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Product news round-up

By Wai Lang Chu , 26-Feb-2008

LabTechnologist presents its periodic round-up of new product introductions in the life sciences arena, with releases from Invitrogen, Genetix, Vapourtec and GE Healthcare.

Invitrogen's new SuperScript Human Stem Cell cDNA Libraries are designed specifically for gene discovery, PCR analysis, cDNA array construction and functional screening.


cDNA libraries have multiple uses in laboratory applications such as analysis through bioinformatics. A complete cDNA library of an organism gives the total of the proteins it can possibly express. In addition, comparison of cDNA sequence between libraries constructed from cells derived from different organisms can provide insight into the genetic and evolutionary relationship between organisms through the similarity of their cDNA.


Invitrogen's libraries consist of complimentary DNA isolated from commonly used, human embryonal carcinoma (hEC) and human embryonic stem cell (hESC) lines, proving useful as a reference set of stem cell genes.


The libraries use advanced full-length cDNA library construction techniques with SuperScript III reverse transcriptase for first strand synthesis and clones the cDNA into the Gateway-compatible expression vector pCMV-Sport6.1.


With the SuperScript Human Stem Cell cDNA Libraries, researchers can begin to characterise key genes in the stem cell lines, allowing for the identification of the gene expression profile at various stages of cell development.


UK-based biopharmaceutical group, Genetix launches its range of reagents, CytoGenetix, which is expected to be sold alongside its CytoVision workstations.


Genetix claim CytoVision is the most widely used imaging and analysis cytogenetics workstation in the world for the investigation of chromosome abnormalities.


The new reagents and kits are suitable for use in fluorescent in situ hybridisation ("FISH"), and will ideally complement a number of genetic testing applications carried out on CytoVision.


The probes may well have further potential. Research is currently being undertaken on how the probes may be used for the diagnosis and prognosis of cancer.


"The launch of the CytoGenetix range will provide a small incremental increase in revenues but is a strong addition to our consumables product line and compliments CytoVision, which was an important part of the business acquired with Applied Imaging," said Mark Reid, chief executive of Genetix.


Genetix announced in October 2006 that it had acquired Applied Imaging for $22.5m in a deal that it said fitted well with a strategic objective to broaden its competencies in cell imaging and analysis.


At the time Applied Imaging had a leading market position in the manufacture of automated image capture and analysis systems for use in cytogenetics laboratories in the key US market and an emerging presence in the growing cancer pathology market.


Vapourtec are also getting in on the act with its new Flow Commander Control software, intended to be used with a Vapourtec R Series flow chemistry platform, saving considerable time and reagents.


One of the advantages of flow chemistry is how well it lends itself to automated unattended running, enabling optimisation across a large range of reaction parameters to be carried out automatically while the chemist is occupied.


Flow Commander enables the user to specify the key parameters of a reaction (stoichimetric ratios, reactor residence time, temperatures), from which it calculates all flows and time points.


It will then control the R Series flow chemistry system throughout the whole reaction sequence, capturing the specified amount of product from each reaction in the specified fraction collector locations.


Once a sequence of reactions has been defined, the software advises the total amount of solvent and reagents that will be required to complete the sequence. The system can then be loaded up and left to run unattended for as long as


Flow Commander software also allows the user to log and save reactions, generate reports, and share reaction set-up with other users, or to simply observe the system running from another location (e.g. from the office) via the network.


And finally GE Healthcare has introduced its Amersham HyPer5 fluorescent dye for Gene Expression and aCGH applications. This dye is an optimised microarray dye which allows reproducible results to be produced irrespective of environmental conditions and number of scans.


Amersham HyPer5 fluorescent dyes are photo and ozone stable. They are available as the NHS active ester for coupling to aminoallyl modified cDNA (or amplified RNA) in post labelling experiments, or as the dCTP analogue for spiking the dye-nucleotide in direct enzymic incorporation and probe labelling reactions.


The nature of its probe labelling means probes can be generated by post labelling or direct incorporation starting from total and mRNA for gene expression experiments. In addition, the ability to synthesise probes from genomic DNA for array CGH application is achievable by HyPer5.

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