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Product Watch: May 5, 2011

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Life Technologies last week launched Lyophilized TaqMan gene expression assays with master mix.

Life Tech applied the lyophilization, or freeze drying, technology to qPCR assays so that probe and primers for any gene can be combined with enzyme into a mixture that is stable at room temperature; and so researchers can just add a sample into the reaction tube containing the pre-dispensed lyophilized mixture, the company said.

The new product is a mixture of TaqMan probe, primers, and master mix delivered in 8-well strip tubes, and is designed to simplify the qPCR experimental workflow and limit result variability, the company said.

In addition, the strip-tube format enables users to purchase necessary reagent amounts for only eight reactions at a time, meaning a gene expression experiment with a few samples can be run for as little as $20, Life Tech said, noting that many other products require users to purchase reagents for a minimum of 100 reactions.


Exiqon has launched its Pick & Mix microRNA PCR Panels for the quantification of custom selected microRNAs in both 96- and 384-well array formats.

The system allows customers to design qPCR arrays based on prevalidated microRNA PCR primers. Users can choose the format, array layout, target organism, microRNA assays, controls, and real-time PCR instrument via an online array configuration tool.

The new product is based on Exiqon’s proprietary locked nucleic acid technology and extends the company's current mercury LNA Universal RT microRNA PCR offering, which includes more than 1,500 pre-validated assays for microRNA analysis.


DuPont Qualicon said this week that Health Canada has approved its real-time BAX system assay to test ground beef and beef trim for E. coli O157:H7.

The company said that the system delivers same-day results, providing reduced hold times and increased confidence in release decisions. It added that the assay has already been certified by the AOAC Research Institute for detecting E. coli O157:H7 "on real-world sample sizes with shortened enrichment times."

The assay was developed in collaboration with the Agricultural Research Services of the US Department of Agriculture and detects all known E. coli O157:H7, even atypical strains, DuPont Qualicon said.

The Scan

Shape of Them All

According to BBC News, researchers have developed a protein structure database that includes much of the human proteome.

For Flu and More

The Wall Street Journal reports that several vaccine developers are working on mRNA-based vaccines for influenza.

To Boost Women

China's Ministry of Science and Technology aims to boost the number of female researchers through a new policy, reports the South China Morning Post.

Science Papers Describe Approach to Predict Chemotherapeutic Response, Role of Transcriptional Noise

In Science this week: neural network to predict chemotherapeutic response in cancer patients, and more.