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New Products: Dec 19, 2008

PerkinElmer this week announced the release of 11 new AlphaScreen SureFire assay kits for the rapid detection of full-length kinase activation in cell lysates. The new kits were launched at the 48th annual meeting of the American Society for Cell Biology, held this week in San Francisco, Calif. 
The addition of the 11 new assay kits brings the total number of AlphaScreen SureFire kits to 39. Among the new kits are two that measure direct phosphorylation of cellular receptors: Insulin and IGF-1 receptors.
The latest assay kits include: Phospho-ALK (Tyr1586); Phospho-ALK (Tyr1604); Phospho-Chk-1 (Ser345);Phospho-c-Jun (Ser63); Phospho-c-Jun (Ser73); Phospho-EGF receptor (Tyr1068); Phospho-Elk-1 (Ser383); Phospho-ErbB2 (Tyr1221/1222); Phospho-IGF-1 Receptor (Tyr1135/1136); Phospho-Insulin receptor (Tyr1150/1151); and Phospho-mTOR (Ser2448).

PerkinElmer also announced this week at the ASCB annual meeting that it has expanded its AlphaLISA "No Wash" assay line.
The AlphaLISA portfolio now comprises 27 kits — including kits for detecting biomarkers associated with inflammation, cancer, neurodegeneration, metabolic disorders, and angiogenesis.           

Nikon Instruments this week at the ASCB annual meeting in San Francisco launched its Virtual Adjustable Aperture System, or VAAS, a confocal imaging method for post-acquisition recovery of data normally lost during the course of the experiment. This data recovery is accomplished by collecting emission photons that normally are rejected by the emission side pinhole, traditionally used at the 1 airy disk size.
VAAS technology allows for virtual adjusting of the confocality and sensitivity of data post-acquisition, as well as collecting more photons during the initial image acquisition to enable image reconstruction with a greatly improved signal-to-noise ratio, the company said.
VAAS uses two pinholes to collect emitted photons: a standard-sized pinhole to enable confocality, and a pinhole with a diameter three times larger to capture more of the emitted fluorescence without increasing the out-of-focus background detection. The manufacturer said that VAAS can reduce the out-of-focus haze signal without reducing the signal from the focal plane.
VAAS Detection is offered as an upgrade option to Nikon's A1 series of confocal laser point scanning systems.


Innovatis launched its new Cedex XS cell analyzer in the US this week at the ASCB annual meeting in San Francisco.  The Cedex XS is a semi-automated, image-based cell analyzer capable of delivering cell concentration, viability using the Trypan blue exclusion method, cell morphology, cell aggregation, and growth data from sample volumes as small as 10 µl.

The Scan

Researchers Develop Polygenic Risk Scores for Dozens of Disease-Related Exposures

With genetic data from two large population cohorts and summary statistics from prior genome-wide association studies, researchers came up with 27 exposure polygenic risk scores in the American Journal of Human Genetics.

US Survey Data Suggests Ancestry Testing Leads Way in Awareness, Use of Genetic Testing Awareness

Although roughly three-quarters of surveyed individuals in a Genetics in Medicine study reported awareness of genetic testing, use of such tests was lower and varied with income, ancestry, and disease history.

Coral Genome Leads to Alternative Amino Acid Pathway Found in Other Non-Model Animals

An alternative cysteine biosynthesis pathway unearthed in the Acropora loripes genome subsequently turned up in sequences from non-mammalian, -nematode, or -arthropod animals, researchers report in Science Advances.

Mosquitos Genetically Modified to Prevent Malaria Spread

A gene drive approach could be used to render mosquitos unable to spread malaria, researchers report in Science Advances.