News from the PCR market

Monitoring Transplant Patients for M. hominis Infections

A recent study has revealed the importance of monitoring transplant donors and recipients for Mycoplasma hominis infections. Mycoplasma hominis colonies M. hominis is a species of bacteria able to infect and penetrate the interior of human cells. It is notoriously difficult to test for and resistant to most antibiotics. In transplant recipients, M. hominis infections can lead to pleurisy, surgical site infection and […]

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Testing Water Samples for Legionella

Evaluation of Legionella qPCR against traditional culture for routine and public health testing of water samples. Legionella is a pathogenic, gram-negative bacteria responsible for causing Legionnaires’ disease, a potentially fatal form of pneumonia, for which there is currently no vaccine. The bacteria are found in water supplies, making the maintenance of water systems essential in preventing the […]

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Successful completion of BJS Biotechnologies projects at UCL

  File 1 – Successful completion of BJS Biotechnologies projects at UCL

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BJS Biotechnologies would like to congratulate our Product Specialist, Charlotte Fenner, for graduating from Imperial College London with a Masters in Applied Bioscience and Biotechnology. The ceremony was held at the Royal Albert Hall last week and was a great celebration to  mark this achievement.

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RT-qPCR to Determine the Role of TEX19 in Cancers

Cancer/testis (CT) genes are one of the major groups of germline genes. They encode proteins known as cancer/testis antigens (CTAs), usually limited to the healthy adult testis. These antigens were initially identified by autologous typing, but thanks to PCR technology it became possible to identify them by expression patterns. Little is understood about the role […]

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World’s First Malaria Vaccine Trial

Ahead of World Malaria Day tomorrow comes an exciting development. The worlds first malaria vaccine has been given the go ahead for large-scale trials in three African countries: Kenya, Ghana and Malawi. These were selected as the initial countries to test the vaccine because they still have high numbers of malaria cases despite prevention programmes already being in […]

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Standard Dilution Series with the xxpress® qPCR Thermal Cycler

The success of a qPCR reaction is evaluated using a standard dilution series, the data from which is used to calculate the reaction efficiency and R2 values. Efficiency can be defined as the increase in amplicon per cycle, whilst R2 is the coefficient of determination. Ideally, the efficiency of a qPCR reaction would be 100%, […]

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Detecting Aquatic Organisms Using eDNA

Nuclear or mitochondrial DNA that is released into the environment from an organism is known as environmental DNA or eDNA. The eDNA of a large number of aquatic organisms can be detected in water samples by qPCR, even when at very low concentrations. This technique is particularly useful when trying to locate rare species that are […]

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The MIQE Guidlines

The Minimum Information for Publication of Quantitative Real-Time PCR Experiments. The MIQE guidelines were introduced to reduce the lack of standardisation in performing and evaluating qPCR experiments. Previously, a lack of consensus was causing several issues within the field. In particular, the publication of insufficient details presented problems when critically evaluating an experiment or attempting […]

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Figure 3 Thermal image of plate showing heated areas

Thermal Uniformity with the xxpress® qPCR Thermal Cycler

qPCR is a molecular biology technique that utilises temperature cycles to amplify and quantify DNA. Thermal uniformity is essential when performing qPCR to ensure repeatable, reliable results. Undershoots can prevent reaction steps from reaching completion, whilst overshoots can cause the sample to degrade.  At BJS Biotechnologies we have developed the xxpress® qPCR thermal cycler which […]

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Groundbreaking Gene Therapy for Retinitis Pigmentosa

Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP) is an x-linked, inherited disease that causes the progressive degeneration of rod photoreceptors in the retina. This disease affects ~15,000 people in Britain and slowly leads to an irreversible form of blindness. There are several genes which can cause RP when mutated. One which is particularly prone to mutations, known as the Retinitis […]

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Design of a Synthetic Yeast Genome

A multidisciplinary team at The Department of Biomedical Engineering, Johns Hopkins University, have designed a synthetic eukaryotic genome. The project, known as Sc2.0, resulted in a highly modified Saccharomyces cerevisiae genome which was ~8% smaller, with 1.1 megabases inserted, deleted or altered.   An open-source framework, called BioStudio, was used to design the genome. It is hoped […]

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HRM for the Detection of Important Poxviruses

A high resolution melt (HRM) is a powerful, post-PCR, analysis technique used to identify the DNA products present. First of all PCR is performed with an intercalating dye present. These dyes have the unique property of only binding to double-stranded DNA. Once incorporated into the newly synthesised amplicon the dye will fluoresce brightly. Performing a high-resolution […]

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New Zika test approved for CDC use

Zika, Dengue and Chikungunya; 3 viruses alike in their symptoms and their transmission by Aedes mosquitoes. Former PCR-based Zika tests were unable to rule out infections with Dengue or Chikungunya. A trioplex real-time RT-PCR assay has now been developed for the detection and differentiation of RNA from these three viruses. This qPCR assay has been approved […]

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PCR a valuable tool for diagnosing HIV infections

The World Health Organisation estimates that approximately 36.7 million people are living with HIV globally. This epidemic still poses serious public health issues. Diagnosis is a key factor in helping to prevent the disease spread as well as ensuring that patients receive the correct treatment as soon as possible. The polymerase chain reaction is used […]

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PCR to determine the likelihood of relapse in AML patients

Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) is a rare form of cancer affecting the Myeloid cells in the blood. It most commonly results from a mutation in the FMS-related Tyrosine Kinase 3 (FLT3) gene. The current treatment for AML is Allogenic Stem Cell Transplantation; the transfer of stem cells from a healthy donor to the patient following chemotherapy or […]

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The 6-letter genetic code

A collaborative project by The Scripps Research Institute, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique and Henan Normal University has seen a stable expansion of the genetic alphabet. Their paper has now been published in PNAS detailing the creation of a semisynthetic organism with a 6-letter genetic code.     Our genetic code consists of 4 bases: A, T, C, G. These […]

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The Story of the Polymerase Chain Reaction

 A recent article, by Maggie Koreth-Baker for Nautilus, details the story of the Polymerase Chain Reaction “from a Pink Squiggle to the Human Genome Project”. The article details the discovery of the thermophilic bacterium, Thermus Aquaticus, from which heat-resistant Taq DNA polymerase was obtained. “This Yellowstone bacterium sparked PCR, one of the great advances in genetics.” […]

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A new PCR primer database for RNA virus detection

A new database has been created which outlines primers for use in the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) to detect RNA viruses. Details of this exciting new database, MRPrimerV, were published in Nucleic Acids Research.   “Abstract: Many infectious diseases are caused by viral infections, and in particular by RNA viruses such as MERS, Ebola and Zika. To understand […]

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DNA double helix

PCR helps to create potential myeloma blood test

Researchers from the NIH, the National Cancer Institute (NCI), and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute of Harvard Medical School have used the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) to help to create a potential multiple myeloma diagnostic. The results were published in the Journal of Molecular Diagnostics. Multiple myeloma is a cancer of the bone marrow with a […]

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Lung adenocarcinoma

DNA alterations could be precursors of lung cancer

The polymerase chain reaction has helped a team of US researchers to see the very earliest genetic changes that could mark the onset of the most common form of lung cancer. The results are published online in Nature Communications. Understanding the precursors to lung cancer could improve the diagnosis and treatment of this form of […]

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DNA spiral cartoon

Biomarker could predict gastric cancer survival

Chinese researchers have found an RNA biomarker that could predict survival for patients with gastric cancer, according to a paper published in the American Journal of Pathology. Gastric cancer is one of the most common cancers in developing countries. It is often diagnosed at a late stage, and has a high death rate. The aim […]

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Chromosome 7

New strategy uses PCR to improve detection of mutations in hereditary colorectal cancer

Using next generation genetic techniques and PCR could help doctors identify people with Lynch syndrome caused by a mutation in the PMS2 gene. The results are published in the Journal of Molecular Diagnostics. Lynch syndrome (also known as hereditary non-polyposis colorectal cancer or HNPCC), is usually caused by heterozygous germline mutations in the DNA mismatch […]

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Chromosome 9

PCR helps find the genetic roots of adolescent scoliosis

A team of Japanese researchers have used PCR to help to uncover genetic clues to the cause of adolescent idiopathic scoliosis, a disease that causes curvature of the spine. The results are published in the American Journal of Human Genetics. Adolescent idiopathic scoliosis is the most common spinal deformity, and has no known cause. It […]

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Child sneezing

Using PCR to diagnose a severe respiratory bug

Rhinoviruses and enteroviruses are common respiratory viruses, and generally just cause a bit of a snuffle. However, in winter 2014, an outbreak of enterovirus D68 led to around a thousand confirmed cases of severe illness and 14 deaths in the US. A team of researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have […]

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Fish oil gel caps

PCR provides hints that supplements may help in Alzheimer’s

Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia are affecting more people worldwide every year, with a variety of factors involved, from education to genetics. Researchers have used the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and other techniques to see if dietary supplementation can make a difference in early stage disease. The results were published in the FASEB […]

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CRISPR/Cas9 zebrafish

Zebrafish and PCR confirm feasibility of high-throughput editing

CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing is widely used as a tool in genetic studies. Researchers looking at zebrafish have combined this technique with the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) to understand more about the functions of genes in humans. The research is published in Genome Research. CRISPR (clustered, regularly interspaced, short palindromic repeat) describes a pattern of DNA […]

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Introducing SEPSIS-xxpress

SEPSIS-xxpress is BJS Biotechnologies’ rapid POC (point of care) sepsis testing system in development as part of a London-based consortium. The new system combines BJS’s experience in sample preparation, automation and real-time PCR with Brunel University London’s microfluidic engineering skills, while St Georges, University of London, will run clinical trials. With an estimated 25 million annual […]

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Notes on sepsis

Sepsis (blood poisoning) is a life threatening illness reflecting the body’s release of inflammatory cytokines in response to the presence of bacterial and/or fungal pathogens in the bloodstream. Sepsis is the leading cause of death in US hospitals. Mortality from sepsis increases at a rate of 8% for every hour that a patient is not receiving […]

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Scientists use PCR to confirm the impact of malaria in pregnancy

Low-level Plasmodium falciparum infections may not cause full-blown malaria symptoms, but they could still affect pregnant women. Researchers at the Institut de recherche pour le développement (IRD; Institute for Development Research) and the Centre d’Étude et de Recherche sur le Paludisme Associé à la Grossesse et l’Enfance (CERPAGE; Centre for Study and Research on Pregnancy-Associated […]

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