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Product Watch: Feb 3, 2011

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RainDance Technologies this week launched the DeepSeq FFPE solution, a workflow for ultra-deep targeted sequencing of formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded and fresh frozen tissue samples.

The new product is based upon RainDance's RainStorm microdroplet single-molecule PCR technology, and provides high specificity, accurate quantitation, and unbiased allelic representation, according to the company. The sample prep protocol runs on the RDT 1000 automated instrument.

RainDance said it made several enhancements to the product to simplify customer workflow and lower sequencing costs. These enhancements include custom primer libraries, tailed primers to eliminate library generation, and multi-sample indexing.

Using the product, researchers can for the first time analyze as many as 500 genomic targets at up to 50,000-fold coverage per loci to discover rare cancers and other disease-specific mutations from heterogeneous samples, RainDance said. DeepSeq FFPE is optimized for both fresh frozen and FFPE tissue.

RainDance said that it is collaborating with NuGen Technologies to develop a complementary fast and simple whole-genome amplification FFPE sample prep kit based on NuGen's WGA FFPE product.


Akonni Biosystems said this week that it is making its TruSentry system for rapid, low-cost genetic screening on a microarray available to early-access customers.

TruSentry combines Tecan's Freedom EVO 222 liquid handling system with Akonni's TruTip technology for ultra-rapid sample extraction and TruArray microarray platform for low-cost, highly multiplexed screening. Akonni said that the combined offering can more rapidly extract pathogens from a broader range of clinical samples and can be used to more quickly develop and launch new and custom assays.

Capable of processing from eight to more than 3,000 unique samples per day, TruSentry will initially include applications for identifying seasonal influenza viruses with sub-typing for oseltamivir resistance; other common respiratory viruses; common biothreat agents; tuberculosis and drug-resistant TB; and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, the company said.

Future applications will include screens for gastroenteritis agents, blood-borne pathogens, and common sexually transmitted bacteria, Akonni said.


New England Biolabs this week introduced two new products for sample preparation upstream of next-generation sequencing.

The first product, NEBNext Small RNA Sample Prep Set 1, is for sequencing on Illumina platforms; and the second product, NEBNext Small RNA Sample Prep Set 3, is for sequencing on Life Technologies' SOLiD platform.

The products offer a new protocol that results in higher yields and lower adaptor-dimer formation compared with other products, New England Biolabs said.

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.