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Bio-Rad Laboratories, Nikon

Bio-Rad Laboratories this week released its Gene Pulser MXcell electroporation system.
The MXcell system is designed for researchers working with mammalian cells — in particular, primary cells, stem cells, or other difficult-to-transfect cells.
The MXcell system is fully programmable and can deliver up to 24 different electroporation protocols in a single 96-well plate in two minutes or less. 
The MXcell system features disposable 12-, 24- and 96-well plates offering options for high-throughput, replicated optimization, and multiple lab-scale transfections in a single plate. The software has gradient programming and pre-set optimization protocols for rapid plate set-up.

Nikon this week said that it will launch its Ti Series platform on Nov. 3 at the annual Neuroscience conference in San Diego.
The company said that the Ti platform is available in three models and combines rapid system speed with a flexible design incorporating capabilities including confocal, TIRF, fluorescence, and Nikon’s patented Perfect Focus System into an integrated unit.
According to the company, the Ti-E is the first microscope system to incorporate optimized synchronized switching. All component parts, including PFS, are integrated within a central hub and controlled through Nikon’s NIS elements software.   
The Ti-S and Ti-U derivatives are appropriate for researchers requiring less advanced systems with a lower level of integration, and are specifically indicated for use in more routine laboratory work, such as tissue culture, the manufacturer said. 

The Scan

Breast Cancer Risk Related to Pathogenic BRCA1 Mutation May Be Modified by Repeats

Several variable number tandem repeats appear to impact breast cancer risk and age at diagnosis in almost 350 individuals carrying a risky Ashkenazi Jewish BRCA1 founder mutation.

Study Explores Animated Digital Message Approach to Communicate Genetic Test Results to Family Members

In the Journal of Genetic Counseling, the approach showed promise in participants presented with a hypothetical scenario related to a familial hereditary breast and ovarian cancer syndrome diagnosis.

Computational Tool Predicts Mammalian Messenger RNA Degradation Rates

A tool called Saluki, trained with mouse and human messenger RNA data, appears to improve mRNA half-life predictions by taking RNA and genetic features into account, a Genome Biology paper reports.

UK Pilot Study Suggests Digital Pathway May Expand BRCA Testing in Breast Cancer

A randomized pilot study in the Journal of Medical Genetics points to similar outcomes for breast cancer patients receiving germline BRCA testing through fully digital or partially digital testing pathways.