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Product Watch: Apr 7, 2010

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Cepheid this week announced the European launch of its GeneXpert Infinity-48 system, an automated, multi-module molecular diagnostics analyzer for real-time PCR-based clinical diagnostics.

The Infinity-48 System uses robotic cartridge handling managed through a touch-screen driven menu, and can run a variety of molecular tests with a throughput of more than 1,300 samples in a 24-hour period, the company said.

Each of the system's 48 testing modules serves as a completely independent testing site so the system can start test runs whenever samples are taken, Cephied said.

Cepheid also offers a full menu of GeneXpert CE-marked in vitro diagnostics for the system. These include tests for influenza A and H1N1 strains; simultaneous detection of Mycobacterium tuberculosis and resistance to rifampicin; Clostridium difficile; vancomycin-resistant enterococci; methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus; enteroviral meningitis; chronic myeloid leukemia patient management; and detection of factor II and factor V Leiden genetic variations associated with thrombophilia.


Biosearch Technologies this week introduced ValuPanel reagents, a new product line of oligo panels for qPCR that contain probes and primers to resolve the genetic signatures of a variety of influenza strains.

Biosearch said that ValuPanel reagents include previously announced signatures for H1N1 viral strains and a novel set associated with influenza A subtypes. Specifically, the reagents comprise oligos based on the following seven signature sequences: universal strain of influenza A; influenza A H1; influenza A H3; influenza A H5a; influenza A H5b; universal strain of influenza B; and RNase P as a positive control.

The assay kits use Biosearch's FAM-Black Hole Quencher probes, and are available for research use only, Biosearch said.

Biosearch sells the influenza ValuPanel reagents under a license from the US Centers for Disease Control and F. Hoffman-LaRoche, which developed the assays.


Bibby Scientific said this week that the latest Techne brand TC-PLUS thermal cyclers and satellite units are now available.

Bibby said that the TC-PLUS thermal cyclers contain thermal energy recovery system, or TERS, technology, which helps reduce operational costs by harnessing the heat vented during the cooling phase and making it available for use in the next heating phase.

The platform also features a ramp rate of 50°C per second; large color touchscreens for program setup; a front-positioned USB port; and the ability to store at least 1,000 programs. The TC-PLUS and satellite units also have a front-loading sample drawer; are stackable with other units; and have front-to-back venting and airflow, all of which help reduce bench space requirements.

The TC-PLUS satellite units are controlled from a TC-PLUS instrument or a PC, but have no user interface themselves.


Embark Scientific said this week that it has developed a nucleic acid test for sulfur-reducing and –oxidizing bacteria found in contaminated Chinese drywall.

The test was developed in collaboration with RealTime Laboratories, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, NeuroTest, and ProLab. Details of the test can be found in the Feb. 5 issue of the International Journal of Molecular Sciences.

The publication demonstrated detection of DNA from sulphur-reducing and iron-oxidizing bacteria, which emit hydrogen sulfide gas as a by-product, in contaminated drywall from homes in South Florida.

It is estimated that more than 550 million pounds of Chinese drywall was imported into the US and that tens of thousands of homes in as many as 37 states may contain contaminated drywall, Embark said.

The Scan

Driving Malaria-Carrying Mosquitoes Down

Researchers from the UK and Italy have tested a gene drive for mosquitoes to limit the spread of malaria, NPR reports.

Office Space to Lab Space

The New York Times writes that some empty office spaces are transforming into lab spaces.

Prion Pause to Investigate

Science reports that a moratorium on prion research has been imposed at French public research institutions.

Genome Research Papers on Gut Microbe Antibiotic Response, Single-Cell RNA-Seq Clues to Metabolism, More

In Genome Research this week: gut microbial response to antibiotic treatment, approach to gauge metabolic features from single-cell RNA sequencing, and more.