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Cytocentrics, DiscoveRx, Corning

Cytocentrics, a provider of patch clamping technology based in Rostock, Germany, last month presented its cell culture kit consisting of Instant Cells, Cell Reservoir, and corresponding buffers. The product was unveiled at the 51st Annual Meeting of the Biophysical Society, held in Baltimore, Md.
According to the company, the Instant Cells culture system guarantees high cell quality for a minimum amount of work, time, and money. Frozen Instant Cells are ready to use in less than 15 minutes after unfreezing without further cultivation.
Cytocentrics said that because its Instant CHO-K1 line stably expresses the hERG ion channel, it is an ideal cell system for automated as well as conventional patch clamp screening. Other host cells, such as HEK293 cells, that express the ion channel of the customer's choice, can be adapted to the Instant Cells system.
After thawing, the Instant Cells can be transferred directly to the Cytocentrics Cell Reservoir, a stand-alone bench-top storage device for suspended cells. It preserves the cells in a non-clustered state (lees than 85 percent after three hours) and at a high vitality for at least four hours (more than 90 percent trypan blue test).

DiscoveRx, a privately-held drug discovery firm headquartered in Fremont Calif., this week launched the PathHunter Flash Detection Kit. According to the company, with the PathHunter Flash Detection Kit, beta-arrestin recruitment by a GPCR can now be detected in 30 seconds, permitting screens of up to 1,000,000 compounds in 48 hours.
In the kit, a ligand-activated, GPCR-arrestin interaction combines two beta-galactosidase fragments, enabling rapid chemiluminescent detection in a homogeneous format. The kit is designed for a whole class of plate readers with onboard fluidics and flash detection mode.
The ability to run intracellular calcium assays in combination with the homogeneous, chemiluminescent PathHunter beta-arrestin assay helps drive the costs of primary screening campaigns down while increasing the speed of compound characterization, the manufacturer said.

Corning this week announced that it has introduced four new products featuring the Ultra-Web synthetic surface technology. This three-dimensional nanofiber technology will be applied to two of Corning's 96-well microplates and two 100 mm tissue-culture dishes.
Corning signed an agreement with SurModics and Donaldson in May 2006, through which it now provides global marketing, manufacturing and distribution of nanofiber cell culture products using the Ultra-Web synthetic surface technology.
The 96-well microplates and 100 mm tissue culture dishes became available this month in two versions: a synthetic, untreated nanofiber surface and one with a proprietary, polyamine surface modification.

The Scan

Pig Organ Transplants Considered

The Wall Street Journal reports that the US Food and Drug Administration may soon allow clinical trials that involve transplanting pig organs into humans.

'Poo-Bank' Proposal

Harvard Medical School researchers suggest people should bank stool samples when they are young to transplant when they later develop age-related diseases.

Spurred to Develop Again

New Scientist reports that researchers may have uncovered why about 60 percent of in vitro fertilization embryos stop developing.

Science Papers Examine Breast Milk Cell Populations, Cerebral Cortex Cellular Diversity, Micronesia Population History

In Science this week: unique cell populations found within breast milk, 100 transcriptionally distinct cell populations uncovered in the cerebral cortex, and more.