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New Product Watch: Apr 5, 2011


Affymetrix this week introduced the second generation of its OncoScan FFPE Express assay. OncoScan FFPE Express 2.0 offers enhanced coverage of tumor suppressors and oncogenes and provides the same performance as the previous-generation OncoScan technology, the firm said. The assay will be available as a service exclusively through the Affymetrix Research Services Laboratory in the second quarter.

OncoScan FFPE Express 2.0 enables users to analyze DNA from formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tissues to extract retrospective clinical data from archived samples. Affy claims the assay can yield copy number, allelic ratio, and somatic mutation data from 75 nanograms of input DNA, the lowest sample tolerance available.

PerkinElmer has introduced a new oncology testing service that relies on the OncoChip, an array platform the firm claims can aid in "faster, earlier, and more accurate" diagnoses of hematological malignancies. The OncoChip was developed and validated by Signature Genomics, a PerkinElmer company. Signature Genomics will also be performing the service, the firm said.

PerkinElmer's OncoChip is capable of identifying chromosome abnormalities, including gains, losses and balanced translocations to aid physicians in providing patient diagnosis and prognosis. The company claims array results may support more targeted treatments of patients with hematological cancers, such as chronic lymphocytic leukemia, chronic myelogenous leukemia, acute myeloid leukemia, T-cell and B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

PerkinElmer is offering two distinct OncoChip microarray options, including Copy Number Evaluation and Translocation Assessment. The CNE array option detects all clinically relevant copy-number gains and losses commonly seen by karyotype. It also measures gains and losses below the resolution of karyotyping and fluorescent in situ hybridization, PerkinElmer said.

The TA microarray option detects the relevant balanced translocations identified by FISH and karyotype and recognizes balanced translocation breakpoints, as well as balanced translocation partners not distinguishable by these methods. Another feature of the TA is that it distinguishes between the variable translocation breakpoints within a single gene, which PerkinElmer maintains can have an impact on a patient's prognosis and treatment.

HTG Molecular Diagnostics this week launched qFix Arrays for gene expression analysis. The research-use-only arrays are pre-configured and validated to enable researchers to conduct translational medicine and clinical validation studies.

HTG's arrays can be used to detect mRNA, miRNA, siRNA, gene fusions, slice variants, and single nucleotide variants. The platform allows scientists to test any sample, including formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tissue samples while avoiding extraction and target amplification, HTG claimed.

RayBiotech last week launched its Biostatistics and Bioinformatics Program. The new service will allow researchers using microarray technology to "gain a better understanding of the biological significance of their data and to identify molecular signatures of a disease or biomarkers," the company said.

Researchers can now submit their array data either from protein array or cDNA microarray experiments to RayBiotech. The Norcross, Ga.-based firm will then identify potential biomarker panels, validate their statistical robustness, and consult with the researcher on the biological significance of those biomarker panels.

The Scan

And a Fourth?

A fourth dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech SARS-CoV-2 vaccine in an Israeli study increased antibody levels but did not prevent Omicron variant infections, according to the Financial Times.

For Better Science Software

A virtual institute funded by former Google CEO Eric Schmidt's philanthropy aims to lure software engineers to academia, Science reports.

Recommendation Explanations

The New York Times writes that the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is straining to both make and explain decisions based on limited information.

Genome Research Papers on De Novo Mutation Rates, Polyploid Genotyping, Oncogene Epigenomic Translocation

In Genome Research this week: de novo mutations rates in hemoglobin subunits, analysis of variant calling methods for polyploid plants, and more.