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Chemically Modified Primers for Improved Multiplexed PCR
Elena Hidalgo Ashrafi, Tony Le, Alexandre Lebedev, Richard Hogrefe, Victor Timoshchuk, Sabrina Shore, Inna Koukhareva and Natasha Paul

Multiplex PCR is an advantageous technique used in PCR applications to amplify multiple targets in a single reaction. As useful as it is, this technique presents a new set of challenges that further complicates PCR setup. For example, reactions are more prone to off-target amplifications such as mis-priming and primer dimer due to the increased number of primer pairs. Furthermore, preferential amplification of certain targets leads to an unequal distribution of amplicon products, making quantifi

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Hot Start dNTPs - A Novel Tool for Controlled Nucleotide Incorporation in PCR
Tony Le, Elena Hidalgo Ashrafi, Sabrina Shore, Victor Timoshchuk, Natasha Paul, Richard Hogrefe, Inna Koukhareva, Alexandre Lebedev

PCR is a widely used scientific tool employed by a variety of applications. Various Hot Start technologies have already been developed using modified PCR components to increase specificity of a reaction. Recently developed CleanAmpTM dNTPs are modified nucleoside triphosphates with a thermolabile 3’-tetrahydrofuranyl protecting group that is released at higher temperatures. These modified dNTPs prevent low temperature primer extension, which can often be a significant problem in PCR. At higher t

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Evaluation of microfluidic digital PCR for the detection of cancer biomarkers
Rebecca Sanders, Claire Bushell, Carole Foy, Daniel J. Scott

dPCR is achieved by sample partitioning prior to PCR amplification such that each reaction chamber contains one copy or less of target DNA. This dilution becomes the limiting factor and an accurate target molecule count is achievable. This study evaluates dPCR’s quantitative capabilities and investigates parameters influencing copy number quantification, using the Fluidigm Biomark instrument. Biomark technology combines dPCR theory with a microfluidics platform.

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Software for Genomic/Epigenomic Research
A.S.Tanas, V.V.Shkarupo, E.B.Kuznetsova, D.V.Zaletayev, V.V. Strelnikov

We present two computer programs: 1) AIMS in silico - a suggestion tool for Amplification of Intermethylated Sites experimental design and results analysis; and 2) PeakPick – a tool to view & analyse capillary electrophoregrams Our computer software is intended to standardize AIMS applications and to turn it into one of the principal approaches towards cancer methylomes studies as well as towards diagnostics in oncology, including early screening.

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HIV POC testing by ssDNA coupled with NALF
Natasha Gous, Lesley E. Scott, Alexio Capovilla, Natela Rekhviasvili, Wendy Stevens

A isothermal amplification termed Reverse Transcription Loop Dependant Amplification (RT-LDA) was developed with an affordable nucleic acid lateral flow detection (NALF) system, as one component of a potential POC HIV-1 RNA assay for subtypeC. RT-LDA makes use of a primer design that efficiently converts viral RNA into ssDNA amplicons, in 1 hour at 53ºC. Due to the single stranded nature of the product, the amplicon could be detected using NALF.

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Treatment of Plaque Infections and Periodontitis using Stem Cells- A New Prospect
Manoj Hariharan , Naveen Raj

Dental precursor cells are attractive for novel approaches to treat diseases like periodontitis, dental caries or to improve dental pulp healing and the regeneration of craniofacial bone and teeth. These cells are easily accessible and, in contrast to bone-marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells, are more closely related to dental tissues. This paper gives a short overview of stem cells of dental origin.

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Evaluation of a Novel Approach for the Measurement of RNA Quality
Timothy Wilkes; Alison Devonshire; Carole Foy

The potential medical applications of microarrays have generated much interest, within the biomedical community. Numerous potential sources of variation have raised concerns regarding assay consistency and data quality. Previous studies have highlighted RNA integrity as having a major effect on data quality. We describe here a comparison of the performance characteristics of the Agilent (Bioanalyser) and Lab901 (Screen Tape System) platforms, and their capacity to determine sample RNA integrity.

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Evaluation of a Novel Approach for the Measurement of RNA Quality
Timothy Wilkes; Alison Devonshire; Carole Foy

The potential medical applications of microarrays have generated much interest, within the biomedical community. Numerous potential sources of variation have raised concerns regarding assay consistency and data quality. Previous studies have highlighted RNA integrity as having a major effect on data quality. We describe here a comparison of the performance characteristics of the Agilent (Bioanalyser) and Lab901 (Screen Tape System) platforms, and their capacity to determine sample RNA integrity.

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Microfluidic PCR device for diagnostic pathogen detection
Johannes R. Peham, Hannes Steiner, Walter Grienauer, Rudolf Heer, Michael J. Vellekoop, Christa Nöhammer, Herbert Wiesinger

In this work a microfluidic cyclic flow PCR device is presented, which is capable of replicating the bacterial genomic DNA sequence of the 16S ribosomal RNA. The standard laboratory processing time of 3 h could be decreased to 60 min with the microfluidic reactor without loosing PCR efficiency. Integrating an optical fluorescence detector for dsDNA measurement would evolve this device into a micro total analysis system.

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Scientific News
Blood Test Could Help Bowel Cancer Patients Avoid Drug Side-Effects
Manchester researchers have provided early evidence to suggest that a blood test could be used to identify bowel cancer patients that may benefit from more intensive chemotherapy.
Changes In A Blood-Based Molecular Pathway Identified In Alzheimer’s
Study identifies increased activation of the contact system in plasma of Alzheimer’s patients.
Los Alamos Creates Bioinformatics Tool for Metagenome Analysis
‘GOTTCHA’ tool could aid ID of co-infections in medical samples.
Kidney Cancer Detected Early With Urine Test
Washington University School of Medicine researchers have developed a noninvasive method to screen for kidney cancer by measuring the presence of proteins in the urine.
New Test To Revolutionise Disease Detection In People, Crops And Stock
A single-drop DNA test invented by UQ scientists could revolutionise the detection of diseases in humans, livestock and crops.
DNA Sequencing Traces The Spread Of Drug-Resistant TB
Scientists have for the first time used DNA sequencing to trace the fatal spread of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis between patients in the UK.
Towards A Blood-Based Test For Diagnosing Alzheimer’s Disease
An effective blood test would be safe, affordable and easy to administer in large groups or in rural areas.
Tiny Optical Antennas: A Nano Revolution
Newly developed tiny optical antennas, which function like spotlights at the nanoscale, offer the potential to measure food safety, identify air pollutants and even quickly diagnose and treat deadly diseases, like cancer.
Blood-Based Genetic Biomarkers Identify Young Boys with Autism
Proof-of-principle method suggests much-earlier diagnoses could be done with clinic test.
‘Liquid Biopsies’ Could Help Spot Genetic Faults in Lung Cancer
Study analyze blood samples from 97 patients who took part in the EURTAC clinical trial.
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