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New Products: Jun 18, 2009

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Luminex this week announced the full market launch of the Flexmap 3D system, a high-throughput multiplexing system allowing scientists to perform up to 500 tests on a single sample.

According to Luminex, the system's multiplexing capabilities "can significantly enhance the efficiencies of life sciences research and drug discovery." The Flexmap 3D can perform multiplexed proteomic, genomic, and transcriptomic biomarker analysis on a single platform, the company said.

The Flexmap 3D is based on the company's xMap technology, and "fills an essential segment between the low-multiplex marketplace and the high-multiplex microarray market." Along with the ability to do up to 500 tests at once, the system provides improved analytical performance, 96- or 384 well-plate format, enhanced dual pipette, automation, LIS compatibility, streamlined calibration, and performance verification routines and easy maintenance with a simple workflow, according to Luminex.

The company made the first commercial shipment of the system in November 2008. Since then it has shipped "a number" of the system to customers, including pharmaceutical firms and research labs.


Fluidigm this week introduced the Topaz 1.96 Diffraction Capable integrated fluidic circuit, a protein chip that allows direct screen-to-beam capabilities "without the need to physically harvest a crystal from the device," the company said in a statement.

The chip allows researchers to obtain "high-quality in situ diffraction data, thus allowing true hands-off diffraction-based screening," the company said. It "gives researchers the ability to screen broadly to find protein crystals and then immediately expose their targets to an X-ray source directly through the chip," Gajus Worthington, president and CEO of Fluidigm added.


GE Healthcare this week launched the HiTrap Con A 4B ready-to-use columns with Con A Sepharose 4B for separating and purifying glycoproteins, polysaccharides, and glycolipids.

The columns are available in 1 ml and 5 ml formats and can be operated with a syringe, a peristaltic pump, or a liquid chromatography system, GE said in a statement.

The Scan

Breast Cancer Risk Related to Pathogenic BRCA1 Mutation May Be Modified by Repeats

Several variable number tandem repeats appear to impact breast cancer risk and age at diagnosis in almost 350 individuals carrying a risky Ashkenazi Jewish BRCA1 founder mutation.

Study Explores Animated Digital Message Approach to Communicate Genetic Test Results to Family Members

In the Journal of Genetic Counseling, the approach showed promise in participants presented with a hypothetical scenario related to a familial hereditary breast and ovarian cancer syndrome diagnosis.

Computational Tool Predicts Mammalian Messenger RNA Degradation Rates

A tool called Saluki, trained with mouse and human messenger RNA data, appears to improve mRNA half-life predictions by taking RNA and genetic features into account, a Genome Biology paper reports.

UK Pilot Study Suggests Digital Pathway May Expand BRCA Testing in Breast Cancer

A randomized pilot study in the Journal of Medical Genetics points to similar outcomes for breast cancer patients receiving germline BRCA testing through fully digital or partially digital testing pathways.