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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 US Food and Drug Administration is to announce stricter standards for emergency authorizations of SARS-CoV-2 vaccines, reports the Washington Post.

The Associated Press reports Johnson & Johnson is starting a late-stage clinical trial of its candidate SARS-CoV-2 vaccine.

Bloomberg reports the budget of Operation Warp Speed is actually $18 billion, higher than the number typically cited.

In Genome Research this week: genomic analysis reveals role of super-spreaders in SARS-CoV-2, epigenetic drivers of cancer, and more.