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Product Watch: Jun 23, 2011

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PositiveID said this week that it has launched its Multiplex BioThreat Assay to detect up to six bio-threat organisms on the US Centers for Disease Control's Category A and B lists.

Intended for investigative and research use, the MBA provides test results for up to six organisms in a single PCR reaction that takes about 30 to 90 minutes, as opposed to the several hours or more required by conventional methods such as culture or individual detection assays.

The MBA provides added specificity and selectivity by using a total of 16 genomic- and plasmid-specific signatures to confirm the presence or absence of an organism. PositiveID also said the assay provides a significant reduction in cost per test when compared to running samples in a single-plex format.

The new assay tests for Bacillus anthracis (anthrax), Yersinia pestis (plague), Francisella tularensis (tularemia), Burkholderia pseudomallei (melioidosis), Burkholderia mallei (glanders), and Variola major virus (smallpox).

The MBA was developed by MicroFluidic Systems, which PositiveID acquired last month in a deal worth up to $8.2 million (PCR Insider, 5/19/11).


Exiqon has released a new version of its qPCR data analysis software for use with microRNA data.

The software, made by MultiD, features a new data import wizard that enables automatic annotation of different miRNA assays and direct import of instrument data files, Exiqon said. The software is equally suitable for low- and high-throughput data analysis since it allows for batch-mode analysis of several hundred data files.

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The Scan

US Booster Eligibility Decision

The US CDC director recommends that people at high risk of developing COVID-19 due to their jobs also be eligible for COVID-19 boosters, in addition to those 65 years old and older or with underlying medical conditions.

Arizona Bill Before Judge

The Arizona Daily Star reports that a judge weighing whether a new Arizona law restricting abortion due to genetic conditions is a ban or a restriction.

Additional Genes

Wales is rolling out new genetic testing service for cancer patients, according to BBC News.

Science Papers Examine State of Human Genomic Research, Single-Cell Protein Quantification

In Science this week: a number of editorials and policy reports discuss advances in human genomic research, and more.