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Product Watch: Oct 20, 2011

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Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics last week introduced the Siemens Tissue Preparation Solution, which the company claims is the first fully automated method for isolating nucleic acids from formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tissue samples.

The new offering includes a tissue preparation system and the Versant tissue preparation reagents kit. The system uses proprietary hardware and patented nanobead technologies that improve reproducibility, recovery, and quality of nucleic acids, Siemens said.

Other features include a fully integrated deparaffinization step without the use of xylene and ethanol, thus increasing user safety and reducing loss of sample integrity; and walk-away processing of up to 48 samples in approximately four hours.

Siemens said that it partnered with Reno, Nev.-based robotics firm Hamilton to develop the system.


Promega this week launched the GoTaq 1-Step RT-qPCR system for quantitative RNA analysis.

The company said that the new system gives a brighter signal for earlier quantification of low- and high-copy RNA targets.

The single-tube reagent system incorporates BRYT Green fluorescent dye, which exhibits enhanced fluorescence when bound to double-stranded DNA; as well as optimized buffer formulations to improve data accuracy and sensitivity of low-expressing or low-level targets.

In addition, the protocol features cDNA synthesis using the GoScript reverse transcription system and quantification using the GoTaq qPCR master mix. GoTaq 1-Step RT-qPCR can be used with any real-time PCR instrument capable of detecting SYBR Green I or FAM dye, and contains a low level of CXR reference dye, Promega said.


Sigma Life Science last week released a new version of OligoArchitect, a software tool for automated design of primers and probes for quantitative real-time PCR assays.

Powered by Beacon Designer from Premier Biosoft, OligoArchitect is free to use.

OligoArchitect simplifies compliance with the Minimum Information for Publication of Quantitative Real-Time PCR Experiments guidelines with new features such as primer and probe homology searching and template secondary structure analysis; and by providing the ability to design across exon splice sites, SLS said.

Additional features include automatic retrieval of template sequences, visualization of the template with positional display of regions of interest, design quality ratings, and tools for alternative and multiplex designs.


New England Biolabs has launched Polbase, and open and free repository of DNA polymerase information that aims to simplify understanding of DNA polymerases.

Polbase is designed to extract primary results from published and unpublished sources; present results in context, without editorial bias and verified by authors; create a polymerase-centric information hub by connecting with other protein resources; be responsive to community suggestions; and remain current by automatically identifying newly published papers, according to NEB's website.

NEB said that the project was inspired by Rebase, an open collection of information about restriction enzymes and related proteins.

The Scan

Just Breathing

A new analysis suggests that most Mycobacterium tuberculosis is spread by aerosols from breathing, rather than by coughing, the New York Times reports.

Just Like This One

NPR reports that the World Health Organization has hired a South African biotech company to recreate mRNA vaccine for SARS-CoV-2 that is similar to the one developed by Moderna.

Slow Start

The Wall Street Journal reports that Biogen's Alzheimer's disease treatment had revenues for July through September that totaled $300,000.

Genome Research Papers on Cancer Chromatin, Splicing in the Thymus, Circular RNAs in Cancer

In Genome Research this week: analysis of bivalent chromatin sites, RBFOX splicing factors' role in thymic epithelial cells, and more.