Automation Improves Tobacco Research
News Apr 09, 2009
Advanced Technologies Cambridge (ATC) in Cambridge, UK, is using Quantitative PCR techniques to assay transgenic plant cells, and uses Tecan’s Freedom EVO® 100 liquid handling workstation to automate pipetting tasks for these screens. The Company has a strong research interest in plant biotechnology.
Tim Beddoes, a molecular biologist at ATC, explained: “There are a number of toxicants in cigarette smoke with the potential to cause disease, and our aim is to find ways to alter pathways within the tobacco plant that are responsible for those compounds or their precursors. As part of this project, transgenic plants are created and we use Q PCR techniques to assay for introduced sequences. These screens require a lot of pipetting, which we used to perform manually, and with automation we can now run several thousand assays per month.”
“Our current workstation set-up has an eight channel arm and uses Tecan’s 50 µl disposable tips with 384-well format plates. The reproducibility is comparable to manual pipetting, but the tasks are performed much more quickly. We perform our QPCR in final reaction volumes of 25 µl, because using relatively small volumes obviously cuts down on reagent and sample costs, and the 50 µl tips are perfect for pipetting the 5 µl of DNA and 20 µl of master mix. The 50 µl tip is also ideal for aliquoting fractions for experimental replicates.” Tim concluded.
Computation and Chemistry Combine to Create World-First Auxetic ProteinNews
A team of chemists at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) has now designed a two-dimensional protein crystal that toggles between states of varying porosity and density. This is a first in biomolecular design that combined experimental studies with computation done on supercomputers. The research, published in April 2018 in Nature Chemistry, could help create new materials for renewable energy, medicine, water purification, and more.
Fructose Formula Poses Risk to Babies With Metabolic DisorderNews
Babies with inherited intolerance of fructose face a risk of acute liver failure if they are fed certain widely available formulas containing fructose, pediatricians and geneticists are warning. Baby formula manufacturers should remove fructose or sucrose, or explicitly label their products to allow parents to avoid those sweeteners if necessary, the doctors say.
4000-Year Old DNA Helps Track the Spread of Rice Farming in AsiaNews
Rice farming spread far and wide in ancient Southeast Asia, but how it got there has been a mystery. Now, a study of 4000-year-old DNA—a rare find in this region—suggests it came with farmers migrating from China, where rice farming originated.