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Dx Focus Dec 17, 2009: Clinical and Regulatory PCR and Nucleic Acid Testing News

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DxNA said this week that the US Food and Drug Administration has granted emergency use authorization for a 2009 H1N1 influenza virus test for use in the company's GeneSTAT PCR detection platform.

The platform, which weighs less than 10 pounds, is being targeted for use in hospitals and other locations "where disease outbreaks are suspected instead of sending patient samples to distant reference laboratories," DxNA said.

The company added that the GeneSTAT system "is inherently less costly than the PCR devices typical of large clinical laboratories," but did not provide details on pricing for the system.


AcroMetrix has launched OptiQual MSSA Positive Control, a standardized quality control for methicillin-sensitive Staphylococcus aureus molecular testing.

"Each lab can maintain CLIA compliance for qualitative PCR tests that detect MSSA by using the OptiQual MSSA Positive Control daily," the company said in a statement.

AcroMetix said that the control can also be used as a negative specificity control for MRSA DNA assays because it can monitor whether the assay is specific for the mecA gene that distinguishes MRSA from MSSA.

The control contains inactivated whole MSSA bacterial particles, "providing a safe method of monitoring the entire PCR process from extraction through amplification and detection."

The Scan

Guidelines for Ancient DNA Work

More than two dozen researchers have developed new ethical guidelines for conducting ancient DNA research, which they present in Nature.

And Cleared

A UK regulator has cleared former UK Prime Minister David Cameron in concerns he should have registered as a consultant-lobbyist for his work with Illumina, according to the Financial Times.

Suit Over Allegations

The Boston Globe reports that David Sabatini, who was placed on leave from MIT after allegations of sexual harassment, is suing his accuser, the Whitehead Institute, and the institute's director.

Nature Papers on Esophageal Cancer, Origin of Modern Horses, Exome Sequencing of UK Biobank Participants

In Nature this week: genetic and environmental influences of esophageal cancer, domestic horse origin traced to Western Eurasian steppes, and more.