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Product Watch: Eppendorf Mastercycler Nexus X1; Agilent SureSelect; NuGen Mondrian SP+

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Eppendorf recently launched the Mastercycler Nexus X1, the latest addition to the company's Mastercycler range of PCR instruments.

The Nexus X1 provides increased heating and cooling rates by combining Mastercycler Nexus software with a fast 96-well block. The instrument has a heating rate of 5 °C/second, making run times very short and allowing several users over the course of a day. The company also said the system is designed for low power consumption and low noise emission.


Agilent Technologies this week introduced the SureSelect strand-specific RNA library preparation kit for whole-transcriptome and targeted RNA sequencing.

The kit enables researchers to prepare high-quality, strand-specific libraries for next-generation sequencing, Agilent said. The ability to gain strand-specific information from RNA-seq experiments allows researchers to more easily discern overlapping transcripts and investigate antisense expression for greater understanding of gene regulation, the company added.

The kit has been optimized to provide uniform coverage of the entire transcript through greater library complexity and less 5'/3' bias, even with small amounts of starting material (as low as 50 ng), Agilent said.


NuGen this week launched the Mondrian SP+ workstation.

Mondrian SP+ extends the functionality of the Mondrian SP workstation by incorporating Peltier heating and cooling into the digital microfluidic platform.

The company said that this enables "seamless integration of library enrichment in fully automated workflows." The expanded menu of protocols will include ultralow-input DNA and RNA-seq library preparation in addition to fully integrated RNA-seq library preparation incorporating strand selection. NuGen has also introduced a range of optimized reagent kits for use with the system, and is offering an upgrade option for current Mondrian SP Workstation users.

The Scan

Interfering With Invasive Mussels

The Chicago Tribune reports that researchers are studying whether RNA interference- or CRISPR-based approaches can combat invasive freshwater mussels.

Participation Analysis

A new study finds that women tend to participate less at scientific meetings but that some changes can lead to increased involvement, the Guardian reports.

Right Whales' Decline

A research study plans to use genetic analysis to gain insight into population decline among North American right whales, according to CBC.

Science Papers Tie Rare Mutations to Short Stature, Immunodeficiency; Present Single-Cell Transcriptomics Map

In Science this week: pair of mutations in one gene uncovered in brothers with short stature and immunodeficiency, and more.