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Aurora Biotechnologies, Invitrogen, MatriCal, SRU Biosystems, Applied Biosystems, Cellectricon

Aurora Biotechnologies has launched a new series of 384-well microplates, the company announced this week. The 384-IQ microplates are available in black, white, and clear, with options for solid or film bottoms.
The new microplates also offer what the company said is a unique evaporation barrier well design for the control of evaporative edge effects. The microplates are available with either chamfered-square wells or low volume round wells.
All plate configurations meet Society for Biomolecular Sciences’ and American National Standards Institute’s requirements. The new 384-well microplates are made from the same cyclo-olefin polymers as Aurora Biotechnologies’ current 1,536-well and 3,456-well microplate products.

Invitrogen this week introduced GIBCO FoamAway Irradiated AOF (Animal Origin Free), a sterile, ready-to-use, anti-foaming reagent that contains no components of human or animal origin. It is being offered in addition to the original FoamAway Irradiated, released in June 2007.
FoamAway Irradiated AOF is pre-diluted and sterilized through a validated gamma irradiation process. The new product is pre-diluted to 3 percent concentration in water for injection, and is packaged in media bags that can connect sterilely to most common bioreactors.
FoamAway Irradiated AOF is available in 500 mL bags for small-scale use, and in 2.5 L bags for larger-scale use.

MatriCal announced this week that it has launched SQUIRT, a benchtop plate washer technology it licensed from Nuvogen Research; the MatriMix spinner flask; and the MACCS automated cell culture system.
According to the company, the patent-pending SQUIRT uses a slit manifold design that ensures gentle washing of the cellular monolayer without the cell removal associated with conventional probe-based washers. SQUIRT accommodates all Society for Biomolecular Sciences-formatted plates (96-, 384-, and 1,536-well). Wash times are under 10 seconds in all formats, the company said.
The MatriMix is a patent-pending, disposable one-liter flask molded from virgin polycarbonate, the company said. 
According to the manufacturer, the flask is fitted with a central magnetic stir paddle to maximize nutrient flow and dead volume. The flask’s tear-drop shape breaks up laminar flow and allows for uninterrupted aspiration while spinning, the company said. MatriMix offers media capacity of 75 µL – 1,000 mL (2.5 – 32.0 oz).
The MACCS automated cell culture system offers a modular, expandable design combined with the ability to work with labware including Roboflasks, T-flasks, shaker and spinner flasks, microtiter plates, and roller bottles, MatriCal said.
The system features on-line cell monitoring, vaporized hydrogen peroxide sterilization, and high-efficiency particulate air filtration. A six-axis robotic arm allows for high-throughput cell culture and motion control for gentle processing of cell cultures and various consumables. The module design of the incubator ensures uniform temperature, CO2, and humidity control.

SRU Biosystems this week introduced its newest generation of microplate readers based on its proprietary label-free detection technology, the BIND 96/384 TURBO reader for 96- and 384-well microplates and the BIND 384/1536 TURBO reader for ultra-high throughput screening using 384- or 1,536-well microplates, the company said.
According to the company, the BIND 384/1536 TURBO is capable of label-free detection in a 1,536-well microplate format. The TURBO BIND readers are being offered with customizable automation integration and are adaptable to customers' automated systems, the manufacturer said.

Applied Biosystems this week announced the launch of its new TaqMan Cells-to-CT kits.
The kits are reagents that are designed to reduce the amount of time that is typically necessary to prepare and analyze RNA from cultured cells using real-time PCR in applications such as siRNA-mediated gene silencing and microRNA analysis, the company said.
This family of kits enables expression analysis to be performed directly from cultured mammalian cells derived from a variety of tissue sources, including epithelial cells and stem cells. The kits are part of a complete workflow that reduces the process of preparing samples to 10 minutes or less.

Cellectricon has launched its new Cellaxess HT system, the company announced this week.
According to the company, the Cellaxess HT is the first fully-automated high-throughput transfection system to reach the market. Cellectricon said it developed the Cellaxess HT to meet the increasing demand for a technology capable of genome-wide RNAi screening.
The system will be introduced at the SBS 14th Annual Conference and Meeting next month in St. Louis, Mo.

The Scan

Genome Sequences Reveal Range Mutations in Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells

Researchers in Nature Genetics detect somatic mutation variation across iPSCs generated from blood or skin fibroblast cell sources, along with selection for BCOR gene mutations.

Researchers Reprogram Plant Roots With Synthetic Genetic Circuit Strategy

Root gene expression was altered with the help of genetic circuits built around a series of synthetic transcriptional regulators in the Nicotiana benthamiana plant in a Science paper.

Infectious Disease Tracking Study Compares Genome Sequencing Approaches

Researchers in BMC Genomics see advantages for capture-based Illumina sequencing and amplicon-based sequencing on the Nanopore instrument, depending on the situation or samples available.

LINE-1 Linked to Premature Aging Conditions

Researchers report in Science Translational Medicine that the accumulation of LINE-1 RNA contributes to premature aging conditions and that symptoms can be improved by targeting them.