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Product Watch: Rubicon's ThruPlex-FD Sample Prep Kits; Bio-Rad's iTaq Universal Master Mixes

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Rubicon Genomics this week launched the first product in its ThruPlex family of sample prep kits designed and optimized for next-generation sequencing.

The kit, called ThruPlex-FD, uses Rubicon's DNA repair and ligation methods to deliver significantly faster and more sensitive sequencing of plasma, formalin-fixed, ChIP and other fragmented DNA with substantially increased throughput. The kits are also applicable to sample preparation for PCR and microarray testing, the company said.

More specifically, ThruPlex-FD is a one-tube, three-step process without intermediate purifications, transfers, columns, or gels. The reduced steps and material transfers decrease the likelihood of experimental variability, bias, and contamination.

DNA is sequencing-ready in two hours with as little as 15 minutes of hands-on time, Rubicon said. A technician can prepare 192 ThruPlex samples a day — a 15-fold increase in productivity compared to current methods. The kit is designed and validated for use with human DNA samples as small as 50 picograms and can be used in plasma, FFPE, cDNA, ChIP, and population studies; and is currently available as 48-reaction, 12-index kits for sequencing on Illumina HiSeq, MiSeq, and Genome Analyzer instruments. Rubicon is also developing kits for other formats and platforms.

In a statement, Henry Long, associate director of the Center for Functional Cancer Epigenetics at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and a beta tester of the product, said that it "has proven able to generate high-quality, diverse libraries from 10 times less input than other kits we have used. For us this technology truly enables the study of samples that simply weren't possible before adopting it."


Bio-Rad this week introduced two iTaq Universal supermixes — the iTaq Universal SYBR Green supermix and iTaq Universal Probes supermix — that are compatible with any real-time PCR instrument.

Both products are 2x concentrated, ready-to-use reaction master mixes. The "universal" moniker refers to the broad instrument compatibility and the ability to tolerate a broad range of reaction and protocol conditions, Bio-Rad said. The SYBR Green supermix is optimized for dye-based qPCR and contains SYBR Green I dye; whereas the Probes supermix is formulated for probe-based qPCR (simplex or duplex), the company said.

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