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Product Watch: Jul 15, 2010

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NanoString Technologies said this week that it has increased the throughput of its nCounter Analysis System by expanding its multiplexing capacity to 800 gene transcripts per reaction.

The additional capability enables high-resolution analysis of 250 additional targets from the same amount of sample, NanoString said.

A spokesperson for NanoString said that the increased multiplexing capacity equates to performing 800 quantitative PCR reactions in a single tube with only four pipetting steps.

The nCounter Analysis system is used for gene signature validation, translational research, pathway analysis, and validation of microarray and next-generation sequencing. It comprises a fully automated prep station, digital analyzer, CodeSet molecular barcodes, and reagents.


Eppendorf this week launched twin.tec unskirted 96-well PCR plates, which are easily divisible and save material and money in smaller-scale experiments, the company said.

The two-component plates fit almost all available PCR instruments and can be snapped into four separate 24-well segments.

In a statement, Kay Körner, senior product manager for PCR, said that Eppendorf’s customers “often do not fill up an entire 96-well PCR plate, and leaving the remaining wells empty is a waste of material and money.”

Eppendorf’s new plates, however, “can simply be snapped into pre-defined segments so that 24, 48, or 72 wells can be used as required,” Körner added.

The twin.tec plate frame is manufactured from rigid polycarbonate for enhanced mechanical stability, while the flexible polypropylene wells are thin-walled to ensure a snug fit to the thermal block for optimal heat transfer. The inert surface of the wells prevents DNA, RNA, and enzymes from binding and improves recovery when working with small volumes, Eppendorf said.


New England Biolabs this week introduced the NEBNext Quick DNA Sample Prep Reagent Set 2 and Master Mix Set 2, both suitable for library construction for Roche’s 454 GS FLK Titanium and GS Junior instruments.

The new products provide all necessary enzymes and buffers for fast fragment library preparation, NEB said. In addition, the master mix set streamlines workflow and reduces the number of vials by one-third, according to the company.

The Scan

Shape of Them All

According to BBC News, researchers have developed a protein structure database that includes much of the human proteome.

For Flu and More

The Wall Street Journal reports that several vaccine developers are working on mRNA-based vaccines for influenza.

To Boost Women

China's Ministry of Science and Technology aims to boost the number of female researchers through a new policy, reports the South China Morning Post.

Science Papers Describe Approach to Predict Chemotherapeutic Response, Role of Transcriptional Noise

In Science this week: neural network to predict chemotherapeutic response in cancer patients, and more.