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Asuragen Receives CE Mark for Spinal Muscular Atrophy Assay

NEW YORK – Molecular diagnostic firm Asuragen said Tuesday that its in vitro diagnostic test for spinal muscular atrophy received CE marking. 

The AmplideX SMA Plus Kit can help diagnose SMA and determine if asymptomatic carriers could pass the neuromuscular disease on to their children, the company said in a statement. The test quantifies the copy number of SMN1 and SMN2, the genes associated with the disease, and detects additional variants that can impact "silent carrier" status and overall disease prognosis.

SMA is associated with a loss of functional copies of the SMN1 gene and severity is related to the number of copies of SMN2. Gene duplication variants in the SMN1 gene may help identify asymptomatic carriers of the disease, and a specific SMN2 disease modifier variant can signal a milder disease phenotype, the company added.

The PCR test requires less than an hour of hands-on time and takes four hours total to run. It's optimized for use on Thermo Fisher Scientific's Applied Biosystems Genetic Analyzers.

The Scan

Could Mix It Up

The US Food and Drug Administration is considering a plan that would allow for the mixing-and-matching of SARS-CoV-2 vaccines and boosters, the New York Times says.

Closest to the Dog

New Scientist reports that extinct Japanese wolf appears to be the closest known wild relative of dogs.

Offer to Come Back

The Knoxville News Sentinel reports that the University of Tennessee is offering Anming Hu, a professor who was acquitted of charges that he hid ties to China, his position back.

PNAS Papers on Myeloid Differentiation MicroRNAs, Urinary Exosomes, Maize Domestication

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