Quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) technology is experiencing a surge of interest and rapid expansion as a result of advances such as instrumentation that pushes capacity to 1, 536 wells and optimization-free multiplexing, reports Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News (GEN). The technique's ability to both detect and simultaneously quantify specific DNA sequences is increasing its use in basic research and diagnostics, according to the November 15 issue of GEN. "With some estimates of the qPCR assay consumables market totaling over three-quarters of a billion dollars, and growing, it's obvious that this particular technology has found a solid niche in life science research, " says John Sterling, Editor in Chief of GEN.
At the RSNA 2009, the congress of the Radiological Society of North America, Siemens Healthcare presents "Healthcare Lighting", a concept for lighting design in medical facilities, aimed at creating a friendly and colorful environment instead of the common bland hospital atmosphere. Practical experience to date shows that many patients feel more comfortable and are more relaxed when the examination room or the diagnostic device is flooded with colored light and relaxing music is even played at the same time. Nurses, technologists and doctors also confirm that they find a colorful work environment much more pleasant. Based on findings in modern psychological studies, colors and light have been used for some time in doctors' practices and hospitals to positively influence the condition of patients.
New Cancer Research Tool: Roche's CIM-Plate 16 Enables Real-Time Analysis Of Cell Migration On The XCELLigence System
Roche Applied Science announces the availability of the new CIM-Plate 16 for their xCELLigence System for cell analysis, for use in cancer research. The 16-well culture plate features electronic sensors for the direct study of cell migration and invasion on the xCELLigence RTCA DP Instrument. The system delivers unbiased data without disturbing cells due to labeling and allows researchers to monitor cell invasion and migration continuously in real-time throughout the entire duration of the experiment. The user can combine E-Plate 16 to measure cell proliferation and CIM-Plate 16 to quantify cell migration and invasion, thus making full use of the flexibility that the RTCA DP Instrument has to offer.
WaferGen To Introduce New Service For Gene-Expression Profiling Using The SmartChip TM Real-Time PCR System
WaferGen Biosystems, Inc. (OTC Bulletin Board: WGBS), a leading developer of state-of-the-art genetic analysis systems, announced a new, innovative service for gene-expression profiling of thousands of genes using the SmartChip(TM) Real-Time PCR System. By taking advantage of the SmartChip Real-Time PCR system, WaferGen will offer universities, pharmaceutical and diagnostic companies a service that utilizes pathway-specific gene panels to discover and validate new biomarkers. The company also announced that it is moving to a new facility to support the SmartChip services and the expansion of manufacturing and R&D functions. The new WaferGen SmartChip Service will be made available to a few select customers in December and made more broadly available in the first quarter of 2010.
In an advance with overtones of Star Trek phasers and other sci-fi ray guns, scientists in Canada are reporting development of an internal on-off "switch" that paralyzes animals when exposed to a beam of ultraviolet light. The animals stay paralyzed even when the light is turned off. When exposed to ordinary light, the animals become unparalyzed and wake up. Their study appears in the Journal of the American Chemical Society (JACS). It reports the first demonstration of such a light-activated switch in animals. Neil Branda and colleagues point out that such "photoswitches" -- light-sensitive materials that undergo photoreactions -- have been available for years.
Just as fly paper captures insects, an innovative new device with nano-sized features developed by researchers at UCLA is able to grab cancer cells in the blood that have broken off from a tumor. These cells, known as circulating tumor cells, or CTCs, can provide critical information for examining and diagnosing cancer metastasis, determining patient prognosis, and monitoring the effectiveness of therapies. Metastasis - the most common cause of cancer-related death in patients with solid tumors - is caused by marauding tumor cells that leave the primary tumor site and ride in the bloodstream to set up colonies in other parts of the body.