Saturday, 18 September 2010

Conference: "Molecular Diagnostics Europe" at Biotechnica 2010

BIOTECHNICA, Europe’s Leading 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, an 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.

Webpage for evaporators, concentrators, freeze dryers and lyophilisation systems

Genevac Ltd has announced the launch of a dedicated new web page providing downloads of technical brochures describing the company's market leading range of products.

Located at, visitors can now readily download, from a single location, in-depth information relating to Genevac's range of centrifugal evaporators and sample concentrators.

Ambry Genetics add Illumina Hiseq 2000 and Beadxpress to sequencing and genotyping capabilities

Ambry Genetics 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.

Thermo Fisher Scientific sponsors the 15th Desty Memorial Lecture for Innovation in Separation Science

Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc is sponsoring the 15th Desty Memorial Lecture for Innovation in Separation Science, which will take place at the Royal Institution of Great Britain on the 6th October 2010. The theme for this year is ‘Innovation in Chromatography’. 

As a distinguished scientist and inventor, Denis Henry Desty could transform his visions into reality by solving challenging problems in a practical and creative manner. During a distinguished career in research chemistry that spanned 33 years, he devised practical techniques for analytical hydrocarbon separations, combustion, gas-flares, the treatment of oil spills, and a variety of applications in capillary gas chromatography.

Friday, 17 September 2010

Webinar on the future of quantitative PCR and the importance of standardization

Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc today announced that it is sponsoring an informative webinar, “The Future of qPCR: Best Practices, Standardization and the MIQE Guidelines.”

The webinar, hosted by Science/AAAS, will feature an expert panel discussing the important role qPCR plays in research and molecular diagnostics labs, as well as some of the technical challenges associated with it. Most of these limitations can be addressed with standardized best practices, many of which are outlined in the recently published Minimum Information for Publication of Quantitative Real-Time PCR Experiments (MIQE) guidelines.

Standardized 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.

High temperature gas filtration and separation

Designed to provide high mechanical strength - Sinterflo metal filters from Porvair Filtration Group are proven to provide optimal performance with the lowest cost of ownership and long filter life for high temperature gas filtration applications.

The need to maintain the cleanliness of gaseous process streams is vital. For power generation, oil refining, catalyst recovery or off gas vent emission control - Sinterflo metal filters uniquely combine high efficiency protection with rugged construction.

Introducing reliable automation into small- and large-scale applications

Agilent Automation Solutions has posted a recorded webinar to its website enabling scientists to learn techniques for introducing reliable automation into small- and large-scale applications ranging from single cells to core laboratory applications, thereby minimizing the potential for introduction of errors into the PCR process.

Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) remains one of the most widely used techniques in molecular biology for tumor characterization, pathogen identification, detection of genetic diseases and/or susceptibility, and, potentially, to predict drug responses.

Scientists unravel genetic risk of bowel cancer

An international study led by scientists at The Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) has shown how a single variant in a person’s DNA can promote bowel cancer development. The study is published today in the journal PLoS Genetics.

The scientists found that if people inherit an ‘A’ in their DNA code rather than a ‘G’ at a genetic variant called rs16888589 they produce more protein from a gene called EIFH3. Importantly, the team showed that high levels of the eifh3 protein lead to the development of bowel cancer.

Thursday, 16 September 2010

Micronic launches multi-media sample storage website

Micronic Europe has announced the launch of a website ( designed to offer a wide variety of useful information to organisations involved with safeguarding one of their most valuable assets - their samples.

Intuitively designed the website provides ready access to detailed technical information relating to Micronic's range of sample storage tubes, racks, accessories and instruments through a new turning page e-catalogue. 

Biothreat detection poster

Stratophase, a specialist in real-time chemical and biochemical measurement and detection, has co-authored with the world-renowned Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL) a poster entitled ‘Multiplexed Detection of Biological Agents Using Optical Microchip Sensors’. The poster will be presented at the SPIE Security and Defence conference in Toulouse, France from 20 – 23 September 2010.

The interactive poster session will take place on the 21st September, during which Stratophase personnel will be present to explain the application of its SpectroSens multi-channel optical microchip sensor system for the detection of a wide range of biological agents, in real time.

CaptureSelect HumanPlasma14 for depletion of abundant proteins from human blood plasma or serum

BAC, the provider of antibody-based affinity purification technologies, announces the launch of CaptureSelect HumanPlasma14 for highly specific, reproducible depletion of the 14 most abundant proteins from human blood plasma or serum.

HumanPlasma14 is designed for single-step, single-use depletion of more than 99% of the abundant proteins. The resulting sample can then be used for further downstream applications including gel electrophoresis and mass spectrometry.

Distribution agreement for chromatography and mass spectrometry consumables

Waters Corporation and Hitachi High Technologies America, Inc. (HTA) have entered into an agreement granting HTA the ability to sell Waters sample preparation and liquid chromatography (LC) columns to Hitachi users in North America effective immediately.

Scintillation cocktail has 1:1 uptake and high counting efficiency

SafeScint 1:1 from LabLogic Systems is a scintillation cocktail for discrete sample counting that ticks every box on the radiochromatographer’s wish list – a biodegradable formulation combining outstanding counting efficiency with a high sample uptake capacity that saves on both consumption and disposal.

Suitable for most aqueous sample types, including high pH, low pH and high salt, SafeScint 1:1 can hold up to 10ml per 10ml of cocktail. It has low toxicity and odour and mixes rapidly with the solute to produce a clear, homogeneous emulsion.

Clinical flame photometer

A new clinical version of the Model 360 Flame Photometer from Sherwood Scientific adds sodium linearization for simple calibration, providing a low-cost instrument with unrivalled precision, ergonomic design and ease of maintenance.

The Clinical Model 360 is a single channel unit built around the very same mixing chamber, burner stem and burner head found in Sherwood’s acclaimed Model 410. It also incorporates the advanced automatic flame optimisation technology from the dual channel 420 series. As a result the Clinical 360 is fundamentally more stable, less noisy and with lower limits of detection than would be expected in such a cost-effective instrument.

German language freeze-drying webinars

SP Scientific has announced a new programme of free German language webinars devoted to a range of important Freeze-drying topics.

Drawing upon contributions from leading international experts in Freeze-drying each educational webinar has been designed to include about 30 minutes of presentation followed by an interactive question and answer session immediately afterwards.

Eliminating the difficulties in handling adhesive sealing films

Porvair Sciences has announced MicroBurst - a new microencapsulated clear sealing film for microplates.

Using adhesive seals whilst wearing laboratory gloves can often prove to be difficult. The glued surface of the seal can easily stick to your glove rather than your microplate. Porvair MicroBurst sealing films have been developed to eliminate this problem.

Isolation of high yield gDNA

Agilent Automation Solutions has released an application note that demonstrates how the Agilent gDNA Isolation Workstation, utilizing the Invitrogen ChargeSwitch EasyPlex kit, provides the throughput, and walk-away time necessary to keep up with the demands of genomic applications.

Efficient isolation of high-yield gDNA is an important step in high-throughput analysis of the genome. Isolating gDNA can be accomplished by a number of approaches. Automated liquid-handling workstations can be used to isolate gDNA in a reliable, repeatable, and contamination-free manner.

Developing LC/MS/MS methods to comply with workplace drug testing

Agilent Technologies Inc and South Bend Medical Foundation have collaborated to develop urine testing methods to meet the new mandatory guidelines for federal workplace drug testing.

The new guidelines, which are scheduled to take effect October 1st, will allow for the first time use of liquid chromatography (LC/MS/MS) for confirmatory urine drug testing.

AbD Serotec secures license to key research antibodies from VU University Medical Center

Prime Standard Segment announced today that its research and diagnostic antibodies unit AbD Serotec has signed a license agreement with VU University Medical Center (VUmc), which provides AbD Serotec with worldwide exclusive rights to commercialize a number of antibody clones for research applications. These include the world's most widely used reagents for studying macrophage subsets in rats, the "ED series" of antibodies.

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Preventing the misuse of synthetic genes

Appearing on behalf of the International Gene Synthesis Consortium (IGSC) member companies, Integrated DNA Technologies (IDT), a leader in custom nucleic acid synthesis, yesterday spoke at the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues, in Philadelphia, PA, USA.

The IGSC represents approximately 80% of the worldwide gene synthesis capacity and has been working with the US and other governments to establish standards and practices to prevent the misuse of synthetic genes. Having taken a prominent role in the recent public policy discussion of the biosafety and biosecurity concerns relating to gene synthesis technology, IDT has helped to lead the development of the IGSC’s Harmonized Screening Protocol. The Commission invited IDT to its second public meeting to describe those efforts.

BioCision appoints chief operating officer and expands corporate advisory board

BioCision LLC, the CoolPrep company, has appointed Hugh Douglas to the position of chief operating officer. The company also announced that it has added a group of leading industry experts to BioCision’s corporate advisory board. These appointments come as the company experiences rapid growth in new markets and regions.

CEO Rolf Ehrhardt, MD PhD, said: "The expansion of our management team and the addition of new members to our top-notch corporate advisory board give BioCision a wealth of experience to tap into as we continue to rapidly expand our product line of benchtop sample handling tools. Hugh Douglas’s experience in successfully managing high-growth start-ups will be an asset to our firm as we move forward."

Protein therapeutics: new development for extending the life of an organ transplant

Experts from the Medical Research Council (MRC) Centre for Transplantation at King’s College London, based at Guy’s Hospital, today revealed new scientific developments for people with an organ transplant, intended to help prevent rejection of the new organ and extend its life.

Although organ transplantation has been taking place for more than 50 years, there are a number of significant challenges, such as a shortage of donor organs, maintaining the quality of an organ in transit, and the risk of organ rejection both immediately after transplant and in the following years.

Scientists at the MRC Centre for Transplantation at King’s College London, part of King’s Health Partners Academic Health Sciences Centre, are working hard to solve these problems. They discussed two pioneering areas of research at the British Science Festival in Birmingham that they hope will have a significant impact on transplant medicine and patients in future - techniques known as protein therapeutics and cell therapy.

Industry expert to aid in the advancement of CT antigen antibodies for the treatment of cancer

CT Atlantic AG, a biotechnology company focused on cancer treatment by human-derived antibodies, has appointmented of Dr Thomas Lander to its board of directors.

Thomas Lander provides CT Atlantic with long-standing, global pharmaceutical experience in early through late stage drug development and in regulatory affairs.

48 Micro Bioreactor System launched

The Automation Partnership (TAP) will announce a new 48 bioreactor version of its advanced micro bioreactor system (ambr) for more complex experimental designs at the BioProcess International (BPI) 2010 Conference on September 21-23, 2010.

This new version of the ambr workstation, which has been built on the success of the 24 bioreactor ambr, automates the operation of 48 disposable micro bioreactors and closely replicates the characteristics of benchtop bioreactors at microscale (10–15 ml working volume).

BASF celebrates 75 years of active pharmaceutical ingredient production in Westphalia

What do caffeine, theophylline and ephedrine have in common? All three active pharmaceutical ingredients are manufactured in the world's largest plants at BASF's Minden site in Germany.

Numerous guests were invited to attend the on-site 75th anniversary celebration incorporating a tour of the production plants.

Critical Outcome Technologies Inc selected for Consulate General of Canada life sciences partnering mission

Critical Outcome Technologies Inc has been selected by the Consulate General of Canada and BIOTECanada to attend a life sciences partnering mission in Boston, MA, USA. This initiative is being held in conjunction with the BioPharm America conference taking place September 15-17, 2010.

COTI is one of 10 Canadian companies that will participate in this partnering mission and has arranged a number of one-on-one meetings with pharmaceutical, biotechnology and investment organizations in the Boston area.

Molecule discovery could lead to higher breast cancer survival rates

Aberdeen scientists have discovered a molecule in breast cancer cells which could help identify if a patient should undergo chemotherapy, and if so, which drug treatment will be most effective.

The breakthrough could lead to higher survival rates through more individualised treatment of the disease which affects 1 in 9 women in the UK.

Experts from the University of Aberdeen have shown a molecule found in breast cancer cells may actually protect these cells from being killed off in treatment.

AnaSpec introduces Histone GO Peptides

AnaSpec, the largest provider of on-demand GO peptides has introduced a wide selection of Histone H1, H2A, H2B, H3 and H4 peptides, especially the H3 peptides. The rapidly expanding Histone H3 GO Peptides include sequences that are acetylated, mono-, di- or tri-methylated, phosphorylated and biotinylated.

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Rapid removal of phospholipids gives scientists new tool to advance drug discovery and development efforts

Waters Corporation's Ostro Sample Preparation Plate represents a novel approach for the removal of phospholipids from biological samples. When compared to other phospholipid removal devices and traditional liquid-liquid extraction (LLE) methods, Ostro removes up to 30 times more phospholipids.

Phospholipids have been cited as a major cause of matrix effects in the LC/MS analysis of biological samples. Ostro, with its proprietary, patent-pending design, was specifically created to overcome this hurdle by offering a “best-in-class” solution that removes multiple families of phospholipids.

Improve 3D cell culture

New Iwaki Vecell 3-dimensional cell culture inserts, available from Sterilin, provide improved cultivation of adherent cell cultures and reliable cell growth. The inserts are designed for use with either 6 or 24 well culture plates.

In the past century, cell culture has become a widely used technique in research laboratories, starting with vaccine development in the early 1900s. The more advanced techniques used today give scientists a better understanding of cellular processes and, in particular, the effects of disease.

Rapid identification of clinically significant micro-organisms

Thermo Fisher Scientific today announced that its range of biochemical identification kits is one of the widest available to clinical microbiologists, providing reliable results in simple and convenient formats.

The range, which includes the rapid and easy-to-use Remel RapID microbial identification systems and the Oxoid Microbact biochemical identification kits, requires no capital investment, so it allows even small laboratories to confirm the identification of clinically significant bacteria, yeasts and fungi.

Reusable bio-chip offers high sample throughput SNP genotyping

Fluidigm Corporation has launched its reusable FR48.48 Dynamic Array integrated fluidic circuit (IFC) - the world's first reusable bio-chip for the SNP genotyping market. This chip begins a new era of ultra-low cost, high sample throughput SNP genotyping and marks the beginning of Fluidigm's drive toward one-penny-per-data point.

The FR48.48 Dynamic Array IFC is the first in a line of reusable chip products that will significantly lower costs and enable the use of SNP genotyping in a wide range of applications, including plant and animal biotechnology.

Novel 104-well microplate

The ARUP Institute for Clinical and Experimental Pathology (ARUP), Salt Lake City, USA, has chosen Tecan's Freedom EVO liquid handling platform for automating RIA and ELISA assays, developing a novel 104-well microplate to increase sample throughput and simplify its workflow.

The development of the 104-well plate stemmed from a need for additional sample capacity when running radioimmunoassay (RIA).

Three-year contract to supply Oligonucleotides

Sigma Life Science, a division of Sigma-Aldrich Corporation and a European manufacturer of oligonucleotides, has signed a three-year contract with Research Councils UK (RCUK) Shared Services Centre Limited to be a prefered supplier for synthetic oligonucleotides.

Sigma Life Science offers a broad commercially available range of high quality oligonucleotide modifications, purifications, synthesis scales and qPCR probes.

Mid-polarity column addresses needs of drugs of abuse testing

Agilent Technologies Inc yesterday announced the availability of the Agilent J&W DB-35ms Ultra Inert GC Column, the first mid-polarity column that specifically addresses the needs of drugs of abuse testing and pesticide analysis. The Agilent J&W DB-35ms Ultra Inert GC Column joins the existing apolar columns in the family, DB/HP-1ms and DB/HP-5ms.

With this new column, ultra inert performance is available for applications where mid-polar selectivity is needed for enhanced separations. Chemists can quantify components at a lower level, have broader linearity and optimize their separation by choosing the right selectivity to increase productivity.

Quotient Bioresearch opens of new radiochemistry facility

Quotient Bioresearch, a provider of early stage and specialist drug development services to pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical device clients worldwide, has officially opened its new radiochemistry facility in Cardiff, UK, with a ceremony including a VIP opening by the First Minister of Wales, Carwyn Jones.

The new facility, which has been named “The Old Glassworks”, represents a £15 Million investment for Quotient, which was assisted by International Business Wales, the inward investment arm of the Welsh Assembly Government. The Old Glassworks produces radiolabelled compounds, enabling Quotient to support the product development needs of the pharmaceutical, biotechnology and agrochemicals industries worldwide.

OGT Receives ISO/IEC 27001:2005 Accreditation

Oxford Gene Technology (OGT), provider of clinical genetics and diagnostic solutions to advance molecular medicine, yesterday announced that it has been certified compliant with ISO/IEC 27001:2005, an international information security management standard.

Extending to all data generation and security procedures, including OGT’s CytoSure and Genefficiency services, biomarker discovery solutions, and the development of CytoSure Interpret Software, this certification acknowledges that data confidentiality, availability and integrity is carefully managed and controlled.

Monday, 13 September 2010

New GC-MS method enable compliance with updated Federal Workplace Drug Testing Guidelines

Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc's new method for the confirmation of amphetamines in urine in accordance with recently updated United States Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) Mandatory Guidelines for Federal Workplace Drug Testing Programs, implemented on the 1st May 2010, has been introduced.

The recently launched Thermo Scientific ISQ single quadrupole gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) instrument can analyze a greater number of sympathomimetic amines in urine in line with these updated regulations.

bioMérieux launches new chromID MRSA medium

bioMérieux has recently launched a new version of chromID MRSA chromogenic medium for the detection of methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), providing a solution for rapid routine screening.

A ready-to-use medium for the culture, isolation and identification of MRSA, it offers direct identification of MRSA strains within 18 hours, and sensitivity is increased by a further 7% when flocked swabs are used for transportation providing a good synergy with the PREVI Isola automated plate streaker.

Building and maintaining a personal reference collection

Thousands of scientists use Knovel’s online technical resource of leading reference works and databases. Now, Adept Scientific has announced a direct export tool which enables references from Knovel to be imported to EndNote, EndNote Web and Reference Manager, the bibliographic software tools from Thomson Reuters.

Scientists can now make the most of their Knovel subscription by building reference libraries with EndNote, EndNote Web and Reference Manager using the new direct export tool from Knovel.

Thermo Fisher Scientific introduces Syncronis Range of HPLC Columns

Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc today announced the new Thermo Scientific Syncronis HPLC column range. This new range unerringly delivers consistent, predictable separations, from run to run and column to column.

The company is showcasing the Syncronis HPLC column range the 28th International Symposium on Chromatography (ISC), being held September 12-16 in Valencia, Spain.

New spin on mini centrifuges

Scie-Plas' first mini centrifuge – a compact, economical model which comes with three different rotors for use in a wide range of bioscience research applications- has been launched.

Designed with a small footprint to fit easily even where space is limited, the Scie-Plas Mini Centrifuge is very easy to use. An on/off switch enables the lid to be closed without starting the unit and when the lid is opened, the centrifuge stops automatically.

Clinical evaluation data for MycAssay Pneumocystis

Myconostica Ltd, the UK-based medical diagnostic company developing and commercialising rapid and highly specific tests for life-threatening fungal infections, today presented positive data from a multi-centre prospective evaluation of MycAssay Pneumocystis, the company’s CE marked diagnostic product for detection of Pneumocystis DNA in respiratory samples.

A Multinational Prospective Evaluation of a Commercial Pneumocystis Real-Time PCR test (Paper M-417a). The clinical data were presented at the 50th Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy (ICAAC) in Boston on September 12th. The study was carried out in four hospitals located in Austria, Switzerland and the USA.

Catalytic air pollution control systems for the removal of volatile organic compounds

Catalytic methods to treat hazardous air pollutants are experiencing a comeback. In the past 15 to 20 years they were often replaced by other thermal oxidation processes on account of the catalysts' susceptibility to poisoning and/or masking. Catalytic oxidation of VOCs owe their comeback to two persuasive benefits: low energy needs and notably lower NOx emissions.

The air pollution control specialist, Environmental and Energy Systems (EES), a business unit of the Dürr machinery and plant manufacturing group, prefers to apply catalytic methods when treating air pollutants in the chemical processing industry. Classical areas of application are abatement systems used for PTA production facilities, for calcination processes (catalyst manufacturing) and for manufacturing of maleic anhydride, olefines, natural rubber and acrylic.

Ensure FDA and EMA Compliance with continuous monitoring records, 24/7 alarming and automated reporting

How to ensure your regulated environments and equipment are always in full compliance with FDA and EMA regulations? An automated monitoring and alarming system providing high accuracy fail-safe data is the answer.

Investment in industry-leading instrumentation and systems in FDA and EMA -regulated storage, processing and critical manufacturing is the best way to ensure high quality products in critical environments.

Psoriasis: double blind, placebo controlled trial

Forward Pharma, A/S through its wholly owned German subsidiary Forward Pharma GmbH, today announced initiation of its first phase II trial investigating efficacy and safety of different doses and regimes of FP187 in a double blind, placebo controlled trial.

The trial is running in 18 centres in Germany and is foreseen to include at least 180 patients with moderate to severe plaque psoriasis. This study will compare the efficacy and safety of different doses and dose regimens of FP187 on the proportion of patients achieving PASI 75 (reduction in the PASI score of 75% from baseline), and several other secondary endpoints including Quality of Life. The Company expects data to be available Q3, 2011.

FP187 is an oral small molecule that demonstrated promising pharmacokinetics and good tolerability in Phase I testing in healthy volunteers. Following scientific advice meetings with the German Heath Authorities (BfArM), Forward Pharma GmbH received approval from the agency and ethics committees in August, 2010 for the current Phase II study.

Forward Pharma A/S