New Rochelle, NY, October 24, 2012— PCR continues to transform the field of molecular diagnostics, reports Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News (GEN). Its ability to enrich genomic regions of interest for next-generation sequencing (NGS) and to interface with other technologies such as mass spectrometry are helping to usher in the personalized medicine era, according to a recent issue of GEN.

“Molecular diagnostics and personalized medicine go hand in hand in terms of beginning to radically change the current healthcare paradigm,” said John Sterling, Editor in Chief of GEN. “And technologies such as PCR, next-gen sequencing, and mass spectrometry are critical to driving the development of novel types of molecular diagnostics.”

For example, Garth D. Ehrlich, Ph.D., executive director, center for genomic sciences, Allegheny-Singer Research Institute, says a new method coupling PCR and mass spectrometry could revolutionize the way clinical labs identify pathogens. His team has begun using a PCR-based mass spec method known as PCR-electron spray ionization, time-of-flight, mass spectrometry (PCR-ESI-TOF-MS). This technology reportedly provides great sensitivity, accuracy, and breadth within the realm of molecular diagnostics for pathogen detection. It takes advantage of the sensitivity of both PCR and mass spectrometry.

Rheonix has developed a fully automated platform for companion diagnostics called the Rheonix CARD® system that processes a range of clinical specimens. The system is suitable for buccal swabs, whole blood, fresh tissue, and FFPE samples. Each can be placed into the system for automatic, unattended cell lysis, DNA extraction and purification, PCR-based amplification of targets, and detection of amplicons on an integrated DNA microarray.

Also discussed in the GEN article is work on molecular diagnostics taking place at Asuragen and Molecular MD.

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