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Product Watch: Dec 3, 2009

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Thermo Fisher Scientific has launched its Verbatim High Fidelity DNA Polymerase, which "allows highly accurate amplification of DNA templates, equivalent to industry leading proofreading enzymes, while maintaining processing speed and delivering high yields," according to the firm.

In an in-house comparative evaluation, Thermo said that Verbatim delivered greater enzyme fidelity than all other enzymes tested, including Taq DNA polymerase, Pfu DNA polymerase/Taq blend, KOD DNA polymerase, and "a leading fusion enzyme."

In addition, the company said that the Verbatim polymerase has increased affinity for DNA templates, which improves yield and processivity, and allows PCR protocol times to be reduced by up to 75 percent.


WaferGen Biosystems has launched a new gene expression-profiling service based on its SmartChip real-time PCR system, a 5,184-nanowell chip that can query 1,000 genes in a single sample.

The company sad that the service will be available to "a few select customers" this month and will be more broadly available in the first quarter of 2010.

The initial offering will be based on the SmartChip Human Oncology Gene Panel, which provides pathway-based gene-expression profiling for oncology research, as well as immunology, metabolic, and stem cell research. The company said it will expand the offering early next year to include a miRNA expression panel.


NuGen Technologies has released the Ovation RNA-Seq System, a sample-preparation kit for transcriptome analysis. The system enables RNA-seq experiments with sample sizes of a few hundred picograms, as opposed to the microgram-scale sample sizes that are currently required for RNA-seq, according to the company.

NuGen said that Ovation is based on its Ribo-SPIA (Single Primer Isothermal Amplification) process and is the first RNA-seq preparation kit with "no requirement for poly(A) selection or ribosomal RNA depletion."


ZyGem has released an application note documenting the effectiveness of its forensicGEM saliva DNA extraction kit for producing high yields of DNA from buccal swab samples compatible with high-throughput PCR processing.

In the application note, forensic scientists at the crime laboratory of the Kansas City, Mo., police department describe the use of the forensicGEM kit to extract DNA for forensic analysis from 20 saliva samples with known profiles that were collected on buccal swabs.

After performing the extractions, the KCPD scientists examined the quantity of extracted DNA to ensure a sufficient amount was obtained and then assessed the quality of amplification and genetic profile of each sample.

Results showed that the kit "efficiently extracted sufficient amounts of high-quality DNA for PCR amplification" and that it "does not cause sample degradation, contamination, inhibition or other problems that could affect amplification or subsequent analysis," the note stated.

The forensicGEM kit uses a closed-tube system that the company said reduces extraction time and cost while protecting the sample from contamination.

The Scan

Panel Recommends Pfizer-BioNTech Vaccine for Kids

CNN reports that the US Food and Drug Administration advisory panel has voted in favor of authorizing the Pfizer-BioNTech SARS-CoV-2 vaccine for children between 5 and 11 years old.

Sharing How to Make It

Merck had granted a royalty-free license for its COVID-19 treatment to the Medicines Patent Pool, according to the New York Times.

Bring it Back In

Bloomberg reports that a genetic analysis has tied a cluster of melioidosis cases in the US to a now-recalled aromatherapy spray.

Nucleic Acids Research Papers on SomaMutDB, VThunter, SCovid Databases

In Nucleic Acids Research this week: database of somatic mutations in normal tissue, viral receptor-related expression signatures, and more.