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Science  12 Jul 2019:
Vol. 365, Issue 6449, pp. 190
DOI: 10.1126/science.365.6449.190

Feeder-Free Culture Medium

AMS Biotechnology introduces StemFit Basic04, a next-generation feeder-free medium for the maintenance of induced pluripotent stem (iPS) and embryonic stem (ES) cells during the reprogram-ming, expansion, and differentiation phases of stem cell culture. With its fully defined, animal-origin free formulation, StemFit Basic04 is suited to both research studies and translation to cell therapy. The medium enables market-leading colony expansion (scalable 100-fold expansion/week), allowing single-cell cloning and consistent high performance with a range of different matrices. Its unique formulation offers flexible, weekend-free cell culture schedules, with lower-than-standard media volume consumption, plus fewer passages and media changes. Provided in a single bottle, StemFit Ba-sic04 offers several additional advantages to simplify stem cell culture workflows, including a matrix coating–free and scraper-free protocol.

CRISPR Cas12a Enzyme

Integrated DNA Technologies (IDT) releases its latest CRISPR enzyme Alt-R Cas12a (Cpf1) Ultra. The new mutant enzyme has enhanced editing activity, reaching or exceeding the performance of Cas9, and also retains activity across a wider temperature range than the wild type enzyme, making it useful for genome editing in additional organisms, including plants. This new tool will find equal utility for both knockout as well as knockin applications, in fields ranging from basic research cell engineering to medical gene therapy to agricultural biotechnology.

Signaling Pathway Reporters

System Biosciences announces its next-gen pGreenFire 2.0 signaling pathway reporters. These popular lentivectors are now upgraded with a clever design that enables reliable generation of stable cell lines. They replace the conventional luciferase reporter with red firefly luciferase, allowing the possibility of performing a dual-spectral luciferase assay and delivers greater sensitivity for in vivo applications than conventional luciferase. If you're not familiar with our pGreenFire reporters, both 1.0 and 2.0 share a similar core functionality—transcriptional response elements (TREs) are placed upstream of a minimal cytomegalovirus (mCMV) promoter and the pGreenFire luciferase-T2A-GFP coexpression cassette. In the absence of transcriptional activation, the mCMV promoter has negligible activity, resulting in little-to-no luciferase activity or green fluorescent protein (GFP) fluorescence. However, upon TRE activation (e.g., in response to the addition of an inducer), the TREs plus the mCMV promoter drive expression of both luciferase and GFP in a dose-dependent fashion. The result is the ability to quantitatively measure pathway activation using luciferase activity or while imaging using GFP.

Microbiome Kits

Loop Genomics provides researchers with ultrahigh-resolution micro-biome sequencing solutions using long reads on Illumina sequencers. The four new kits are a low-biomass (e.g., human skin) phased V1–V9 full-length 16S kit with picogram input amounts and zero human DNA background, a phased 18S-ITS1-ITS2 long-read solution for ultrahigh- resolution fungal mycobiome profiling that interrogates a ~2.5-kb contiguous region of the genome (this kit also has a low-biomass version), and a 16S read-cloud kit that offers a lower-cost solution for labs seeking UMI-based microbiome quantification with V1–V9 coverage, but without V1–V9 phasing. By using Illumina sequencing instruments coupled with Loop Genomics sample prep kits, researchers reduce costs and gain significant insights with a plug and play kit that utilizes low-cost core sequencing consumables when compared to other long-read platforms.

cDNA Expression Vectors

OriGene offers a large collection of expression plasmids, ready for transfecting into mammalian cells, and delivering genome-wide coverage of human (100,000), mouse (300,000), and rat cells (150,000), as well as viruses (2,300). Complementary DNA (cDNA) clones are offered in several different mammalian expression vectors: 1. TrueClone – untagged cDNA clones; 2. TrueORF – tagged open reading frame (ORF) clones (Myc-DDK tag or GFP tag); 3. TrueORF Gold – expression-validation ready; 4. Lenti-ORF – lentiviral ORF clones (Myc-DDK tag or mGFP tag); and 5. Viral ORF – viral ORF clones (Myc-DDK tag). Expression clones are driven by a cytomegalovirus promoter. Authentic cDNA transcripts are made from cells (no PCR artifacts). These clones are provided as 10 ug of transfection-ready plasmid DNA and contain easy-switch ORF with different tags or vectors via the PrecisionShuttle system. Clone sets are available for pathway studies or high-throughput screening.

Total Residual Oxidant (TRO) Analyzer

Operating on U.S. Environmental Protection Agency–approved iodo-metric electrode technology, the Thermo Fisher Scientific Orion 7070iX TRO Analyzer is designed to offer high sensitivity for low-level chlorine measurements down to 1 ppb with 1 ppb resolution. The system will give users the confidence that chlorine concentrations in water discharged into natural water sources do not exceed the safety threshold or pose a threat to marine life. For optimal application flexibility, the new analyzer also enables full-range measurements up to 15 ppm. Compared to the conventional DPD (N,N-diethyl-p-phenylenediamine) colorimetric meth-od, the iodometric electrode technology does not suffer from turbidity or color interferences, which can have a negative impact on result accuracy and precision. Furthermore, the 7070iX can operate autonomously for long periods of time with minimal instrument drift (<5% for >180 days without calibration), eliminating the need for routine maintenance. In addition, the system's self-cleaning capability prevents chemical and bio-logical fouling of the measurement cell and sensor, minimizing downtime and facilitating continuous testing.

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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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