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Product Watch: Sep 1, 2011

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Life Technologies said this week that it is now offering a Protein Thermal Shift application for Applied Biosystems real-time PCR systems.

The application, which PCR Insider first reported on in November (PCR Insider, 11/4/10), enables analysis of protein thermal stability, as well as 384-well-format high-throughput screening of ligand-protein binding for drug discovery; optimization of buffer conditions that promote protein stability for production and crystallization; and the effect of mutations or modifications on a protein's thermal stability, Life Tech said.

The company added that the protein thermal shift assay can improve the success rates of protein purification and crystallization and reduce the cost of drug discovery.

The assay is easy to set up and run, Life Tech said, with the entire workflow typically taking from a half hour to two hours for 96 to 384 samples per plate, depending on the system and run conditions.


Exiqon this week launched a pair of Focus microRNA PCR panels for sensitive and specific quantification of miRNAs in serum/plasma and cancer samples.

The new panels are available in 96- and 384-well formats based on Exiqon's MiRcury LNA Universal RT microRNA PCR system, which allows reliable miRNA profiling with one picogram of total RNA and no pre-amplification.

The Focus panels for serum/plasma are the result of a genome-wide qPCR analysis of more than 2,000 healthy individuals and patients with myriad diseases, Exiqon said. The company identified a total of 175 microRNAs with particular relevance for serum/plasma analysis.

The Focus panels for cancer are based on a genome-wide qPCR analysis of more than 5,000 cancer biopsies from more than 27 different cancer types. This resulted in the identification of 88 miRNAs relevant for any cancer research program, Exiqon said.

The Scan

Study Finds Few FDA Post-Market Regulatory Actions Backed by Research, Public Assessments

A Yale University-led team examines in The BMJ safety signals from the US FDA Adverse Event Reporting System and whether they led to regulatory action.

Duke University Team Develops Programmable RNA Tool for Cell Editing

Researchers have developed an RNA-based editing tool that can target specific cells, as they describe in Nature.

Novel Gene Editing Approach for Treating Cystic Fibrosis

Researchers in Science Advances report on their development of a non-nuclease-based gene editing approach they hope to apply to treat cystic fibrosis.

Study Tracks Responses in Patients Pursuing Polygenic Risk Score Profiling

Using interviews, researchers in the European Journal of Human Genetics qualitatively assess individuals' motivations for, and experiences with, direct-to-consumer polygenic risk score testing.