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Jun 15, 2010 (Vol. 30, No. 12)

Personalizing Cancer Treatment

Answers Likely to Be Found in Unraveling Genomic and Epigenomic Complexities

  • Sidebar: AACR New Product Report

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    ChromaLink Biotin and Solulink’s antibody labeling kits allow for multicolor immunofluorescence (IF) labeling of cells using primary antibodies raised in the same host species. All Solulink antibody labeling kits include purification columns for producing a 100% pure conjugate, useful for applications such as IF where high-purity conjugates are necessary.

    > Life Technologies introduced the Applied Biosystems ViiA™ 7 RT-PCR system, which integrates quantitative PCR and genotyping applications on one platform. The system’s software can integrate real-time PCR applications such as nucleic acid quantification, SNP detection, and copy number variation analysis with applications such as high-resolution melting, proximity ligation technology for protein analysis, and gene expression without RNA purification.

    Within the ViiA 7, the OptiFlex system allows users to detect up to 21 colors to enable multiplexing, and to run TaqMan and SYBR-based assays in the same run. Company officials said it also provides single-copy detection sensitivity.

    > 454 Life Sciences, a Roche company, previewed the GS Junior sequencing system, set to launch this month. The GS Junior incorporates the long-read GS FLX Titanium chemistry of the Genome Sequencer FLX in a benchtop, lower-cost format.

    The company also announced upcoming improvements to its Genome Sequencer FLX, including enhanced software, microfluidics, library construction, and sample preparation, that will reportedly allow for read lengths of up to 1,000 base pairs.

    > Scientists at Solulink said they developed a crosslinking chemistry capable of linking all types of molecules, which retain their functionality when combined. The company’s Antibody-Oligonucleotide All-in-One conjugation kit links oligos of 20–60 base pairs in length to an antibody, creating an entity with dual functionality, according to the firm.

    The technology can also be used to immobilize molecules on the surface of arrays, to link enzymes to other types of molecules, or to do dye labeling. The controlled linking process allows molecules to be joined in any desired ratio. The linker has a signature wavelength.

    Solulink products include ChromaLink™ biotinylation kits, crosslinking and antibody labeling kits, and NanoLink™ and MagnaLink™ strepatvidin-coated magnetic beads in 0.8 µm and 2.8 µm sizes.

    > NanoString Technologies unveiled the nCounter® miRNA expression assay kits at AACR, which are capable of highly multiplexed, direct digital detection and counting of miRNAs in a single reaction without amplification, according to the company. The kits are compatible with the nCounter analysis system workflow. The nCounter Human miRNA expression assay kit contains 736 human and human-associated viral miRNAs, which are ligated unique oligonucleotide tags to enable selective and specific detection, added a NanoString official.

    > GE Life Sciences presented the NanoVue Plus UV/visible spectrophotometer with predefined methods for quantifying nucleic acids and proteins. It provides measurements in sample volumes as small as 0.5 µL to 5 µL and utilizes a sample plate that eliminates the need for cuvettes or capillaries.

    The company also showcased its Mag Sepharose™ platform of magnetic Sepharose beads. The platform uses Protein A, Protein G, or NHS ligands to immunoprecipitate target proteins, or TiO2 to capture phosphorylated peptides from digested protein samples.

    > Thermo Fisher Scientific featured its Solaris™ qPCR gene-expression assays and highlighted their applications in cancer research, such as the ability to use qPCR to detect members of the AKT protein kinase family in an RNAi-based study of FOX01 regulation.

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    IDT scientists perform mass spectrometry QC on oligonucleotides at the company's Coralville, Iowa, main headquarters.

    > As part of its PrimeTime® qPCR product line, Integrated DNA Technologies (IDT) developed the ZEN™ internal quencher, which allows for the production of double-quenched probes with a distance of nine basepairs between the dye and the quencher.

    > PhosphoScout® technology from Kinaxo Biotechnologies is a quantitative phosphoproteomics platform that relies on quantitative LC-MS/MS to identify regulated phosphorylation sites across the proteome. It can monitor up to 15,000 in vivo phosphorylation sites in one experiment and compare phosphorylation patterns between samples. 

    > PerkinElmer’s Lance® line of TR-FRET, homogeneous, antibody-based assays now covers more than 50 kinases and includes the new Lance cAMP and Ultra cAMP assays.

    > In Q3, RainDance Technologies plans to launch a new PCR amplification method for differentiating methylated DNA sequences.

    > Carestream Molecular Imaging presented its Albira modular PET/SPECT/CT imaging system. Customers can purchase the complete trimodal system, a bimodal PET/CT or SPECT/CT, or a 1, 2-, or 3-ring PET system. The platform’s PET detection technology is based on a continuous crystal, rather than crystal grids, eliminating dead zones, said a company spokesperson, who added that the product is also able to correct for parallax error. The system’s software and electronics enable multimodal image acquisition and reconstruction to facilitate the study of biological processes quantitatively at the cell or tissue level.

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    Combination PET/CT image of a mouse with two HeLa tumor xenografts implanted, one on each leg, after radiation therapy: Metabolism within the tumors as imaged by 18F-FDG uptake into the tumor sites post treatment with radiation therapy. The top tumor was irradiated with 25 Gy and the bottom tumor with 10 Gy. Tumors exhibited the expected decrease in uptake that correlated with increasing treatment dose. [Carestream Molecular Imaging/Drs. Medina and Garcia-Lopez, INCan-UNAM]

    > Caliper Life Sciences launched the Quantum FX micro-CT system, which has an 18 second scan time for low-dose imaging; it allows for serial CT studies in a single animal to support longitudinal preclinical studies.

    >  Maestro™ is an optical in vivo imaging system from Cambridge Research & Instrumentation  that was designed to distinguish and quantify multiple fluorophores emitting from the green to the near-infrared spectrum and differentiate signal from autofluorescence. Intended for small animal imaging, the system can acquire a full multispectral image in 5 to 10 seconds or 10 frames per second for a monochrome image, according to the company. The Maestro line includes the new Dynamic Contrast Enhancement (DyCE™) system and the new Maestro EX.

    > In a poster presentation, the use of Sigma-Aldrich’s  zinc finger nuclease (ZFN) technology to create rat models of disease for cancer research was described at the AACR meeting. The company’s CompoZr® ZFN technology relies on a ZFN pair that combines targeted DNA binding and DNA cleaving capability, creating double-stranded breaks in DNA at the targeted site. Sigma introduced its new p53 knockout rat model, which is being developed through Sigma Advanced Genetic Engineering (SAGE™) Labs.

    > BioCytics' human application laboratory offers a circulating tumor cell (CTC) enumeration and analysis service that utilizes the CellSearch® CTC test from Veridex  to capture and assess tumor cells in the bloodstream. The test is FDA-approved for monitoring metastatic breast, prostate, and colorectal cancers.

    BioCytics uses fluorescent immunostaining protocols to identify prognostic biomarkers on CTCs to help guide treatment decisions. The company isolates, banks, and looks for markers on CTCs, and is developing protocols for genetic analysis of CTCs.

    > The Scepter cytometer from Millipore is a handheld automated cell counter that displays cell counts and population distribution histograms on a screen built into the device. On average, Scepter generates data in less than 20 seconds.

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