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Sequenom, DxS, ParAllele BioScience


Sequenom has launched iPlex, a new multiplexing SNP-genotyping assay that is compatible with the company's PCR-based MassArray System platform for genetic analysis. The company said that iPlex offers a number of advantages over its existing homogeneous MassExtend reaction, including routine multiplexing at the 24-plex level, "significant" cost reduction, improved call rates and accuracy at higher multiplex levels, and increased throughput of up to 10,000 genotypes per chip.

Genotyping services firm DxS said this week that it has developed and validated a single-tube assay for the drug-metabolism gene UGT1A1*28. The company said the new PCR-based test can deliver results within 30 minutes and is suitable for both real-time or end-point analysis. UGT1A1*28 is a variant in the promoter region of the UGT1A1 gene, which is responsible for glucuronidation of various compounds, including Pfizer's Irinotecan tumor therapy. DxS noted in a statement that the US Food and Drug Administration recently recommended that physicians prescribing Irinotecan should consider testing their patients for UGT1A1*28.

ParAllele BioScience said this week that it has doubled the number of available non-synonymous SNPs on its human genotyping panel from 10,000 to 20,000. The company said the panel is immediately available through the ParAllele Genotyping Service and represents more than 10,000 human genes with SNPs that code for amino acid changes. Unlike the company's earlier panel, which was contained only validated SNPs from the public domain, this latest panel also includes some of those selected by ParAllele from more than 25,000 previously unvalidated SNPs, the company said. The final SNP selection for the enlarged panel was achieved by genotyping approximately 300 individuals from three ethnic populations accounting for more than 8 million genotypes.

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The Scan

Should've Been Spotted Sooner

Scientists tell the Guardian that SARS-CoV-2 testing issues at a UK lab should have been noticed earlier.

For Martian Fuel

Researchers have outlined a plan to produce rocket fuel on Mars that uses a combination of sunlight, carbon dioxide, frozen water, cyanobacteria, and engineered E. coli, according to Gizmodo.

To Boost Rapid Testing

The Washington Post writes that new US programs aim to boost the availability of rapid at-home SARS-CoV-2 tests.

PNAS Papers on Strawberry Evolution, Cell Cycle Regulators, False-Positive Triplex Gene Editing

In PNAS this week: strawberry pan-genome, cell cycle-related roles for MDM2 and MDMX, and more.