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.

An Australian-led team has generated a draft genome assembly of the invasive cane toad in hopes it will help in population control, the Sydney Morning Herald reports.

The New York Times reports that the US Department of Defense has implemented about half the recommendations made to improve safe handling of dangerous agents.

In PLOS this week: approach for teasing out archaic introgression in human genomes, immune transcription features in HCV infection, and more.

Stat News reports that Maryland is promoting itself to the biotech industry with a mobile billboard.