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Applied Market Watch: GE, NetBio Forensics System; Thermo Fisher Salmonella Assay

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GE Healthcare Life Sciences and NetBio this week named several laboratories participating in a comprehensive developmental validation of the DNAscan Rapid DNA Analysis System.

Leading international and US accredited National DNA Index System (NDIS) participating forensics laboratories will independently evaluate the system from "swab in to profile out," the companies said. This will include an evaluation of the instrument, the NetBio BioChipSet Cassette, STR chemistry, and data interpretation by the on-board Expert System Software, which uses automated data interpretation to eliminate the need for human review.

Results of the comprehensive multi-laboratory validation process, which includes meeting an extensive set of FBI Quality Assurance Standards, will be used to seek NDIS approval to enable forensic laboratories to submit STR profiles generated by the DNAscan System to CODIS. It is also a critical step toward the ultimate goal of obtaining approval for DNAscan to be used by law enforcement as part of the routine booking procedure.

In addition to NetBio, laboratories participating in the developmental validation include the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences, Florida Department of Law Enforcement, Michigan State Police, and Dubai Police Crime Laboratory.

The DNAscan Rapid DNA Analysis System is a fast, rugged, and easy-to-use platform developed to enable law enforcement agencies to process DNA samples in less than 90 minutes. The platform combines sample prep, DNA amplification, and amplicon detection via capillary electrophoresis into a push-button benchtop instrument.

NetBio, based in Waltham, Mass., developed the platform over several years before signing a collaboration with GE Healthcare in 2012 to commercialize the system. A few months later the partners introduced the system at the 2012 International Association of Chiefs of Police Conference and Law Enforcement Education and Technology Exposition.


Thermo Scientific, a division of Thermo Fisher, said this week that its SureTect Salmonella Species Assay has been granted an NF validation certificate by ANFOR Certification for all foods and pet foods.

The SureTect Salmonella species PCR Assay has proven to be comparable to the reference method ISO 6579:2002, "Microbiology of food and animal feeding stuffs: Horizontal method for the detection of Salmonella species," Thermo said.

The Association Francaise de Normalisation, or AFNOR, is an association of more than 2,500 member companies that leads and coordinates standards development and promotes the application of these standards.

"These assays are part of the SureTect Real-Time PCR System that has been designed to streamline test workflow and reduce time to result, which are primary considerations in today's pathogen test selection," Sumi Thaker, vice president of global marketing for microbiology at Thermo Fisher Scientific, said in a statement. "All of our current assays have an NF validation certificate granted by AFNOR Certification as well as … Performance Tested Method status by the AOAC Research Institute."

The Scan

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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.