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New Products: Swift Biosciences' Accel-NGS Kit; Roche/Hamilton's Automated DNA Enrichment; More

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Swift Biosciences has launched Accel-NGS DNA Library Kit, a PCR-free library prep kit that requires 5 nanograms of input DNA. According to the company, libraries can be prepared in 75 minutes in a five-step protocol that is compatible with formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded tissue and can be easily automated.


Roche and Hamilton Robotics have jointly launched a platform for automated DNA sample enrichment for the 454 GS Junior instrument. The platform integrates Roche's REM e System with Hamilton's Microlab NIMBUS NGS workstation to automate the emulsion PCR breaking, bead enrichment, and sequence primer annealing steps in the GS Junior workflow.


NuGen has launched the Mondrian SP+ Workstation, which extends the capabilities of the previous version to enable the integration of library enrichment in fully automated workflows. The expanded protocols will also include ultralow input RNA-seq, and RNA-seq library preparation.


The Association of Biomolecular Resource Facilities has partnered with the Vermont Genetics Network to launch the ABRF Core Marketplace, a free service that allows researchers to search for scientific resources offered by core labs and other service providers.

Service providers can list their labs for free, providing information about the services they provide, their location, and other information. Providers can also post limited time offerings, such as a single lane on a sequencing run that they'd like to fill quickly.

Researchers, meantime, can search for specific services and filter by location or specific institution, or can post service requests for jobs that require a quick turnaround time.
The Core Marketplace, launched this week at the ABRF annual meeting, is built upon the Core Facilities Database maintained by the Vermont Genetics Network, and currently includes services from 409 labs, primarily in the US and Canada.

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.