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Product Watch: Thermo Fisher's PikoReal System; New England Biolabs' Polbase


Thermo Fisher Scientific this week launched the PikoReal real-time PCR system.

The PikoReal has a small benchtop footprint and is available in 24- and 96-well formats, Thermo Fisher said. The system's heating block design maintains excellent temperature uniformity and fast heating and cooling for optimal amplification; while the proprietary ultra-thin wall Piko PCR plates minimize running costs, plastics waste, and energy consumption.

In particular, the combination of the heating block and UTW Piko consumables ensures data uniformity for more reliable and repeatable results, the company said. The built-in optical system contains five channels pre-calibrated for the most common dyes so users can multiplex with four dyes while dedicating the fifth channel to SYBR Green and high-resolution melting experiments.

PikoReal systems use half the power of typical real-time PCR instruments and consume fewer reagents; and are controlled by PikoReal software, which enables absolute and relative quantification, melting curve analysis, and genotyping. Systems can also be used in standalone mode by transferring an amplification protocol from the PikoReal Software to the instrument using a USB stick. The software also uses a Virtual Pipetting Tool that guides users through plate setup, Thermo said.

New England Biolabs this week announced the launch of Polbase, a free and open database covering DNA polymerase biochemistry, genetics, and structural biology.

Inspired by NEB's Rebase restriction enzyme database, Polbase summarizes the information that exists in the extensive body of polymerase literature for researchers to interrogate and use. Polbase was funded by a Small Business Innovation Research grant from the National Institutes of Health and builds upon a number of public resources, including PubMed and the Protein Data Bank, without attempting to duplicate them, NEB said. Polbase also extends current resources with polymerase-centric features that are unavailable elsewhere, the company said.

The Scan

Response Too Slow, Cautious

A new report criticizes the global response to the threat of the COVID-19 pandemic, Nature News reports.

Pushed a Bit Later

Novavax has pushed back its timeline for filing for authorization for its SARS-CoV-2 vaccine, according to Bloomberg.

AMA Announces Anti-Racism Effort

The Associated Press reports that the American Medical Association has released a plan to address systemic racism in healthcare.

Nucleic Acids Research Papers on miRMaster 2.0, MutationTaster2021, LipidSuite

In Nucleic Acids Research this week: tool to examine small non-coding RNAs, approach to predict ramifications of DNA variants, and more.