Over the last two years, the Vancouver, British Columbia-based company has been offering the assay as a service to academic and pharmaceutical researchers.

Scientists from the National Institute of Standards and Technology and Applied Research Associates have published a study demonstrating an improved microfluidic technique to purify, concentrate, and quantify DNA from clean and soil-contaminated buccal swabs prior to STR analysis.

Boreal's prototype platform can differentiate and enrich for sequences that differ by one nucleotide from as many as 10,000 copies of background DNA. The company believes it has potential for use in clinical applications.

FLIR's Chem-Bio Detection group, formerly known as ICx Biosystems and GHC Technologies, hopes to beta test its first platform, a multiplex PCR- and antibody-based "sample-to-answer" detection system, by the end of the year. The team is also working with Boreal Genomics to develop a universal lysis and sample prep platform.

The company seeks to accelerate commercialization of Aurora, the latest version of a Boreal nucleic acid purification platform that uses a technology called synchronous coefficient of drag alteration.

At last week's Sample Prep 2010 meeting in Baltimore, Md., microfluidics, integration, and automation were oft-cited as future market drivers in the area of sample prep for virus, toxin, and pathogen detection.

An opinion piece in the Guardian argues that President Donald Trump is uninterested in science and that might not be a bad thing for the field.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports the Veterans Affairs Health System is studying whether genetic testing can help prescribe better depression therapies.

Stat News reports that Spark Therapeutics' Luxturna is now being used to treat a wider array of patients.

In Genome Biology this week: transcription factor use among brittle stars, single-cell RNA sequencing strategy, and more.