end-to-end workflow integrations.

The firm claims the system can be used to automate a number of applications, including microarray workflows. Agilent said the product will ship in the second quarter of 2013.

The Scan

Just Breathing

A new analysis suggests that most Mycobacterium tuberculosis is spread by aerosols from breathing, rather than by coughing, the New York Times reports.

Just Like This One

NPR reports that the World Health Organization has hired a South African biotech company to recreate mRNA vaccine for SARS-CoV-2 that is similar to the one developed by Moderna.

Slow Start

The Wall Street Journal reports that Biogen's Alzheimer's disease treatment had revenues for July through September that totaled $300,000.

Genome Research Papers on Cancer Chromatin, Splicing in the Thymus, Circular RNAs in Cancer

In Genome Research this week: analysis of bivalent chromatin sites, RBFOX splicing factors' role in thymic epithelial cells, and more.