Thursday, 26 August 2010

New life science conference: Molecular Diagnostics Europe at BIOTECHNICA 2010

BIOTECHNICA, the  Exhibition for biotechnology and life sciences, is broadening its portfolio to include a new conference and special display on molecular diagnostics. Produced by the Cambridge Healthtech Institute, a leading organizer of biomedical conferences in the United States, the Molecular Diagnostics Europe (MDxEU) conference is making its debut this year. The main focus will be on new methods for molecular diagnostics, particularly with regard to cancer and infectious diseases.

Thanks to the systematic and increasingly easy analysis of genes and proteins, researchers are beginning to understand diseases at the molecular level. This new understanding is paving the way for easy-to-apply testing systems, since if a particular molecule or gene segment is characteristic of an infectious agent or particular kind of tumor, that molecule or gene can also be detected.

Liver cells created from patients’ skin cells

By creating diseased liver cells from a small sample of human skin, scientists have for the first time shown that stem cells can be used to model a diverse range of inherited disorders. The University of Cambridge researchers’ findings, which will hopefully lead to new treatments for those suffering from liver diseases, were published today in The Journal of Clinical Investigation.

Because liver cells (hepatocytes) cannot be grown in the laboratory, researching liver disorders is extremely difficult. However, today’s new research, which was funded by the Wellcome Trust and the Medical Research Council (MRC), demonstrates how to create diseased liver-like cells from patients suffering from a variety of liver disorders.

Standardized Comet assay system ensures reproducible results

The CometAssay Electrophoresis System and new CometAssay Neutral Control cells from AMSBIO enable investigators to consistently optimize neutral Comet assays for highly reproducible results, and to standardize neutral electrophoresis methods between individual users and laboratories. This is in addition to the already established standardized procedure and reagents for the alkaline Comet Assay.

The Comet assay is the only direct method for the detection of DNA damage in cells. It is used in cancer research, in genotoxicity studies on environmental mutagens, and for screening compounds for cancer therapeutics. Traditionally results from Comet assays have been variable depending on temperature, distance between electrodes, and buffer height.

Laboratory applies LEAN principles

The Pathology Department at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Gateshead, UK, has adotped the National Health Service 'vision' to increase efficiency and reduce waste through the application of LEAN principles. Gateshead is a high throughput blood science laboratory for which increased efficiency will bring huge benefits.

Before the LEAN principles could be applied it was necessary to analyse how efficient the blood sample processing was. The results revealed the need for a complete laboratory re-design.

After carefully considering many possible configurations for a serum work area (SWA) platform, from several suppliers, the department decided to partner with Roche, who offered the best automated solution for the size of their laboratory.

New flexibility for DrySyn laboratory heating systems

Two new configurations for the DrySyn system of laboratory heating blocks add even more flexibility for the pharmaceutical or process chemist and provide economical synthetic chemistry solutions for the teaching laboratory.

The DrySyn Multi M and Multi S each provide a compact reaction station for up to three standard round bottomed flasks, with maximum volumes of 250ml and 500ml respectively. Any flask size down to 5ml can be used in both models with the appropriate inserts. Both models can also accommodate up to 12 vials or tubes.

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Ambry Genetics adds Illumina Hiseq 2000 and first 510(K) approved Beadxpress to sequencing and genotyping capabilities

Ambry Genetics has announced today that it has acquired the Illumina HiSeq 2000 Next Generation Sequencing System as well as received the first 510(K) approved Illumina BeadXpress Genotyping System. Ambry Genetics has been an early adapter of Illumina systems since late 2007 and has extensive experience as a Certified Service Provider. A team of scientists routinely process libraries for all available applications ranging from small RNAs to whole genome DNA sequencing. Ambry has gained a solid reputation for quality data and service as well as flexibility in customizing projects to meet the specific needs of researchers.

Filtration Society filter testing conference programme now online

A complete technical programme for this year’s Filtration Society annual conference and exhibition is now available on line. 

The conference ‘Filter Testing 5 – millimetre to nanometre’ will take place on 13 October 2010 in Chester, UK.

This year the main one-day event will be preceded by a short course and workshop on 12 October for those new to filter testing, or who wish to further develop their knowledge in this field.

Agilent Technologies updates human exon target enrichment tool

Agilent Technologies Inc has introduced the SureSelect Human All Exon v2 Target Enrichment kit, which was developed in close collaboration with the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard.

The kit, the 15th SureSelect product in Agilent's portfolio, is a single tube assay that allows researchers to streamline experiments by sequencing the expressed genome while discarding regions not of interest.

The SureSelect platform is well-proven for enabling genetic discovery, evidenced by recent key discoveries into Mendelian diseases and heritable cancer. This year alone, the SureSelect Target Enrichment System has been cited in eight papers covering research into a wide range of heritable disorders.

High-legibility laboratory labels

Unreadable, smudged or faded labels represent a fatal flaw in a laboratory data trail. Brady labelling systems, developed by the corporation’s own research teams, provide comprehensive solutions to legibility problems and ensure the integrity of sample identities.

Indecipherable handwriting, crowded because of limited space, make hand-written labels notoriously hard to interpret – and, of course, they cannot be read by machine. Another issue is that handwriting inks are particularly prone to smearing when handled and to fading after long-term storage, while any contact with chemicals risks vital information dissolving away. Even printed labels, if created using incompatible print media, can suffer from similar problems.

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Thermo Fisher Scientific wins R&D 100 award for three-minute cold disinfection solution

Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc has announced that its Thermo Scientific HM550 Cryostat with cold disinfection has been chosen as an R&D 100 award winner by an independent judging panel and the editors of R&D.

The award recognises the HM550 Cryostat as one of the most technologically significant products to enter the marketplace this year. The system distinguished itself among other entries due to its ability to dramatically reduce laboratory staff health risks as they interact with live cells and infectious tissues. This benefit is a direct result of the instrument’s capability to instantly disinfect the entire cryo chamber in three minutes.

Monday, 23 August 2010

SpectraSuite-PAR module allows users to determine photosynthetically active radiation parameters

A new add-on module for Ocean Optics’ SpectraSuite Spectrometer Operating Software allows users of the company’s miniature spectrometers and Jaz optical sensing systems to calculate photosynthetically active radiation (PAR), an important parameter for evaluating the effect of light on plant growth. 

SpectraSuite-PAR uses the absolute irradiance spectrum (captured by the spectrometer) of the light incident on plants and other samples and conveniently converts the irradiance values from µW/cm2 (microwatts per square centimetre) to µmol/m2/s (micromoles per square meter per second), the measurement unit more commonly used for PAR analysis.