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Product Watch: Oct 20, 2010


Linkage Biosciences this week launched several new products in its LinkSeq HLA line to provide additional tools for clinical transplantation, pharmaceutical research, and immunogenetics R&D.

Linkage's new products include tests for HLA-DQ, HLA-B5701, and a genetic marker for celiac disease. The company said that LinkSeq's chemistry offers a streamlined workflow that provides an advantage over current molecular HLA typing methods: Instead of relying on a PCR amplification step followed by either gel electrophoresis or probe detection, LinkSeq combines PCR and fluorescence detection into one step, followed by SureTyper software analysis.

The company said that it is also targeting its HLA typing tests at the companion diagnostics market. For example, "B5701 testing is required to screen HIV patients to avoid an adverse reaction with the anti-HIV drug abacavir," Linkage CEO Zachary Antovich said in a statement. Likewise, the B5701 marker is associated with liver injury caused by the antibiotic flucloxicillin; and an HLA-DQ marker is associated with a higher risk of adverse reactions in patients taking Novartis' osteoarthritis drug lumiracoxib, Antovich said.

New England Biolabs has launched the EpiMark 5-hmC and 5-mC analysis kits to simplify DNA methylation analysis for epigenetics researchers, the company said last week.

The EpiMark kits are a robust method for identifying and detecting 5-hmC and 5-mC within a specific locus, NEB said. They include a family of methylation-dependent restriction enzymes (MspJI, FspEI, and LpnPI), which excise 32-basepair fragments from whole genomes. These fragments contain centrally located hydroxymethylated or methylated residues, and can be subsequently extracted and sequenced, NEB said. This method is less harsh than bisulfate conversion, is suitable for whole methylome analysis, is compatible with existing analysis techniques and is amenable to high throughput, the company added.

The Scan

Fertility Fraud Found

Consumer genetic testing has uncovered cases of fertility fraud that are leading to lawsuits, according to USA Today.

Ties Between Vigorous Exercise, ALS in Genetically At-Risk People

Regular strenuous exercise could contribute to motor neuron disease development among those already at genetic risk, Sky News reports.

Test Warning

The Guardian writes that the US regulators have warned against using a rapid COVID-19 test that is a key part of mass testing in the UK.

Science Papers Examine Feedback Mechanism Affecting Xist, Continuous Health Monitoring for Precision Medicine

In Science this week: analysis of cis confinement of the X-inactive specific transcript, and more.