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DiscoveRx, Nikon Instruments, Molecular Devices, IonGate Biosciences, Sartorius Stedim Biotech

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DiscoveRx this week announced the release of over 50 PhosphoQuest ELISA assays for detecting functional kinase activities in cells. In a statement, Anna Christensen, DiscoveRx’s product manager for kinases, said, "DiscoveRx now offers a comprehensive portfolio of products that addresses the drug discovery needs of exploring active and inactive purified kinases and now cell-based kinases."
 

 
Nikon Instruments this week launched Biostation CT, which it said is an integrated “hands-off” system for managing, observing, and recording the growth of cells in culture.
 
The company simultaneously launched BioStation IM, a bench-top version of the BioStation CT, designed for single-user, single experiment, time-lapse recording of cells in culture
 
Both systems can image cultures at both the macro and the micro level, from 2x to 40x magnification (CT) or 10x to 80x (IM) under phase contrast. It is also possible to observe the cells under epi-fluorescence illumination on both models.
 
BioStation IM comes in two versions, one with a long working distance lens to work with plastic petri dishes and another with a high numerical aperture lens to work with thin-bottom glass petri dishes.
 
The macro “bird’s-eye” view function on the BioStation CT allows users to see the entire vessel and detect pH-dependent color changes and signs of contamination. Viewing is via an integrated digital camera, with images being made available via an internal server within the CT or an external computer linked to the IM.
 
BioStation CT has the capability of handling culture flasks, dishes, and well plates. When the cells need to be observed, vessels are automatically retrieved from the storage area and transferred to the integral microscope stage. Temperature, humidity, and CO2 levels are constantly recorded and can be integrated with image data to produce an audit trail for GLP and GMP.
 
All interaction with the BioStation CT occurs via a touch screen.
 

 
Molecular Devices, a division of MDS Analytical Technologies, this week announced the launch of the AquaMax 2000 and AquaMax 4000 series of microplate washers. The platform’s modular design allows researchers to configure the system for their current microplate format and applications, and provides an upgrade path when assay requirements change.
 
The system's 96- and 384-well wash heads are interchangeable.
 
The AquaMax system washes all wells in the microplate simultaneously, and does not require external pumps or computers.
 

 
IonGate Biosciences this week announced the market launch of SURFE2R (SURFace Electrogenic Event Reader) workstation. The workstation allows highly automated and efficient drug research on transporters and ion channels.
 
The manufacturer also said that the SURFE2R workstation is the first to measure 96-sensor array plates. It is designed for applications with higher throughput in pharmaceutical drug screening.
 
The SURFE2R technology permits the direct functional characterization of transporters. Core to the technology is a biosensor developed by IonGate, which measures the activity of transporters through electric charges with a reproducibly high quality.
 

 
Sartorius Stedim Biotech this week introduced the disposable CELLine bioreactor for optimal maintenance of cell cultures at near in vivo conditions.
 
Two compartments are separated by a 10 kDa Molecular Weight Cut-Off membrane to provide continuous and optimal levels of oxygen and nutrients to cultures while removing inhibitory metabolic waste products.
 
Higher molecular weight molecules secreted by cells are retained within a cell compartment while small nutrient molecules in a medium compartment pass through the semi-permeable membrane into the cell compartment. Each compartment is individually accessible, and a gas permeable membrane at the bottom of the cell compartment ensures oxygen to, and carbon dioxide from, the cell culture.
 
These conditions enable cells to proliferate to levels between 107 to 108 cells per milliliter, which the company said is about two magnitudes higher than levels achieved with conventional static cell culture techniques. In addition, product concentrations achieved in CELLine range from 1 to 5 mg/mL, suitable for antibody expression in hybridomas, protein expression in transfected cell lines, and virus production.
 
Product concentrations in the cell compartment of CELLine are in most cases 50 to 100 times above those found in static disposable cell culture vessels such as flasks and roller bottles, the manufacturer said.
 
Two CELLine bioreactor sizes are available for applications including monoclonal antibody production and long-term continuous cell culture maintenance.

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.