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Life Technologies Awards Digital PCR Innovation Grants to Five Research Labs

Published: Thursday, October 24, 2013
Last Updated: Thursday, October 24, 2013
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The five Innovation Grant recipients in the Digital PCR Applications Grant Program was announced during the ASHG conference in Boston.

Each will receive aQuantStudio 3D Digital PCR System for research projects that demonstrated innovative applications in digital PCR.

Scientists from research labs around the world submitted more than 120 applications, from which Life Technologies chose 20 finalist experiments to generate data using the QuantStudio 3D Digital PCR System. Five labs were chosen to receive the grants with guidance from Life Technologies'Scientific Advisory Council, which is made up of PCR thought leaders.

The projects that were selected to receive the Innovation Grants in the Digital PCR Applications Grant Program were performed by:

Dr. Antonio Jimenez-Velasco of Carlos Haya Hospital, Spain — Quantification of donor/recipient chimerism in bone marrow transplants of leukemia samples. His team tested the high sensitivity of dPCR to detect increasing levels of mixed chimerism in clinical research samples from stem cell transplantation patients with leukemia. Accurate detection of high chimeric levels, a tell-tale sign of risk for relapse, could one day open the door for dPCR as an early detection method for transplantation outcomes.

Dr. Andre Pietrzykowsi of Rutgers University — Quantification of pri-miRNA transcripts in neuronal cells following exposure to alcohol. His pioneering work on alcoholism and use of dPCR is enabling his team to pinpoint the importance of a particular microRNA in the development of alcohol tolerance in humans.

Dr. Bruno Ping of the Royal Surrey County Hospital, U.K. — Determination of HER2 copy number variation in FFPE-derived breast cancer samples. Dr. Ping's team was able to measure small changes in HER2 genes, an important marker to identify breast cancer outcomes. He also demonstrated cost-savings and the potential for the system to one day replace current tests.

Dr. Pengyu Zhu of China Agriculture University — Detection of genetically modified organisms (GMO) in mixture of complex food. Dr. Zhu's team took a dPCR approach in a project that sought to detect GMOs in processed food — an application in which dPCR's high sensitivity is ideal for identifying target molecules in mixed food samples.

Dr. Shin-ichiro Fujii of National Metrology Institute of Japan — Absolute quantification of reference samples. As the keepers of true measurements, the team compared dPCR data with that of other measuring approaches, such as isotope dilution mass spectrometry (ID-MS), to determine using known concentrations of DNA molecules.

"We congratulate the recipients of our grant program for demonstrating how digital PCR can expand beyond the application boundaries of traditional qPCR to support new scientific questions," said Chris Linthwaite, President of Genetic Analysis for Life Technologies. "All 20 of these research programs demonstrate the power of this cutting-edge technology and we look forward to seeing its usage propel the industry forward."

The QuantStudio™ 3D Digital PCR System is the first chip-based instrument designed for a rapidly growing segment of the genetic analysis market. Featuring the simplest workflow and smallest footprint, the benchtop platform is designed for experiments requiring absolute quantification of targeted DNA molecules.

The QuantStudio 3D Digital PCR System is for Research Use Only. Not intended for diagnostic purposes.

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