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Dx Focus: Asuragen's Xpansion Interpreter and GeneNews' SentinelGx Services


Asuragen last week launched Xpansion Interpreter through the Asuragen Clinical Services Laboratory, a CAP-Accredited CLIA laboratory.

According to Asuragen, Xpansion Interpreter is the first clinically available service for definitively determining the number and location of AGG interruptions associated with expansion of the Fragile X gene, and thus enables a better understanding of an individual's risk of having a child with Fragile X syndrome.

Fragile X syndrome results from an increased number of CGG repeats within a region of the Fragile X gene on the X chromosome. AGG interruptions within the CGG repeats have long been suggested to stabilize alleles to protect against expansion which leads to Fragile X. Yet, to date, genetic counselors have only been able to rely on the total number of CGG repeats to assess the risk of expansion, Asuragen said.

To address this, the company developed improved molecular technology that allows high-resolution analysis of AGG interruptions.

Asuragen said that the launch of Xpansion Interpreter builds upon AmplideX, the company's current CGG repeat-primed PCR research reagents. "With the ability to clinically determine the number and location of AGG interruptions, the long-time problem of determining the stability of certain Fragile X alleles becomes more clear, creating opportunities to improve patient care," Asuragen CEO Matt Winkler said in a statement.

GeneNews this week announced the launch of SentinelGx, a suite of pharmacogneomic and companion diagnostic BloodRNA services for drug development and personalized health management applications.

The SentinelGx services provide complete whole blood transcriptome analysis for RNA expression profiling of inflammatory pathways, immune system response, and cell signaling based on the company's Sentinel Principle technology.

A catalog of more than 2,200 TaqMan BloodRNA profiles is now available, including pathway-specific, disease-specific, and drug-specific gene signature panels clinically proven to express in whole blood, the company said. The disease-specific panels include gene signatures for numerous types of cancer and autoimmune, cardiovascular, infectious, and neurological diseases.

SentinelGx also features a wide menu of core laboratory services including RNA isolation, RNA quality control, bio-banking, real-time qPCR gene expression validation with TaqMan, and SYBR Green chemistries; and a full range of Affymetrix gene expression profiling services including 3' IVT, whole-transcript and SNP expression analysis.

The Scan

Comfort of Home

The Guardian reports that AstraZeneca is to run more clinical trials from people's homes with the aim of increasing participant diversity.

Keep Under Control

Genetic technologies are among the tools suggested to manage invasive species and feral animals in Australia, Newsweek says.

Just Make It

The New York Times writes that there is increased interest in applying gene synthesis to even more applications.

Nucleic Acids Research Papers on OncoDB, mBodyMap, Genomicus

In Nucleic Acids Research this week: database to analyze large cancer datasets, human body microbe database, and more.