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Product Watch: Dec 2, 2010

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Life Technologies this week introduced three new molecular biology products for research and veterinary diagnostics.

First, Life Tech launched its Custom Plus TaqMan assays for RNA and copy number variation, and said that it is expanding its TaqMan catalog by adding a new set of more than 180,000 pre-designed mouse copy number assays.

The new Custom Plus TaqMan assays enable scientists to select pre-masked mouse or human genomic target sequences with additional bioinformatic analysis that includes genome specificity and reference assay compatibility checks, ensuring the best possible assay design and performance, Life Tech said.

Meantime, the pre-designed mouse copy number assays include assays for common vector marker and reporter genes, which serve as screening tools to characterize transgenic mice for research studies in genetic disorders and embryonic development, Life Tech said.

Life Tech also this week launched its next-generation Qubit 2.0 fluorometer for molecular biology researchers who work with precious samples and perform applications that require a large financial or time investment.

The new system quantitates DNA, RNA, and protein from precious samples such as those that are rare, difficult to purify, or expensive to obtain or prepare, including clinical research samples or samples from laser-capture microdissection.

Qubit 2.0 features an LCD color touch screen and USB port, and can be used in workflows upstream of other Life Tech instruments such as the 7500 Fast real-time PCR instrument and the Neon transfection device.

Finally, Life Tech introduced the VetMAX-Gold BVDV detection kit, the company's first US Department of Agriculture-licensed real-time PCR test to detect bovine diarrhea virus.

BVDV is an immune-suppressing disease that makes cows susceptible to a range of respiratory and reproductive illnesses, and costs the US cattle industry an estimated $2 billion per year. The new BVDV molecular diagnostic allows veterinary diagnostic laboratories to test for type 1 and 2 BVDV, Life Tech said.


TATAA Biocenter said this week that it is now offering high-throughput analysis services on Life Technologies' OpenArray platform.

The OpenArray system is a high-throughput qPCR instrument with four main applications: gene expression, digital PCR, miRNA profiling, and genotyping. OpenArray plates consist of 3,072 through-holes that can be loaded with reagents to perform individual 33-nl qPCR reactions. Three plates can be processed per run, which gives 8,064 reactions per run — equal to 84 runs on a 96-well-based instrument, TATAA Biocenter said.

TATAA Biocenter was an early-access user of Life Tech's digital PCR kit for OpenArray, which the company introduced in November (PCR Insider, 11/4/10).

TATAA Biocenter also said this week that it is now offering a single-cell qPCR analysis service.

The commercial research provider said that it has developed a lysis buffer called CelluLyser specifically for use in its single-cell analysis service. The new buffer minimizes RNA/DNA losses and is compatible with downstream RT-qPCR applications.


Amresco, a biochemical and reagent manufacturer and distributor, recently launched its Ready PCR Mix, 2X, which will allow researchers to assemble, perform, and analyze multiple reactions.

The kit includes non-interfering fluorescent DNA dye in the mix for instant visualization of the PCR amplified bands, and is optimized for PCR-to-gel visualization, according to the company. The mix is particularly useful for colony screening.


Eurogentec's AnaSpec group this week introduced a new series of FAST master mixes for SYBR and probe assays.

Tailored for highly sensitive assays, the new kits reduce qPCR run times and are optimized for large dynamic range. The master mixes are available with the company's new inert BLUE dye, which does not affect the qPCR reaction; and the kits work with a broad range of template amounts in fast and regular cycling conditions on all qPCR platforms.

The Scan

More Boosters for US

Following US Food and Drug Administration authorization, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has endorsed booster doses of the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson SARS-CoV-2 vaccines, the Washington Post writes.

From a Pig

A genetically modified pig kidney was transplanted into a human without triggering an immune response, Reuters reports.

For Privacy's Sake

Wired reports that more US states are passing genetic privacy laws.

Science Paper on How Poaching Drove Evolution in African Elephants

In Science this week: poaching has led to the rapid evolution of tuskless African elephants.