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Product Watch: Dec 10, 2009

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Finnzymes has launched the Phire Animal Tissue Direct PCR Kit for amplifying DNA directly from a wide variety of animal tissues including mice, fish, birds, and insects. No DNA isolation is required prior to PCR, according to the company.

The kit is based on the company's Phire Hot Start II DNA Polymerase, an engineered enzyme that is tolerant of many PCR inhibitors present in unpurified animal tissues, Finnzymes said.

This kit contains optimized reagents, sampling tools, and DNARelease Additive, which can be used to improve the release of DNA from animal tissues. The kit also includes control primers for "numerous animal species."


Biomatrica has released DNAgard, a room-temperature-based liquid formulation for stabilizing and storing tissues and cells.

DNAgard is built on Biomatrica's SampleMatrix technology, which exploits extremophile biology to allow organisms to survive long-term without water and then be revived later by rehydration.

DNAgard enables tissues and cells to be stored in a liquid format for at least 60 days at ambient room temperature without losing sample quality, the company said. An optional dry-down format permits room-temperature stabilization of DNA in tissues and cells for at least a year.

Biomatrica said that the product is particularly well suited for field research, "where freezers and dry ice are a challenge."

According to the company, shipping tissue samples on dry ice costs an average of $150 when shipped nationally, but DNAgard allows the same samples to be shipped at ambient temperature for an average cost of $10.


Premier Biosoft International has released Primer Premier 6.00, an update of its primer-design software that includes a new primer search algorithm for standard PCR assays and a new user interface.

The company said that the new search algorithm avoids homology and template secondary structure regions in order to improve the specificity of primers.

The software also offers primer search in batch mode for multiplexing. Primer Premier "checks for all the possible cross reactivity and displays the most stable structure formed by each primer," the company said.


Fluidigm has released its 48.48 Access Array, an integrated fluidic chip for amplicon tagging with the 454 FLX sequencer from Roche.

The Access Array IFC "automatically generates emPCR-ready libraries by simultaneously combining 48 samples and 48 primer sets to produce 48 uniquely barcoded samples per chip for approximately $7 per sample," the company said.

The Access Array IFC, when used with a 454 FLX sequencer, can capture up to 12 kb of sequence data per sample, or 576 kb per array, Fluidigm said. Upcoming applications on the Access Array system, such as long-range PCR, "will allow for users to target up to 480 kb of sequence data per sample, or 23 Mb per array."


Bio-Rad has launched the Real-Time PCR App for Apple's iPhone, which provides researchers performing PCR and qPCR with tutorials, troubleshooting tips, and assay-specific information.

The iPhone app includes a Real-Time PCR Amplification Guide for designing, analyzing, and optimizing real-time PCR experiments; a qPCR Doctor for troubleshooting problems related to real-time PCR assays; and a qPCR Assay Design feature that provides guidance on designing a qPCR assay, information on validating and optimizing a qPCR assay, and different methods for analyzing qPCR data.

The iPhone app is available for free download through Apple's iTune app store.

The Scan

US Booster Eligibility Decision

The US CDC director recommends that people at high risk of developing COVID-19 due to their jobs also be eligible for COVID-19 boosters, in addition to those 65 years old and older or with underlying medical conditions.

Arizona Bill Before Judge

The Arizona Daily Star reports that a judge weighing whether a new Arizona law restricting abortion due to genetic conditions is a ban or a restriction.

Additional Genes

Wales is rolling out new genetic testing service for cancer patients, according to BBC News.

Science Papers Examine State of Human Genomic Research, Single-Cell Protein Quantification

In Science this week: a number of editorials and policy reports discuss advances in human genomic research, and more.