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TransPlex Whole Transcriptome Amplification WTA2, Bioconductor 2.3, TC-3000X

Sigma-Aldrich has released TransPlex Whole Transcriptome Amplification technology, WTA2, for amplifying total RNA from a variety of tissue sources such as animals, plants, and microorganisms. WTA2, which is optimized for formalin-fixed and paraffin-embedded tissue samples, creates a cDNA library from total RNA and amplifies the cDNA in a single PCR reaction. TransPlex reagents and protocols, optimized to ensure clonal and stochastic amplification of all expressed genes and exons, allow RNA samples to be amplified 1,000 to 10,000-fold in less than four hours, according to the company. The technology is designed for use with RNA that is partially degraded, as in formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded tissue derived from tumor samples.

Bioconductor 2.3 is available here. The new release includes 36 new software packages as well as changes to existing packages. Seven new packages — BSgenome, Biostrings, ShortRead, IRanges, HilbertVis, HilbertVisGUI, and rtracklayer — are suited to analyze second-generation DNA sequence data. In total, Bioconductor 2.3 comprises 294 software packages and is compatible with the recently released R 2.8.0.

Bibby Scientific has launched TC-3000X, a new thermal cycler that is part of its Techne brand. The instrument has two interchangeable block options, a 48-well block for 0.2 ml tubes or a 30-well block for 0.5 ml tubes. The defined-pressure, heated lid is height-adjustable.

The Scan

Pig Organ Transplants Considered

The Wall Street Journal reports that the US Food and Drug Administration may soon allow clinical trials that involve transplanting pig organs into humans.

'Poo-Bank' Proposal

Harvard Medical School researchers suggest people should bank stool samples when they are young to transplant when they later develop age-related diseases.

Spurred to Develop Again

New Scientist reports that researchers may have uncovered why about 60 percent of in vitro fertilization embryos stop developing.

Science Papers Examine Breast Milk Cell Populations, Cerebral Cortex Cellular Diversity, Micronesia Population History

In Science this week: unique cell populations found within breast milk, 100 transcriptionally distinct cell populations uncovered in the cerebral cortex, and more.