OpenPCR

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) — A former software engineer and self-proclaimed "do-it-yourself" biologist who previously marketed an ultra-cheap thermal cycler for fellow amateur biologists has formed a new company to commercialize a similarly inexpensive quantitative PCR platform.

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) ― Cambridge, Mass.-based Amplyus has launched a Kickstarter funding campaign intended to bring its miniPCR platform into full production and "open the world of DNA science to everyone, everywhere."

London-based web retailer Cool Components said this week that it has begun selling OpenPCR, an ultra-cheap pre-fabricated kit for assembling a personal thermal cycler.

OpenPCR has so far shipped nearly 50 of its thermal cycler kits, each costing about $500, to high schools, biotechnology companies, and hobbyists in five continents and 13 countries.

A pair of Bay Area entrepreneurs has designed an open-source thermal cycler that can be assembled from off-the-shelf components and costs around $500. They will soon ship the first several systems in kit form to early customers to assemble in their own workspaces.

Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) has released the results of a genetic ancestry analysis, the Boston Globe reports.

Retraction Watch's Ivan Oransky and Adam Marcus report that Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women's Hospital have recommended that more than 30 papers from a former researcher be retracted.

Thomas Steitz, who won the 2009 chemistry Nobel Prize for his ribosome work, has died, the Washington Post reports.

In PLOS this week: mechanisms for genes implicated in coronary artery disease, rumen microbes and host genetics influence cow methane production, and more.