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Product Watch: Jan 14, 2010

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Agilent Technologies has released the AffinityScript One-Step RT-PCR Kit.

The kit enables one-step set-up for RT-PCR, "and the simple format eliminates the potential for contamination when preparing multiple or high-throughput reactions," the company said.

The kit is targeted at researchers performing end-point RT-PCR reactions for applications such as cloning, gene detection, and quantification.

The kit includes the AffinityScript RT and the Herculase II Fusion DNA polymerase, which enables multi-temperature reverse transcription with higher activity than competing kits at all temperatures, Agilent said. The kit also includes a "robust amplification step to generate higher yields of cDNA with amplicons ranging from 500 bp to 9.6 kb."

AffinityScript RT can reverse-transcribe RNA with high yield over a temperature range of 37 degrees C to 55 degrees C for first-strand cDNA synthesis. This "enables reverse transcription though RNA secondary structure, including difficult and GC-rich targets, enhancing the amplification of difficult RT-PCR targets, and ensuring high cDNA synthesis yields from all RNA targets," Agilent said.

By combining the AffinityScript with the Herculase II Fusion DNA polymerase, researchers can achieve six-fold higher fidelity than Taq, but faster cycling time, the company said.


Epicentre Biotechnologies has released its Nextera kits for preparing libraries for the Illumina Genome Analyzer.

The kits enable libraries to be prepared from as little as 50 ng of DNA in under two hours. Conventional sample-prep methods require microgram amounts of starting material to prepare a sequencer-ready library, the company said.

Epicentre already offers Nextera kits designed for the Roche 454 GS FLX and Titanium sequencers.

The Nextera kits use the company's transposon-based technology to randomly fragment the template DNA and tag the ends in a single-tube reaction.


DNA Genotek has launched Performagene Livestock, a new method for collecting DNA from livestock using nasal samples.

The company said that Performagene Livestock enables quicker DNA sample collection when compared to other methods, and that the samples are stable at ambient temperature and can be transported to the lab via regular mail.


Norgen Biotek has expanded its line of kits for urine-based sample preparation.

The company said that the new kits provide "a fast, robust, reliable, and simple procedure for isolating high quality DNA, RNA, and microRNA suitable for molecular biology applications."

The kits are particularly useful for "isolating high-quality analytes from urine for applications not only in biomarker discovery and diagnosis but also in the monitoring of renal and other diseases," the company said.

The Scan

Study Finds Sorghum Genetic Loci Influencing Composition, Function of Human Gut Microbes

Focusing on microbes found in the human gut microbiome, researchers in Nature Communications identified 10 sorghum loci that appear to influence the microbial taxa or microbial metabolite features.

Treatment Costs May Not Coincide With R&D Investment, Study Suggests

Researchers in JAMA Network Open did not find an association between ultimate treatment costs and investments in a drug when they analyzed available data on 60 approved drugs.

Sleep-Related Variants Show Low Penetrance in Large Population Analysis

A limited number of variants had documented sleep effects in an investigation in PLOS Genetics of 10 genes with reported sleep ties in nearly 192,000 participants in four population studies.

Researchers Develop Polygenic Risk Scores for Dozens of Disease-Related Exposures

With genetic data from two large population cohorts and summary statistics from prior genome-wide association studies, researchers came up with 27 exposure polygenic risk scores in the American Journal of Human Genetics.