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.

The Washington Post reports on a Federal Bureau of Investigation plan to place rapid DNA analyzers at booking stations around the country.

In an editorial, officials from scientific societies in the US and China call for the international community to develop criteria and standards for human germline editing.

The US National Institutes of Health is to review studies that have received private support for conflicts of interest, according to the New York Times.

In Science this week: the PsychENCODE Consortium reports on the molecular mechanisms of neuropsychiatric disorders, and more.