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Q Chip, National Center for Biotechnology Information

Q Chip, a developer of microencapsulation technology, has launched ReaX Lab-in-a-Bead — a gel-based bead that “encapsulates all the reagents required to perform PCR in a single dose,” according to the company. The system can be used with any thermal cycler and is applicable to field-based experiments such as bacterial detection and DNA-based security tagging.
Q Chip said that the ReaX beads can be used for end-point, qPCR, and RT-PCR and with multiple fluorescent chemistries, including SYBR Green and TaqMan. The beads can be stored and shipped at either 4 degrees Celsius or ambient temperature. The company claims that they can also reduce overall test costs “due lower repeat rates and less reagent wastage.”

The National Center for Biotechnology Information has released RefSeq 23. RefSeq 23 includes 5,503,385 records from 3,648,590 proteins and sequences from 4,300 different organisms. The number of species represented in each release sub-directory includes 4,300 complete species, 77 fungi, 277 invertebrate, 1,115 microbial, 1,143 mitochondrion, 100 plant, 531 plastid, 82 protozoa, 215 mammalian, 555 other vertebrate, and 1,849 viral.

The Scan

Panel Votes for COVID-19 Pill

A US Food and Drug Administration panel has voted to support the emergency use authorization of an antiviral pill for COVID-19 from Merck and Ridgeback Biotherapeutics, CNN says.

But Not Harm

New Scientist reports that UK bioethicists say that though gene editing may improve food production, it should not harm livestock welfare.

Effectiveness Drop Anticipated

Moderna's Stéphane Bancel predicts that that current SARS-CoV-2 vaccines may be less effective against the Omicron variant, the Financial Times reports.

Cell Studies of Human Chromatin Accessibility, SARS-CoV-2 Variants, Cell Signaling Networks

In Cell this week: chromatin accessibility maps of adult human tissues, modeling to track SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern, and more.