SCODA

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.

Though many details have yet to be worked out, the draft deal for the UK's withdrawal from the EU is giving researchers some hints for what they can expect, Nature News says.

DNA testing has solved a 100-year-old mystery contained in the skull and teeth samples of a now-extinct monkey that once inhabited Jamaica, Gizmodo reports.

As the UN ponders a ban on gene drives, one malaria researcher says there are less dramatic ways to fight the disease in Africa than unleashing GM mosquitoes on a whole continent.

In Nature this week: an improved reference genome of the Aedes aegypti mosquito, genomes of four species of truffles, and more.