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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

Shape of Them All

According to BBC News, researchers have developed a protein structure database that includes much of the human proteome.

For Flu and More

The Wall Street Journal reports that several vaccine developers are working on mRNA-based vaccines for influenza.

To Boost Women

China's Ministry of Science and Technology aims to boost the number of female researchers through a new policy, reports the South China Morning Post.

Science Papers Describe Approach to Predict Chemotherapeutic Response, Role of Transcriptional Noise

In Science this week: neural network to predict chemotherapeutic response in cancer patients, and more.