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Science  10 Aug 2012:
Vol. 337, Issue 6095, pp. 757
DOI: 10.1126/science.337.6095.757-a


The new VERSA 10 Automated Liquid Handling Workstation has been developed to simplify laborious routine protocols by combining automated multichannel dispensing (four or eight channels), with single-channel, cherry-picking functionality. The customizable system setup, and optional deck modules, allow users to automate a range of applications such as polymerase chain reaction (PCR)/real-time PCR plate formatting, sequence reaction setup, enzymatic modifications, and general liquid handling. The VERSA 10 accommodates 96- and 384-well formats, and allows PCR setup in 96-well plates in only six minutes. Each dispense is highly accurate, and the air displacement pipetting prevents cross-contamination—an essential requirement for DNA and other studies—so researchers can be sure of reliable and reproducible results. Optional modules such as plate heaters, reagent coolers, and shakers enhance the workstation's functionality, and with lab space at a premium, the VERSA 10 has been designed with the smallest possible footprint to fit in limited benchtop spaces.


The new C1 Single-Cell AutoPrep System enables researchers to isolate cells, extract RNA, and then reverse transcribe, and preamplify mRNA transcripts automatically to enable detection and analysis of cell activity. The C1 System workflow is initiated by loading a sample of cells in solution into the C1 microfluidic chip in a single pipetting step, then directing the C1 System to rapidly and automatically isolate up to 96 individual cells into individual chambers for preparation. After loading, researchers can choose an "in-process" quality control checkpoint to verify the number of captured cells and distinguish live from dead cells to preserve data integrity. The workflow then proceeds with a rapid "on-chip" cell lysis without RNA purification, reverse transcription, and preamplification without hands-on reagent mixing and sample transfer. The final preamplified cDNA product is thereafter harvested to collection wells for transfer to the BioMark HD System for quantitative polymerase chain reaction analysis.


The newly launched arktic -20°-80°high-density, low-cost storage unit holds up to 95,000 0.5 mL samples within a small footprint, making it ideal for space-restricted laboratories. It combines secure and safe sample tracking with automated sample retrieval, removing the loss of samples associated with manual methods. Handpicking is replaced with presorted, cherry-picked tubes delivered from store within 60 seconds. As a result, users can be confident in the integrity of their samples. arktic was built to offer the same quality and robustness as the well-known comPOUND -20°modular sample storage system.


The new Tracxer BC210 is a linear barcode reader, which allows you to scan 1-D barcodes on racks. Operating as an accessory for the Micronic RS210 Tracxer Code Reader it is now possible to read both your rack barcode and storage tube codes within just five seconds. Quick and easy to install on the Tracxer RS210—the Tracxer BC210 linear barcode reader further minimizes the risk of incorrectly placed racks and increases sample and rack traceability. The Tracxer RS210 provides a complete tube code reading solution for your laboratory whether you use 2-D Data Matrix, TraXis, or competitive brand coded tubes to store your samples. The reader is fully compatible with all SBS standard storage racks, which enables the reading of 24-, 48-, 96-, and even 384-well formats. Due to its compact A5 size, the Micronic Tracxer RS210 is a perfect choice for use in robotic liquid handling and storage systems.


The AxION DSA system represents a technological breakthrough that eliminates sample preparation steps in addition to the need for front-end gas or liquid chromatography separation, as samples can be directly introduced to a mass spectrometer. This allows for faster and greatly simplified analysis, helping lead to faster decisions.  With the AxION DSA system, sample prep time is now reduced to 25 seconds—down from 25 minutes. Designed to introduce samples to the AxION Time-of-Flight (TOF) mass spectrometer, the complete integrated system allows for the direct analysis of liquid, solid and gas samples. The system was designed with productivity and flexibility in mind, providing for sample analysis in seconds and a seamless switch from a DSA to a liquid chromatography system in less than two minutes. The integrated AxION DSA system is entirely enclosed to prevent atmospheric contamination of samples, ensuring exceptional sensitivity, and fully automated for fast data acquisition.

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