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Product Watch: Jun 17, 2010

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WaferGen Biosystems last week announced the availability of microRNA and cancer pathway profiling panels for the SmartChip Real-Time PCR system.

By querying as many as 1,000 genes in a single sample, the panels enable high-throughput, cost-effective biomarker discovery and validation, WaferGen said. Previously available only through WaferGen's SmartChip expression profiling service offering, the panels are now available for use by customers on the SmartChip system.

The SmartChip human microRNA panel provides a profile of more than 800 human microRNAs on a single SmartChip and is for use with RNA from cell lines, frozen tissue, and formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded tissue.

The SmartChip human oncology gene panel provides approximately 1,000 genes on a single chip for oncology gene expression profiling in four replicates including representative kinases, cell cycle proliferation genes, signal transduction genes, apoptosis genes, DNA repair genes, and G-protein coupled receptors.

WaferGen is in the process of commercializing the SmartChip system and is currently offering the platform through an early-access program. The system includes the 5,184-assay SmartChip, thermal cycler, and nanodispenser.


Diffinity Genomics recently announced the US launch of its first product, the Diffinity RapidTip for PCR purification.

According to Diffnity, RapidTip can purify a PCR product sample in a single step in one minute using a standard pipettor and one RapidTip disposable pipette tip.

RapidTip contains proprietary Diffinity technology based on differential adsorption of nucleic acids. Using a standard pipettor and mixing the sample for one minute, PCR impurities such as unincorporated primers and nucleotides adhere to the inside of the pipette tip, while the amplified double-stranded DNA remains in solution and is dispensed from the tip.

The tips are optimized to purify a PCR sample volume of 20 to 30 μL. Diffinity said that follow-on products will address similar and larger sample volumes and different types of pipette formats and automated fluid-handling equipment. The company will also incorporate the technology into different nucleic acid purification applications.

Diffinity said that it is offering a free sample of eight RapidTips to interested researchers.


Olink Genomics' new Selector Technology, introduced last week, enables the enrichment of thousands of genomic targets in a single reaction tube.

Selector removes bottlenecks associated with targeted resequencing without the use of dedicated instrumentation, and replaces thousands of traditional PCR sample preparation reactions, Olink said.

Sample preparation can be performed in a single reaction in less than 24 hours, and researchers can use the Selector Kit for multiplex enrichment to streamline studies analyzing hundreds of patient samples in parallel, Olink said.


4titude this week introduced FrameStrip PCR tube strips.

The tube strips feature a rigid two-component design that maintains rigidity after thermal cycling. The strips also feature end tabs for easy handling; five frame color options with clear wells; and a white well strip option for qPCR and other optical assays, 4titude said.

The Scan

Panel Votes for COVID-19 Pill

A US Food and Drug Administration panel has voted to support the emergency use authorization of an antiviral pill for COVID-19 from Merck and Ridgeback Biotherapeutics, CNN says.

But Not Harm

New Scientist reports that UK bioethicists say that though gene editing may improve food production, it should not harm livestock welfare.

Effectiveness Drop Anticipated

Moderna's Stéphane Bancel predicts that that current SARS-CoV-2 vaccines may be less effective against the Omicron variant, the Financial Times reports.

Cell Studies of Human Chromatin Accessibility, SARS-CoV-2 Variants, Cell Signaling Networks

In Cell this week: chromatin accessibility maps of adult human tissues, modeling to track SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern, and more.