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New Products: Feb 17, 2009

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Integrated Genomics has introduced igMeta, a bioinformatics resource for the analysis and curation of metagenomic sequence information. IgMeta is built around the company's Ergo Genome Analysis suite and provides access to over 1,400 genomes and metagenomes. It serves as a tool to assign functions to genes and analyze metabolic pathways and allows users to align metagenome sequences with complete and partial genomes.


Scarab Genomics has launched ScarabXpress T7lac, an E. coli expression strain that is based on its multiple deletion MDS42 strain. The new strain contains a chromosomal copy of the T7 RNA polymerase gene expressed from a tightly controlled lac promoter. MDS42 is a K12 strain with a 15-percent genome reduction to remove non-essential parts of the genome, which the company says enhances genetic stability and improves metabolic efficiency.


Epicentre Biotechnologies has released the QuickExtract seed DNA extraction solution to extract DNA directly from seeds. According to the company, the product provides a PCR-ready sample in 8 minutes; requires no centrifugation, spin columns, or toxic solvents; and is suitable for high-throughput workflows.

The company has also launched a PlantAmp PCR system that enables users to run PCR reactions on DNA from plants that are rich in polyphenols, polysaccharides, and other inhibitors. According to Epicentre, the kit eliminates the need for CTAB-based purification methods and is suited for high-throughput applications.

The Scan

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.

Study Explores Animated Digital Message Approach to Communicate Genetic Test Results to Family Members

In the Journal of Genetic Counseling, the approach showed promise in participants presented with a hypothetical scenario related to a familial hereditary breast and ovarian cancer syndrome diagnosis.

Computational Tool Predicts Mammalian Messenger RNA Degradation Rates

A tool called Saluki, trained with mouse and human messenger RNA data, appears to improve mRNA half-life predictions by taking RNA and genetic features into account, a Genome Biology paper reports.

UK Pilot Study Suggests Digital Pathway May Expand BRCA Testing in Breast Cancer

A randomized pilot study in the Journal of Medical Genetics points to similar outcomes for breast cancer patients receiving germline BRCA testing through fully digital or partially digital testing pathways.