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Product Watch: Thermo Scientific; Bio-Rad; Norgen Biotek

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Thermo Fisher Scientific said this week that it has launched several new molecular biology kits under its Thermo Scientific brand.

The new products include:

• GeneJET Endo-Free Plasmid Maxiprep Kit — enables the purification of high yields of endotoxin-free plasmid DNA for transfection of sensitive cell lines and for in vivo transfection. The silica spin column-based protocol can be completed in one hour without DNA precipitation or DNA pellet re-suspension.

• GeneJET FFPE DNA Purification Kit — purifies DNA from formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tissue samples without overnight incubation or toxic solvents. The purification procedure can be completed in two hours while generating high DNA yield and quality.

• MuSeek Library Preparation Kit — an Illumina-compatible kit that uses a transposon-based technology to simplify library preparation with one universal protocol to generate different fragment lengths with minimal bias.

• EpiJET 5-hmC and 5-mC Analysis Kit — provides reagents and controls to distinguish between common epigenetic modifications. The entire process can be completed in four hours without overnight incubation.

• Animal Genotypes Panels — advanced multiplex PCR systems for co-amplification of microsatellite markers for short tandem repeat genotyping. The kits are designed for bovine, equine, or canine species and include all of the necessary reagents for multiplex amplification of target STR loci in a single PCR reaction. In addition, The Thermo Scientific Phusion Hot Start DNA polymerase eliminates confusing plus-A or split peaks, resulting in easy allele interpretation, the company said.


Bio-Rad this week launched its SsoAdvanced PreAmp supermix and PrimePCR PreAmp assays.

The supermix is formulated to permit unbiased, target-specific pre-amplification of cDNA or genomic DNA (gDNA), which allows researchers to stretch their limited nucleic acid samples. Meantime, PrimePCR PreAmp assays are wet-lab validated pre-amplification primers that work seamlessly with the supermix to ensure optimal pre-amplification for real-time PCR.

The SsoAdvanced PreAmp Supermix is especially useful for researchers who are working with limited samples or are interrogating multiple targets simultaneously, Bio-Rad said. It enables simultaneous 1,000-fold target-specific pre-amplification of as little as 100 pg of cDNA (or gDNA) for up to 100 genes while delivering the industry's lowest bias, the company added.


Canadian biotech firm Norgen Biotek this week launched six kits for fast and simple isolation of nucleic acids from blood, plasma/serum, and urine, including cell-free circulating RNA, cfcDNA, and sequential cfcDNA and cfcRNA.

Norgen Biotek's kits yield significantly more diverse cfcRNA by using a proprietary resin technology that has the ability to bind all RNA sequences irrespective of size or GC content, the company said. The kits are ideal for a number of applications including the sensitive detection of tumor biomarkers and viruses, microRNA detection by PCR, quantitative PCR, RT-PCR, microarrays, and next-generation sequencing.

The kits work with both fresh and frozen samples, and isolate significantly more diverse cfcRNA than any other technology on the market, the company added. Circulating nucleic acid present in 200-mL plasma inputs (or 3 mL of urine inputs) are concentrated into final elution volumes of 10 mL that can be used directly in sensitive downstream applications, as the kits completely remove all contaminants and inhibitors. The company said that over the next couple of months it will launch kits with similar specifications to process up to 5 mL of plasma/serum (and up to 50 ml of urine).

The Scan

Shape of Them All

According to BBC News, researchers have developed a protein structure database that includes much of the human proteome.

For Flu and More

The Wall Street Journal reports that several vaccine developers are working on mRNA-based vaccines for influenza.

To Boost Women

China's Ministry of Science and Technology aims to boost the number of female researchers through a new policy, reports the South China Morning Post.

Science Papers Describe Approach to Predict Chemotherapeutic Response, Role of Transcriptional Noise

In Science this week: neural network to predict chemotherapeutic response in cancer patients, and more.