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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

J&J Booster Support

A US Food and Drug Administration advisory panel has voted to support a booster dose of Johnson & Johnson's SARS-CoV-2 vaccine, according to the Los Angeles Times.

To Keep the Cases Moving

The president of the UK Royal College of Pathologists tells the Financial Times that more investment is needed to tackle a backlog of cases.

NAS Expels Archaeologist

Science reports Luis Jaime Castillo Butters' expulsion is the first of an international member from the US National Academy of Sciences.

PLOS Papers on Angelman Syndrome-Like Cases, Salmonella Paratyphi A, SARS-CoV-2 in Brazil

In PLOS this week: exome sequencing analysis of Angelman syndrome-like cases, genetic epidemiology of Salmonella Paratyphi A, and more.