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.

Researchers suggest that genetic variations could influence the side effects people experience when using synthetic cannabinoids, the International Business Times reports.

An analysis has examined the makeup of researchers on Twitter and what they share, Nature News reports.

At Stat News, Jim Kozubek argues that the Broad Institute is pushing the boundary of what a nonprofit is.

In PNAS this week: gut microbes may affect honeybee weight, phenotype and gene expression changes in DiGeorge syndrome, and more.