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Product Watch: Apr 22, 2010

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WaferGen Biosystems this week launched its SmartChip multi-sample dispenser for the SmartChip real-time PCR system.

The new dispenser can load up to 384 samples or sample replicates on a single SmartChip containing 5,184 nanowells, WaferGen said. The dispensed SmartChip is then loaded into the SmartChip Cycler and subjected to real-time PCR and amplicon melting analyses.

Both the SmartChip multi-sample dispenser and real-time PCR system are currently available to early-access customers, with general availability expected in the second half of this year, WaferGen said.


Promega said this week that it is now offering the Maxwell 16 LEV Blood DNA Kit for purifying DNA from whole blood.

The kit is optimized to work on the Maxwell 16 instrument, and eliminates the need for a buffy coat step while providing exponentially higher concentration in less time with parallel purity, Promega said.

While manual buffy coat methods typically collect 20 percent of available DNA, the Maxwell Blood automation system collects up to 80 percent, according to the company. The performance is due to new particle technology that is optimized to pull the maximum DNA from every sample with comparable performance on purity.


Qiagen recently launched Investigator PCR assays for human identification applications.

With an initial offering of 12 assays released through 2010, the new portfolio features the "most comprehensive and versatile" coverage of current STR standards, including the new extended European Standard Set, CODIS, DAD, and ISSOL requirements, Qiagen said.

In addition, the company will make available software suites for analyzing and interpreting STR genotyping data.

Qiagen said that the new assays complement its extraction and sample-management products and give the company a complete workflow product offering in the field of human identify and forensics.


Thermo Fisher Scientific has introduced the Thermo Scientific ABgene PCR plastics selection guide, a reference tool that customers can use to select the most appropriate plastics for specific applications, from standard PCR and qPCR to high-throughput, automated processes and sample storage.

The guide covers the entire range of ABgene PCR plastics, including 96- and 384-well plates; partial plates; individual strips; and individual tubes. Selection criteria include size, application, cycler compatibility, automation requirements, and bar coding options, Thermo Fisher said.

The Scan

Dropped Charges

The US Justice Department has dropped visa fraud charges against five Chinese researchers, according to the Wall Street Journal.

More Kids

The Associated Press says Moderna is expanding its SARS-CoV-2 vaccine study to included additional children and may include even younger children.

PNAS Papers on Rat Clues to Human Migration, Thyroid Cancer, PolyG-DS

In PNAS this week: ancient rat genome analysis gives hints to human migrations, WDR77 gene mutations in thyroid cancer, and more.

Purnell Choppin Dies

Purnell Choppin, a virologist who led the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, has died at 91, according to the Washington Post.