Check out our blog for research news, application tips, and information in the field of genetic research.

Novallele™ Assay Amplification Reaction Using NEXTGENPCR

17 SEP 2018

NEXTGENPCR has been shown to speed the PCR amplification of DNA. In this technical note, we use NEXTGENPCR in the amplification step of our Novallele assay for the G6PC gene. Using the advanced mode function of NEXTGENPCR, we were able to reduce the time for a 35 cycle amplification to only 4 minutes and 30 seconds.

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Enzymes for PCR — Abundant Choices

10 SEP 2018

When thinking about the enzyme used in standard end-point PCR, typically Taq DNA polymerase, isolated from Thermus aquaticus, comes to mind. However, there are many options. There are enzymes isolated from other thermostable organisms such as Thermococcus zilligii, Pyrococcus furiosus, and Thermus filiformis.

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Six Tips to Combat Post-holiday Blues in the Lab

27 AUG 2018

We've all been there. Coming off of that sand-in-your-toes high and jumping into a daunting amount of work you said you’d do when you got back from vacation. Summer is nearly over, and it’s time to roll up our sleeves and start attacking those to do lists to achieve your goals by the end of the year. Here are a few motivating tips to help you get back on track.

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20 AUG 2018

Polymerase chain reaction, or PCR, that was developed in 1983 by Kary Mullis, has become an essential tool for molecular biology. It allows logarithmical amplification of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) from a very small amount of starting material. PCR amplification is used for a variety of applications, including amplifying small fragments for cloning, genotyping, whole genome amplification, Sanger sequencing, and next-generation sequencing. 

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An Overview of Next Generation Sequencing

13 AUG 2018

Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) is also known as high-throughput sequencing. It allows for rapid sequencing of whole genomes or specific PCR amplicons of interest. NGS can be used for sequencing DNA or RNA from various sources.

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STRs — Ideal for Human Identification

06 AUG 2018

Microsatellites, also known as Short Tandem Repeats (STRs), are stretches of DNA that are made up of two to six nucleotides-long repeats adjacent to each other. The stretches of repeats are variable in length, from a few to hundreds of repeats.

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Top Ten Most Asked Questions About NEXTGENPCR

30 JUL 2018

The ability of the novel NEXTGENPCR thermocycler to perform ultrafast cycling brings questions from scientists. Here are the top ten questions and answers.







Tay-Sachs Disease — Mutations in the HEXA Gene

23 JUL 2018

Tay-Sachs disease is a rare inherited disorder caused by mutations of the HEXA gene. The HEXA gene encodes instructions to build the alpha subunit of an enzyme called beta-hexosaminidase A. One alpha subunit and one beta subunit (encoded by the HEXB gene) are needed to assemble a functional enzyme. Beta-hexosaminidase A plays a critical role in breaking down GM2 ganglioside, a lipid that is a normal part of metabolism, in the central nervous system.







NEXTGENPCR Amplifies the Entire BRCA1 Gene in 10 Minutes [POSTER]

16 JUL 2018

With optimization and the use of a fast enzyme, the NEXTGENPCR thermocycler amplified a 100 bp fragment in less than 2 minutes. But what about larger fragments? A poster presented at the European Society of Human Genetics 2016 Annual Meeting demonstrated how the NEXTGENPCR thermocycler amplified the entire BRCA1 gene within 10 minutes using 29 primer pairs. The PCR was followed by Sanger sequencing.






PCR in 1 Minute and 59 Seconds – How It Was Done

09 JUL 2018

DNA amplification using PCR is a necessary step in most molecular biology procedures. Molecular Biology Systems (MBS) developed NEXTGENPCR, a novel thermocycler that uses distinct thermal zones to denature, anneal and extend, eliminating ramp times. The thermal zones are maintained at a set temperature, and the samples move between thermal zones so that only the sample temperature changes.







Ten Tips for Preventing Amplicon Contamination

02 JUL 2018

Amplicon contamination poses a real problem for laboratories performing PCR-based experiments. Amplicon contaminants can come from any RNA or DNA, from a previous PCR amplification, or from a laboratory procedure, such as a plasmid preparation or in vitro transcription.

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SMN1 and SMN2 Copy Number Determination – Simplified

25 JUN 2018

Determining copy number variation (CNV) for the highly homologous SMN1 and SMN2 genes can pose a difficulty for those researching these targets. Because the genes only vary by a single nucleotide in their respective exon 7 regions, assay specificity is of the utmost importance.






Writing A Quality Scientific Abstract

11 JUN 2018

As a scientist preparing for a journal article, poster presentation, or talk, you are likely required to write an abstract about the content. Make sure to check the guidelines and limitations specific to the journal, conference, or venue regarding the word limit and format, but some basic advice holds true for writing any scientific abstract.






NEXTGENPCR - Discover How It Works

04 JUN 2018

Historically, PCR instrumentation has relied on Peltier technology to power the process of heating and cooling samples, resulting in similar run times between instruments and few significant improvements in run times over the last 30 years. The NEXTGENPCR thermocycler introduces a new technology that enables samples to heat and cool almost instantly.







The CYP2D6 Gene's Effect on the Metabolism of Tamoxifen

21 MAY 2018

The cytochrome P450 2D6 enzyme, encoded by the CYP2D6 gene, is responsible for metabolizing many drugs, one of which is the drug tamoxifen (1). Tamoxifen is used in the treatment of early-stage estrogen-receptor-positive breast cancer.







Creating a HET from Novallele™ WT and HOM Controls

14 MAY 2018

Canon BioMedical offers Novallele Control DNA kits for all of our genotyping assays. These kits contain a homozygous wild type (WT) and homozygous mutant (HOM) control for the assay of interest. While having WT and HOM controls should be sufficient references to make genotyping calls, these controls can be mixed together to create a heterozygous mutant (HET) control, which can be useful for comparison to test samples.







Unique Targets for Ashkenazi Jewish Population Gene Mutation Studies

07 MAY 2018

The Ashkenazi Jewish population is one of the most intensely studied ethnic groups from a medical genetics standpoint. This group of individuals originates from an area near the Rhine River between northern France and the western part of Germany. Diseases such as Bloom syndrome, cystic fibrosis, Canavan disease, and Tay-Sachs disease have a higher incidence rate within the Ashkenazi Jewish population than in the general population.







Meet the Inventor of NEXTGENPCR [Interview Part 2 of 2]

30 APR 2018

In last week's blog, we began a very interesting interview with Gert de Vos, the inventor of NEXTGENPCR and Director at Molecular Biology Systems, B.V. (MBS). This week Dana Pfister Sullivan, Product Manager at Canon BioMedical, finishes our interview with Gert about the ultrafast NEXTGENPCR.







Meet the Inventor of NEXTGENPCR [Interview Part 1 of 2]

23 APR 2018

Recently, Dana Pfister Sullivan, a product manager at Canon BioMedical, sat down with Gert de Vos, the inventor of the NEXTGENPCR instrument and Director at Molecular Biology Systems, B.V. (MBS). Gert has master’s degrees in biology and physics from Leiden University in the Netherlands.







CYP2D6 Genetic Variations and Drug Metabolism

16 APR 2018

The CYP2D6 gene encodes for the cytochrome P450 2D6 enzyme, which is responsible for metabolizing as many as 25% of all prescribed drugs.(1) Variation in the CYP2D6 gene is notoriously high from person to person and between different ethnic groups. The high degree of genetic variability coupled with the number of medications the enzyme metabolizes makes the gene one of the most important pharmacogenetic targets.







The APOE gene - Mutations Lead to Increased Risk of Alzheimer's Disease
 and Recurrent Stroke

09 APR 2018

By definition, the APOE gene is responsible for the synthesis of the protein apolipoprotein E, a member of the lipoprotein family. This family of proteins is responsible for metabolism, movement, and clearance of fat-soluble vitamins and cholesterols across multiple body systems. However, when speaking about the APOE gene and its well-characterized mutations, the conversation usually focuses around the gene's role in neurological diseases, especially Alzheimer’s disease. In large cohort studies, mutations in the APOE gene, specifically those that relate to the E4 allele, have been shown to increase the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease1.





A Guide to the Novallele™ HRM Analyzer

26 MAR 2018

A helpful high-resolution (HRM) analysis software package should be easy to use, make the output simple to understand, and provide publication-quality results. The Novallele HRM Analyzer software offers an intuitive and efficient alternative to the often cryptic data analysis software that comes standard with many thermocyclers.






Genotyping Your Way to Better Medicine [Free Infographic]

19 MAR 2018

With a shift toward precision medicine, physicians are no longer using a "one size fits all model" to treat patients. People do not respond to drugs in a uniform and predictable manner, and single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) or other genomic insertions or deletions can alter a person’s metabolic pathways that function in the breakdown of a drug.






Updates in Newborn Screening of SMA across the U.S.A.

12 MAR 2018

Across the U.S.A., state-sponsored pilot studies are underway to lay the groundwork for adding spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) to the nationwide Recommended Uniform Screening Panel (RUSP). In preparation for the possibility that SMA is added to the RUSP, states like New York, Utah, Massachusetts, and North Carolina have conducted or will begin studies to see how labs would integrate SMA testing into their newborn screening workflows.






6 Key Benefits of High-Resolution Melting

05 MAR 2018

Since sequencing the human genome, scientists have identified specific mutations of particular genes that affect human health. Through in-depth investigation of genetic variants, scientists continue to identify and understand disease states and develop new drugs, such as targeted or personalized therapeutics. There are a variety of genetic variant detection methods such as complicated full-genome technologies, like next-generation sequencing, and tailored approaches, like hydrolysis probe PCR and high-resolution melting (HRM).




Developments in Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) Therapeutics

02 MAR 2018

In our last blog, Genetic Basis of Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA), we described the lack of functional survival motor neuron (SMN) protein as the cause of SMA. Full-length transcripts that yield functional SMN protein are primarily synthesized by the SMN1 gene. Affected individuals have zero copies of the SMN1 gene and, therefore, lack enough functional SMN protein to protect their motor neurons from undergoing atrophy.






Genetic Basis of Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA)

01 MAR 2018

Individuals with spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) suffer from a nerve-wasting disorder that ultimately makes their skeletal muscles atrophy, leading to impaired movement and possibly death. The nerves affected in this disease are neuronal cells in proximity to the spinal cord. These nerves undergo degradation due to a lack of the survival motor neuron (SMN) protein.




Beginner's Guide to Mitochondrial DNA Mutations [Free Infographic]

28 FEB 2018

The mitochondria in our cells are responsible for creating 90% of the energy needed to support our day to day activities. When mutations occur, mitochondria can fail to produce enough energy, which can cause mitochondrial disorders or diseases.






The GBA Gene - Causing Gaucher Disease and Now Linked to Parkinson's Disease

27 FEB 2018

Gaucher disease, which is caused by mutations in the GBA gene, is more common in the Ashkenazi Jewish population. An interesting link between Gaucher disease and a higher incidence of Parkinson’s disease has been tracked in the past with many hypotheses as to why such a link would exist.






5 Tips for Successful CRISPR Screening

26 FEB 2018

CRISPR technology has revolutionized research, and gene modifications now make it much easier to create cell models. Genotyping using high-resolution melting (HRM) can simplify your workflow by rapidly confirming the creation of single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and small indels. Use these five tips to help successfully screen your CRISPR clones.






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