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 president of France's National Research Agency has resigned, according to Nature News.

A senator wants a "right-to-try" provision in the US Food and Drug Administration funding bill, but an ethicist says at Stat News that it would undermine the role of clinical trials.

In PNAS this week: red algae Porphyra umbicalis genome, deep neural network model for sequencing peptides, and more.

The Guardian's Barbara Ellen has tried out some DNA testing services to see whether they provide valuable information.