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Product Watch: Apr 14, 2011

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Life Technologies this week launched the Ion OneTouch system, an automated sample preparation system for the Ion Personal Genome Machine sequencer.

The Ion OneTouch is three times faster than standard methods with only five minutes of hands-on time, Life Tech said in a statement. The system combines sample loading, clonal amplification, and sample recovery into a single, automated, hands-off process, the company said.

The new system is scalable and supports the Ion 314, 316, and 318 chips, delivering 10 Mb to 1 Gb of sequence; and the running costs will be comparable to current Ion template preparation kits, Life Tech said.

The new system makes sample preparation "simple, fast, and affordable," Jonathan Rothberg, founder and president of Ion Torrent, said in a statement. "You just load your library and amplification master mix onto the Ion OneTouch and within three hours you're ready to sequence."

Ion Torrent is accepting orders next week with an introductory price under $5,000. The first shipments will be in late June and the Ion OneTouch System will be broadly available in the third quarter, the company said.


Transgenomic this week launched Surveyor Scan mutation-detection kits for mutational analysis of the BRAF and PIK3CA genes.

The new tests add to Transgenomic's existing Surveyor Scan test for detecting mutations in KRAS. Mutations in all three genes, Transgenomic noted, are widely accepted to be correlated with a lack of response to the class of lung and colorectal cancer drugs that inhibit the epidermal growth factor receptor.

Transgenomic's Surveyor Scan technology uses PCR amplification and hybridization to form mispaired DNA molecules between normal and mutant sequences, which are then cleaved using Surveyor Nuclease and detected on a chromatogram.

The company claims that the kits will detect all mutations in the amplified gene targets at levels as low as 1 percent in a background of non-mutated DNA.

Transgenomic said that "in the near future" it expects to release CE IVD versions of the BRAF and PIK3CA kits for the European diagnostics market and plans to expand the Surveyor Scan product line with mutation detection kits for other key cancer pathway genes that can be used manually or with its Wave HS automated microfluidics platforms.

The Scan

Possibly as Transmissible

Officials in the UK say the B.1.617.2 variant of SARS-CoV-2 may be as transmitted as easily as the B.1.1.7 variant that was identified in the UK, New Scientist reports.

Gene Therapy for SCID 'Encouraging'

The Associated Press reports that a gene therapy appears to be effective in treating severe combined immunodeficiency syndrome.

To Watch the Variants

Scientists told US lawmakers that SARS-CoV-2 variants need to be better monitored, the New York Times reports.

Nature Papers Present Nautilus Genome, Tool to Analyze Single-Cell Data, More

In Nature this week: nautilus genome gives peek into its evolution, computational tool to analyze single-cell ATAC-seq data, and more.