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Invitrogen, Solvo Biotechnology

Invitrogen this week announced the launch of CELLstart, a fully defined, completely animal origin-free substrate for the attachment and expansion of embryonic, mesenchymal, and neural stem cells.
CELLstart maintains the stem cell characteristics and differentiation capability of human embryonic, mesenchymal, and neural stem cells. The manufacturer said that CELLstart requires researchers to go through minimal or no changes in processes from current culture methods.

Solvo Biotechnology has introduced its P-gp Predivez kits to measure drug-transporter interaction in membrane vesicles expressing human P-gp or rat Mdr1b, the company announced recently.
These new vesicular transport assays operate with a low-permeability, cationic, radio-labeled substrate (N-methyl-quinidine) that is transported by both MDR1 and ratMdr1b transporters. The human P-gp Predivez kit works with human membrane vesicles while the rat Mdr1b Predivez kit contains insect membrane preparation expressing the rodent ABC transporter.
Both kits are available in three-, six-, and nine-compound sizes. Each kit contains a sufficient amount of reagents and membrane preparation for testing three compounds per 96-well plate. Negative control membranes and positive control reference materials are also included. Each kit is accompanied by a CD that includes the assay protocol, Excel spreadsheet with data processing template, MSDS, and reference curves with known interactors.
The price of the kit includes the cost of the radiolabeled reporter substrate, which is shipped separately. The labeled reporter compound comes in a single size package, sufficient for testing nine compounds. Kits are also available without the labeled reporter compound.
According to the manufacturer, the Predivez kit allows a faster and more cost-effective investigation of the drug candidate and P-gp interaction than lower-throughput cellular assays, such as Caco-2, MDCK-MDR1, or LLC-PK MDR1 cell-based systems.

The Scan

Octopus Brain Complexity Linked to MicroRNA Expansions

Investigators saw microRNA gene expansions coinciding with complex brains when they analyzed certain cephalopod transcriptomes, as they report in Science Advances.

Study Tracks Outcomes in Children Born to Zika Virus-Infected Mothers

By following pregnancy outcomes for women with RT-PCR-confirmed Zika virus infections, researchers saw in Lancet Regional Health congenital abnormalities in roughly one-third of live-born children.

Team Presents Benchmark Study of RNA Classification Tools

With more than 135 transcriptomic datasets, researchers tested two dozen coding and non-coding RNA classification tools, establishing a set of potentially misclassified transcripts, as they report in Nucleic Acids Research.

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.