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New England Biolabs Luna SARS-CoV-2 RT-qPCR Multiplex RUO Assay Kit

New England Biolabs has released the research-use-only Luna SARS-CoV-2 RT-qPCR Multiplex Assay Kit, which enables multiplex testing of up to 94 samples in a single 96-well plate with the additional capacity to support sample pooling and high-throughput applications using 384-well plates. The kit detects two separate regions of the SARS-CoV-2 N gene (N1 and N2) in addition to the human RNase P gene internal control, based on sequences provided by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The probes have been modified to detect N1 and N2 via two different fluorophores — HEX and FAM, respectively — for simultaneous fluorescence detection on two different channels of a real-time instrument. To reduce the risk of carryover contamination between reactions, the master mix includes dUTP and a unique, thermolabile UDG that offers significant benefits over the standard E. coli UDG, NEB said.

The Scan

Tens of Millions Saved

The Associated Press writes that vaccines against COVID-19 saved an estimated 20 million lives in their first year.

Supersized Bacterium

NPR reports that researchers have found and characterized a bacterium that is visible to the naked eye.

Also Subvariants

Moderna says its bivalent SARS-CoV-2 vaccine leads to a strong immune response against Omicron subvariants, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Science Papers Present Gene-Edited Mouse Models of Liver Cancer, Hürthle Cell Carcinoma Analysis

In Science this week: a collection of mouse models of primary liver cancer, and more.