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Product Watch: Nov 18, 2010


Bioo Scientific recently launched the MiraMas kit for profiling microRNAs and other small RNAs, the company said this week.

The SYBR Green-based PCR kit uses a one-tube protocol to convert all of the microRNAs in a sample into cDNA, while offering researchers flexibility in terms of sample size and number of reactions performed, Bioo said. The kit uses a proprietary 3' ligation strategy that allows researchers to produce cDNA libraries from up to 150 total or small RNA-enriched samples per kit.

The microRNA targets are amplified using microRNA-specific forward primers and the universal reverse primer included in the kit. Forward primers are designed using a simple algorithm that does not require modified nucleotides; and their sequences may be obtained at no cost from Bioo, the company said. An alternative primer design algorithm is available which can be used to distinguish between closely related microRNAs.

"The MiraMas Kit overcomes the limitations of other kits for qPCR analysis of microRNA in that it allows many more samples to be processed per kit and allows large panels of miRNA targets to be analyzed from each reverse transcription reaction," Marianna Goldrick, senior scientist at Bioo Scientific, said in a statement. Goldrick added that the kit also includes control RNAs from liver and brain, and control forward primers targeting tissue-specific and constitutively expressed microRNAs.

Amsbio this week announced the availability of ExpressArt FFPE RNAready kits for isolating high-quality RNA from formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded tissues and laser capture microdissection samples for downstream quantitative real-time PCR and microarray applications.

The new kit overcomes the limitations associated with RNA degradation and interference from RNA cross-linking in FFPE tissues, Amsbio said. The kit isolates and preserves mRNA using a lysis solution and universal inhibitor of RNases that displaces tightly bound RNA from high-molecular-weight aggregates. Subsequent treatment with a de-modification reagent reverses formalin-induced cross-links, resulting in total RNA optimized for reverse transcription reactions and downstream applications, Amsbio said.

Together with the company's ExpressArt RNA amplification Trinucleotide primer technology, ExpressArt FFPE RNAready can amplify microgram quantities of high-quality RNA from very small amounts of degraded total RNA, with minimal loss of sequence, the company said.

The Scan

Mosquitos Genetically Modified to Prevent Malaria Spread

A gene drive approach could be used to render mosquitos unable to spread malaria, researchers report in Science Advances.

Gut Microbiomes Allow Bears to Grow to Similar Sizes Despite Differing Diets

Researchers in Scientific Reports find that the makeup of brown bears' gut microbiomes allows them to reach similar sizes even when feasting on different foods.

Finding Safe Harbor in the Human Genome

In Genome Biology, researchers present a new approach to identify genomic safe harbors where transgenes can be expressed without affecting host cell function.

New Data Point to Nuanced Relationship Between Major Depression, Bipolar Disorder

Lund University researchers in JAMA Psychiatry uncover overlapping genetic liabilities for major depression and bipolar disorder.