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Science  12 Feb 2016:
Vol. 351, Issue 6274, pp. 775
DOI: 10.1126/science.351.6274.775

Reference Standards

Cell-free DNA (cfDNA) HDx Reference Standards support the development and optimization of cfDNA assays, which are emerging as an important tool for noninvasive liquid biopsies. cfDNA Reference Standards enable researchers to demonstrate the performance of their cfDNA assays by providing a reproducible, consistent, and reliable source of reference material for their development and evaluation. Created from engineered cell lines, cfDNA Reference Standards are available in both singleplex and multiplex format with cancer-relevant mutations. These reference standards consist of human genomic DNA fragmented to 160 base pairs, representative of plasma-derived cfDNA, and are provided as a set of precisely defined allelic frequencies from as low as 0.1%. A matched wild type is included. These highly characterized standards are able to feed directly into any cfDNA workflow from whole-genome, whole-exome, or amplicon-based next-generation sequencing (NGS) to quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) and droplet digital PCR (ddPCR) platforms.

Sequencing System

A new nucleic acid sequencing platform, the Sequel System, provides higher throughput, more scalability, a reduced footprint, and lower sequencing project costs compared to the PacBio RS II System, while maintaining the existing benefits of single molecule, real-time (SMRT) technology. The core of the Sequel System is the capacity of its redesigned SMRT Cells, which contain 1 million zero-mode waveguides (ZMWs) at launch, compared to 150,000 ZMWs in the PacBio RS II. Active individual polymerases are immobilized within the ZMWs, providing windows to observe and record DNA sequencing in real time. The system is designed for projects such as rapid and cost-effective generation of high-quality, whole-genome de novo assemblies. The system can also generate data for full-length transcriptomes and targeted transcripts using the company's Iso-Seq protocol. The Sequel System's increased throughput should also facilitate applications of SMRT technology in metagenomics and targeted gene applications for which interrogation of larger numbers of individual DNA molecules is important.

DNA Analysis System

The DNAscan 6C Rapid DNA Analysis System increases short tandem repeat (STR) chemistry options with its High DNA Content Flexplex BioChipSet Cassette. The six-dye Flexplex chemistry generates STR profiles containing 27 loci, and as a result is compatible with major DNA databases globally. The new Flexplex assay coamplifies 23 autosomal STR loci, three Y-STR loci, and amelogenin for advanced sample discrimination. Flexplex chemistry offers global compatibility by spanning the extended European Standard Set, the expanded U.S. Combined DNA Index System (CODIS) core loci, and other commonly used region-specific loci. Fully automated, the DNAscan 6C Rapid DNA Analysis System performs sample-in to results-out processing with integrated expert system software, providing high-quality STR profiles for up to five samples in less than 90 minutes. The High DNA Content Flexplex BioChipSet Cassette offers the following features: expanded STR locus set, global compatibility, all-in-one consumable, room temperature storage, closed system for contamination control, and radio frequency identification (RFID) tags for sample tracking.

Transfection Reagent

DNA-In CRISPR is an innovative transfection reagent that simplifies and accelerates genome editing using large plasmids and difficult-to-transfect cells for life science researchers generating disease models. Using this approach, researchers can easily generate disease-relevant isogenic models to determine the impact of correcting or introducing disease-relevant mutations on cellular phenotypes in a tissue-appropriate context. However, problems have remained with certain cell types that are more resistant to transfection and with larger plasmids. DNA-In CRISPR has been specially formulated to enable highly efficient transfection of large plasmids [containing CRISPR-associated protein 9 (Cas9), guide RNAs, and reporter cassettes], particularly when using hard-to-transfect cell types. The reagent is fully chemically defined and animal component-free, leading to increased reliability and low cell toxicity. This makes it ideally suited for many applications, including use in preclinical investigations, giving researchers a regulatory head start in their hunt for new therapeutics.

Genome Editing System

A new approach to clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR), the innovative Alt-R CRISPR-Cas9 System, is based on the naturally occurring S. pyogenes CRISPR RNA system. The Alt-R CRISPR-Cas9 System greatly improves genome editing potency, thanks to research-optimized crRNAs (CRISPR RNAs) and transactivating crRNAs (tracrRNAs). Along with improved potency and safety, the system saves time by providing easy, ready-to-use RNA reagents that also reduce cell toxicity by avoiding activation of cellular innate immune responses. Using a two-part crRNA:tracrRNA complex to direct CRISPR-associated protein 9 (Cas9) cleavage, both the crRNA and tracrRNAs can be shortened to 36 and 67 nucleotides, respectively. Doing so increases the on-target potency of the reaction compared with other approaches. Shortening these RNAs enables Integrated DNA Technologies to manufacture the components as high-quality, synthetic RNA oligonucleotides that elicit less toxicity and innate immune response activation in cells. Researchers can also benefit from a safe, fast, and easy protocol with no viral particle preparation, in vitro transcription, or purification steps.

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  • Newly offered instrumentation, apparatus, and laboratory materials of interest to researchers in all disciplines in academic, industrial, and governmental organizations are featured in this space. Emphasis is given to purpose, chief characteristics, and availabilty of products and materials. Endorsement by Science or AAAS of any products or materials mentioned is not implied. Additional information may be obtained from the manufacturer or supplier.

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