Applied Biosystems (ABI) has announced the release of two new application specific reagent kits to improve the data quality of real-time PCR in conjunction with its TaqMan Gene Expression Assays. "Our customers are continuing to derive new applications from their real-time PCR instrument systems; therefore, it is important that we continue to play a leading role in providing them with differentiated consumables that are tailored to their specific scientific objectives," said Mark Stevenson, president for ABI's molecular and cell biology division. Affymetrix has launched a new cost effective and easy to use alternative for gene-level expression profiling, the GeneChip Human Gene 1.0 ST Array. "The new Human Gene 1.0 ST Array complements the Human Exon 1.0 ST Array, offering an additional choice for new microarray users on the gold-standard microarray platform at a very affordable price," said Sean George, vice president of the academic business unit at Affymetrix. Agilent Technologies has introduced the 7500cx, a new inductively-coupled plasma mass spectrometer (ICP-MS) that the company claims delivers simplified operation for higher productivity and more accurate results. "This new direction in ICP-MS is simpler and faster, and yields more accurate results -- criteria vital to routine trace metal analytical labs that require the best performance from reliable, robust and simple-to-use instrumentation," said Chris Toney, Agilent's vice president and general manager of Chemical Analysis Mass Spectrometer Systems. Bio-Rad has launched two new Epstein Barr virus (EBV) kits for use on its BioPlex 2200 system, which employs multiplexing technology to analyse for multiple disease markers from a single patient sample. The kits will provide results for five of the most clinically relevant antibodies and allow results from a single patient sample. Bio-Rad has also announced the availability of a Western Blotting Standard and a Chemiluminescent Detection Kit for Protein Size and Expression Analysis. The Precision Plus Protein WesternC standards comprises ten pre-stained protein bands that can be detected through chemiluminescent western blotting. The complementary Immun-StarTM WesternC kit will allow users to visualise the standards on CCD imagers, such as Bio-Rad's VersaDoc and ChemiDoc XRS Systems. Millipore has launched a new line of labeled secondary antibodies for use in single- and double- labeling experiments, fluorescence-activated cell sorting (FACS) enzyme linked immunadsorbent assay (ELISA), detection assays and Western blot applications. The antibodies are available either conjugated to an enzyme, biotin or fluorophore or uncojugated. Millipore has also licensed a neurofilament ELISA kit from EnCor Biotechnology. The kit measures the levels of pNF-H, an axional injury biomarker, in tissue, serum, CSF, and other bodily fluids. This allows the detection of the extent of spinal cord and brain injuries as well as axonal degeneration in neurological diseases, such as ALS and multiple sclerosis. Thermo Fisher Scientific has entered into an OEM agreement with Aspectrics to provide its GRAMS spectroscopy software in Aspectrics' new Encoded Photometric Near Infrared (EP-NIR) process analyser. According to Jim Yano, vice president of marketing for Aspectrics: "combining Thermo Fisher's rich heritage in spectroscopy software with Aspectrics' innovative EP-NIR technology will enable our customers to achieve faster and more reliable analyses." Waters and Symyx have announced a new collaboration to integrate Waters' NuGenesis Scientific Data Management System (SDMS) with Symyx' Software Electronic Lab Notebook (ELN). This should allow scientists to access, share, use and document scientific information generated by multiple sources more easily. "To keep up with the mountains of data generated by drug discovery research, leading research firms need solid information management solutions like Symyx Software and Waters NuGenesis SDMS," said Patrick Martell, director of Waters Laboratory Informatics.