You are currently browsing the archives for the news category.

Archive for the ‘news’ Category

Bio-Rad Receives Award in Quantitative and Digital PCR Instrumentation

 :: Posted by American Biotechnologist on 11-19-2012

Bio-Rad Laboratories, Inc. announced it has received the Frost & Sullivan 2012 North American Market Penetration Leadership Award in Quantitative and Digital PCR Instrumentation. This annual award honors the company that has demonstrated excellence by growing market share at the fastest rate in its industry, as measured by revenues or units sold.

Frost & Sullivan, a global growth consulting company, cited findings from its best practices research that show Bio-Rad has built a solid reputation in amplification technologies. According to Frost & Sullivan’s research, Bio-Rad continually releases innovative products to earn customer loyalty and gain market share, with particularly strong market positions in both the real-time PCR (qPCR) and digital (dPCR) instrumentation markets.

“Bio-Rad clearly exhibits some of the key traits shared by the most successful companies: the ability to locate and solve unmet needs in the markets they serve and a dedication to continuous R&D,” said Christi Bird, life sciences senior industry analyst at Frost & Sullivan. “Bio-Rad’s commitment to innovation, coupled with its keen focus on other qualities valued most by its customers, has resulted in a strong and growing market position that makes the company an ideal recipient of this year’s Frost & Sullivan Market Penetration Leadership Award.”

“We are honored to receive recognition of our leadership in the real-time and digital PCR markets,” said Rachel Scott, amplification instruments business unit marketing manager at Bio-Rad. “The Frost & Sullivan award is a reflection of how we strive to develop innovative new solutions that align with the needs of the research community in terms of both technology and pricing.”

Frost & Sullivan expects Bio-Rad to continue its market share gains in qPCR with several instruments launched in 2011, including the CFX96 Touch™ and CFX Connect™ real-time PCR detection systems.

In the dPCR market, Frost & Sullivan believes the QX100™ Droplet Digital™ PCR system holds the greatest promise of all dPCR instruments currently on the market, due to its simplicity, performance, and affordability. The QX100 system has already received significant attention from pharmaceutical companies and cancer research laboratories, leading Frost & Sullivan to believe that the instrument will be the early market leader in the expanding dPCR market.

“Bio-Rad has also seen a great deal of interest from the growing molecular diagnostic market,” said James Lee, Droplet Digital PCR commercialization marketing manager at Bio-Rad. “We plan to participate in this market in the near future using our ddPCR™ technology.”

Bio-Rad was honored with this recognition at Frost & Sullivan’s 2012 Excellence in Best Practices Awards Banquet on November 8 in San Antonio, Texas. The event highlighted companies, strategies, processes, and executives that have achieved world-class performance within their industries.

For more information about Bio-Rad’s PCR products, visit http://bit.ly/PCR_Products.

Evolution: Not So Random After All

 :: Posted by American Biotechnologist on 10-29-2012

Evolution, often perceived as a series of random changes, might in fact be driven by a simple and repeated genetic solution to an environmental pressure that a broad range of species happen to share, according to new research.

Princeton University research published in the journal Science suggests that knowledge of a species’ genes — and how certain external conditions affect the proteins encoded by those genes — could be used to determine a predictable evolutionary pattern driven by outside factors. Scientists could then pinpoint how the diversity of adaptations seen in the natural world developed even in distantly related animals.

Read more…

A viral hitchhiker’s guide to the evolutionary galaxy

 :: Posted by American Biotechnologist on 10-16-2012

Late last year, we told you how most human beings are more virus than human. Now a newly published paper shows that the genomes of birds are riddled with DNA sequences from viruses, and that analysis of these viral sequences, known as endogenous retroviruses (ERVs), can provide insights into how both hosts and viruses have evolved over the eons.

All genomes are cobbled together works-in-progress. Scientists have long known that the human genome, for example, is not all human: like most every other genome studied to date, a good chunk of the DNA we call “human” is actually made up of proviruses, sequences that retroviruses have deposited there to take advantage of the cell’s ability to copy DNA and translate that DNA into working proteins. These proviruses can either be inherited in the DNA we get from our parents (endogenous retroviruses), or they can be picked up during our lifetime (exogenous retroviruses).

The study reveals that millions of years ago birds were host to many different kinds of ERVs, serving as a kind of melting pot: a meeting and mingling place where viruses recombined and shared genetic information.

Read more…

Now THAT’S the way to use a cell phone

 :: Posted by American Biotechnologist on 07-25-2012

In my opinion, there are waaayyy too many cell phones in schools these days. Ringing, texting, gaming…all of these are annoyances that disturb class and distract students’ attention. However, students at Johns Hopkins have redeemed themselves and renewed my confidence that undergrads can actually utilize cell phones responsibly.

Johns Hopkins biomedical engineering undergraduates have developed a noninvasive way to identify patients suffering from anemia hoping to save thousands of women and children from this dangerous blood disorder in developing nations. The device, HemoGlobe, is designed to convert the existing cell phones of health workers into a “prick-free” system for detecting and reporting anemia at the community level.

Read more…

The empty call of personalized medicine

 :: Posted by American Biotechnologist on 05-24-2012

For years, scientists and medical professionals have been searching for the holy grail that is personalized medicine. Here, at the American Biotechnologist, we too have been enamored by the concept and have written many articles in its support, (see for example Genomes, Phenomes and Personalized Medicine and Andrew Hessel is a Seer…Personalized Medicine is Very Near). Yet, although many personalized medicine crusaders have gone to war, few battles have been won.

In an unfortunate turn of events, a recent publication out of Harvard University has found that a person’s genetic profile is a very poor predictor of disease and of little use in clinical practice. The study looked at genetic variations associated with breast cancer, type 2 diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis and found that knowledge of these variations only resulted in a 1-3% increase in risk prediction sensitivity. Hardly anything to get excited about.

Does this mean the end to personalized medicine? Of course not! However, it does mean that readers should be skeptical when hearing stories about the great predictive powers of genomic information and need to make sure to keep their scientific glasses on in order to avoid getting swept up by the excitement.

For more information see Knowing genetic makeup may not significantly improve disease risk prediction.

Reference:
Aschard, H., Chen, J., Cornelis, M., Chibnik, L., Karlson, E., & Kraft, P. (2012). Inclusion of Gene-Gene and Gene-Environment Interactions Unlikely to Dramatically Improve Risk Prediction for Complex Diseases The American Journal of Human Genetics DOI: 10.1016/j.ajhg.2012.04.017