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Millipore, Thermo Fisher Scientific, PerkinElmer, Beckman Coulter

Millipore last month announced the availability of HEScGRO animal component-free medium for human embryonic stem cell research. The company said that HEScGRO is the first commercially available animal component-free medium tested successfully for hESC culture and shown to maintain hES cells in their undifferentiated state. Millipore is manufacturing and marketing the media through an Oct. 2006 agreement with Stem Cell Sciences.

Thermo Fisher Scientific this week introduced the Thermo Scientific Cell Growth and Discovery WorkCell (CGD WorkCell), a fully enclosed, environmentally controlled automation product designed for high-capacity cell growth, supply, and in-line image analysis. The CGD WorkCell is a turn-key system that can simultaneously handle multiple plate or flask formats, and can perform cell maintenance, colony selection, and RNAi studies, Thermo Fisher said. The platform is powered by Thermo Fisher’s Celleste software.

PerkinElmer this week launched a new laser detection module to extend the capabilities of its EnVision multilabel plate reader. The new optional module, the TRF Laser, is a compact nitrogen laser unit that provides improved performance for homogenous and time-resolved fluorescence assays. Specifically, PerkinElmer said, the laser delivers a very short excitation pulse without a tail, resulting in improved signal-to-background noise for optimum Z’ values in HTRF assays such as PerkinElmer’s LANCE Ultra and DELFIA assays. The laser module can be combined with any EnVision option configuration and is fully field-upgradeable, PerkinElmer said.

Beckman Coulter this week introduced its BioRAPTR FRD microfluidic work station at LabAutomation 2007 in Palm Springs, Calif. Beckman offers both a standalone version of its platform, and a version that is integrated with the company’s new Paradigm detection platform, Biomek NXp liquid handler, and BRT robotic transport.
Beckman said that the BioRAPTR FRD is ideal for assay miniaturization in drug discovery, genomics, and proteomics. The instrument is designed so that the plate moves while the pipetting head is stationary, creating a shorter fluid path for high precision with low dead volume, Beckman said. The BioRAPTR has been validated with biological samples, demonstrating high cell viability, the company added.

The Scan

Team Tracks Down Potential Blood Plasma Markers Linked to Heart Failure in Atrial Fibrillation Patients

Researchers in BMC Genomics found 10 differentially expressed proteins or metabolites that marked atrial fibrillation with heart failure cases.

Study Points to Synonymous Mutation Effects on E. Coli Enzyme Activity

Researchers in Nature Chemistry saw signs of enzyme activity shifts in the presence of synonymous mutations in a multiscale modeling analysis of three Escherichia coli genes.

Team Outlines Paternal Sample-Free Single-Gene Approach for Non-Invasive Prenatal Screening

With data for nearly 9,200 pregnant individuals, researchers in Genetics in Medicine demonstrate the feasibility of their carrier screening and reflex single-gene non-invasive prenatal screening approach.

Germline-Targeting HIV Vaccine Shows Promise in Phase I Trial

A National Institutes of Health-led team reports in Science that a broadly neutralizing antibody HIV vaccine induced bnAb precursors in 97 percent of those given the vaccine.