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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.

Science reports that a new White House Office of Management and Budget memo rescinds previous ones that helped research institutions deal with pandemic-related closures.

Researchers report on a concerning strain of the H1N1 swine flu virus found among pigs in China, Agence France Presse reports.

The Associated Press reports that US officials are considering allowing pooled COVID-19 testing.

In Genome Research this week: Y chromosome gene expression analysis, de novo mutations rise with paternal age in rhesus macaques, and more.