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Product Watch: RainDance, Bioline, EKF Diagnostics, Siemens, Life Tech

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RainDance Technologies this week announced it has added a high-precision chromosomal copy number variation measurement application to its RainDrop Digital PCR system.

The new application gives researchers a method of detecting low-frequency chromosomal CNVs and trisomy events from circulating tumor cells or cell-free DNA. Recent studies have demonstrated the RainDrop's ability to detect CNVs with greater than 99 percent confidence when the sample makes up as little as 5 percent of a 10-nanogram DNA sample.

The application uses universal probe designs and is being made available immediately to all RainDrop customers, the company said.


Bioline, a subsidiary of Meridian Bioscience, this week released the MyTaq Blood PCR Kit, developed for fast, highly specific PCR direct from whole blood samples.

Based on the MyTaq HS DNA polymerase and a novel, red-colored buffer system, the kit overcomes the PCR inhibitors typically present in whole blood samples in a rapid, easy-to-use protocol, the company said.

Researchers using the kit can expect faster protocols, higher yields, and direct gel loading compared to traditional methods that require complex DNA purification steps and final sample processing, Bioline added.

MyTaq Blood PCR has been validated with whole blood samples from a number of mammalian species types and is particularly suitable for multiplexing, GC-rich, and longer amplicon applications. Furthermore, the speed, specificity, and simplicity makes it ideal for high-throughput genotyping assays, the company said.


EKF Diagnostics this week launched four new PointMan DNA enrichment kits at the Association for Molecular Pathology annual meeting.

The new kits use real-time PCR for highly specific and ultra-sensitive enrichment of multiple mutations in EGFR, NRAS, KRAS, and JAK2 genes associated with a variety of cancers.

EKF Diagnostics this week launched four new PointMan DNA enrichment kits at the Association for Molecular Pathology annual meeting.

The new kits use real-time PCR for highly specific and ultra-sensitive enrichment of multiple mutations in EGFR, NRAS, KRAS, and JAK2 genes associated with a variety of cancers.

Specifically, the new kits are:

— PointMan KRAS codons 12/13/61 DNA Enrichment Kit. The KRAS gene has proven utility in the treatment of colorectal cancer and the addition of codon 61 may confirm broader genetic variation within the KRAS gene.

— PointMan EGFR DNA Enrichment Kit. The newly extended kit includes sensitizing mutations in exons 19 and 21, which have proven utility for EGFR targeted therapies in non-small cell lung cancer.

— PointMan NRAS DNA Enrichment Kit. Mutations in the NRAS gene are found in approximately 13 to 25 percent of all malignant melanomas, occurring frequently in codons 12, 13, and 61.

— PointMan JAK2 DNA Enrichment Kit. Mutations in the JAK2 gene have been implicated in polycythemia vera, essential thrombocythemia, and myelofibrosis as well as other myeloproliferative disorders.

The new launches follow the introduction of the first three PointMan DNA enrichment products — for BRAF, KRAS, and EGFR T790M DNA — in May.

THe PointMan kits are for research use only with planned diagnostic registration in Europe in 2014, EKF said.

The new launches follow the introduction of the first three PointMan DNA enrichment products — for BRAF, KRAS, and EGFR T790M DNA — in May.

THe PointMan kits are for research use only with planned diagnostic registration in Europe in 2014, EKF said.


Siemens said this week that its Siemens Tissue Preparation Solution is now capable of extracting high-quality nucleic acids from fresh frozen tissue in addition to formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tissue.

According to Siemens, the platform is now the only fully automated product available for standardized nucleic acid isolation from both FFPE and FF tissue samples obtained from surgeries or biopsies for in vitro diagnostics and research.

Siemens launched the Siemens Tissue Preparation Solution for FFPE tissue only in October 2011 (PCR Insider 10/20/2011).


Life Technologies this week launched general purpose reagents for the development of molecular diagnostic assays based on qPCR and capillary electrophoresis. GPR products are marked "For Laboratory Use" and come with a higher quality assurance than research use only products. They are also delivered with additional customer services such as tracking, Life Tech said.

For CE (for sequencing and fragment analysis), Life Tech has introduced BigDye Terminator Cycle Sequencing Reagents and BigDye Direct Cycle Sequencing Reagents, as well as matrix and size standards, buffers, and purification reagents.

BigDye Terminator Cycle Sequencing Reagents provide the required components for cycle sequencing reactions in a premixed format. They are optimized for longer, higher-quality reads with uniform peak heights and optimal signal balance and are appropriate for a wide range of applications, including de novo sequencing and resequencing.

BigDye Direct Cycle Sequencing Reagents provide highly flexible chemistry that is ideal for de novo sequencing, resequencing, and finishing with PCR products such as plasmids, fosmids, and BAC templates. These reagents offer a streamlined, time-saving process with all sequencing steps in a single reaction tube, the company said.

For qPCR assay development, the TaqPath qPCR Master Mixes are compatible with both standard and fast cycling modes and are tolerant of inhibitors commonly found in clinical samples. In addition, the master mixes are functionally tested to ensure lot-to-lot reproducibility for Ct consistency and wide dynamic range.

The TaqPath qPCR Master Mix, CG is specifically designed and optimized for gene expression and miRNA analysis. The TaqPath 1-Step RT-qPCR Master Mix, CG, is designed for rapid and reproducible pathogen detection and gene expression workflows. Now available under an early access program for evaluation, TaqPath GPRs are expected to be fully commercialized this year.

"As researchers begin translating genomic discoveries into actionable tests, they will need quality qPCR and sequencing components," Chris Linthwaite, president of genetic analysis at Life Tech, said in a statement. "Life Technologies is committed to providing the robust, high-quality tools required for clinically oriented test development."

The Scan

Highly Similar

Researchers have uncovered bat viruses that are highly similar to SARS-CoV-2, according to Nature News.

Gain of Oversight

According to the Wall Street Journal, the Biden Administration is considering greater oversight of gain-of-function research.

Lasker for mRNA Vaccine Work

The Scientist reports that researchers whose work enabled the development of mRNA-based vaccines are among this year's Lasker Award winners

PLOS Papers on Causal Variant Mapping, Ancient Salmonella, ALK Fusion Test for NSCLC

In PLOS this week: MsCAVIAR approach to map causal variants, analysis of ancient Salmonella, and more.