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DxS, Abbott Molecular, Thermo Electron, Qiagen

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DxS this week launched its research-use-only T790M quantitative mutation assay to detect a particular mutation of the epidermal growth factor receptor associated with resistance to some tyrosine kinase inhibiting drugs, such as Iressa.
 
The test relies on DxS’ ARMS allele-specific PCR technology and its Scorpions quantitative real-time signaling system. The assay can detect mutant copies even if they represent as little as one percent of the sample, a marked improvement in sensitivity over traditional sequencing-based techniques, the company said. The assay performs equally well using DNA extracted from various samples, such as paraffin-embedded tumors and blood, the company added.
 
DxS is presenting an abstract featuring the assay’s technology on July 27 at the American Association for Clinical Chemistry meeting in Chicago.

Abbott Molecular will preview its new m2000 real-time PCR automated molecular diagnostics system at the July 23-27 American Association for Clinical Chemistry meeting in Chicago, the company said this week. The m2000 is intended for detecting and monitoring infectious diseases, and Abbott has submitted a pre-market approval application in the United States for an HIV viral load test for use on the system. The system’s 510(k) clearance with the US Food and Drug Administration is pending, the firm said.
 
In partnership with Celera, Abbott is also developing tests for hepatitis C, hepatitis B, Chlamydia, and gonorrhea. Tests for HIV-1, HCV, and a combination test for CT/NG and have been launched in the European Union with CE Mark certification, the company said.
 
The m2000 system consists of an automated sample preparation instrument, the m2000sp, and an integrated real-time PCR amplification and detection instrument, the m2000rt. The system reduces hands-on time required to prepare samples for DNA/RNA testing by as much as 75 percent, the company said.

Thermo Electron last week launched its nanoCell accessory for sub-microliter nucleic acid and protein analysis using its UV-Vis spectrophotometers, such as the Spectronic BioMate 3, and the Evolution 300. The nanoCell “allows scientists to obtain the maximum amount of information from minute sample volumes,” the company said in a statement.
 
The accessory is shaped like a cuvette and fits into any standard 1-cm cuvette holder for small-volume measurements, as needed, said Thermo. The nanoCell offers interchangeable 1 mm and 0.2 mm measurement pathlengths, and is also capable of addressing life science applications such as wavelength scanning, multiple fixed wavelength measurements, and simple kinetics reaction assays in UV-Visible spectrophotometers, the company added.

Qiagen this week said it has launched RNA stabilization solutions for a variety of sample types, such as cells, tissues, saliva, blood, and bacteria. The products preserve samples’ gene expression profiles, allowing reliable analysis using real-time RT-PCR and microarray analysis, the company said.
The RNA stabilization solutions allow samples to be stabilized, processed, stored, and transported at ambient temperature, Qiagen said.

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The Scan

Dropped Charges

The US Justice Department has dropped visa fraud charges against five Chinese researchers, according to the Wall Street Journal.

More Kids

The Associated Press says Moderna is expanding its SARS-CoV-2 vaccine study to included additional children and may include even younger children.

PNAS Papers on Rat Clues to Human Migration, Thyroid Cancer, PolyG-DS

In PNAS this week: ancient rat genome analysis gives hints to human migrations, WDR77 gene mutations in thyroid cancer, and more.

Purnell Choppin Dies

Purnell Choppin, a virologist who led the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, has died at 91, according to the Washington Post.