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New England Biolabs Receives Award to Develop Novel Enzymatic Reagents for Epigenetic Studies
Date:9/15/2010

IPSWICH, Mass., Sept. 15 /PRNewswire/ -- New England Biolabs (NEB) has announced that it has received fast track SBIR funding of $1.22 million to fund the research and development of novel enzymatic reagents for epigenetic studies.

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New England Biolabs is committed to developing tools that advance epigenetics research and discovery, and offers a growing range of products for use in this area. Scientists at NEB recently identified the MspJI family of restriction enzymes and demonstrated their utility in mapping epigenetic modifications. This family of enzymes has the ability to cleave out small fragments of DNA for use in applications such as next generation sequencing, as well as to identify 5-hydroxymethylcytosine* modifications, when used in conjunction with T4 B-glucosyltransferase. Funding will go towards continuing this work, simplifying the study of epigenetic DNA modifications and expanding their potential as biomarkers.

"The discovery of MspJI and its homologs offers a significant opportunity for greatly expanding the role of restriction enzymes in epigenetics research," states Dr. Richard Roberts, Chief Scientific Officer at New England Biolabs. "The use of MspJI and other restriction enzymes in this family will simplify the study of DNA methylation and will accelerate our understanding of the role of 5-hydroxymethylcytosine in the epigenome."

About NEB

Established in the mid 1970's, New England Biolabs, Inc. is the industry leader in the discovery and production of enzymes for molecular biology applications and now offers the largest selection of recombinant and native enzymes for genomic research. NEB continues to expand its product offerings into areas related to PCR, gene expression, cellular analysis, epigenetics and RNA analysis. Additionally, NEB is focused on strengthening alliances that enable new technologies to reach key market sectors. New England Biolabs is a privately held company, headquartered in Ipswich, MA and has extensive worldwide distribution through a network of exclusive distributors, agents and five subsidiaries located in Canada, China, Germany, Japan and the UK. For more information about New England Biolabs visit www.neb.com.

* In addition to 5-methylcytosine (5-mC), 5-hydroxymethylcytosine (5-hmC) modifications have been identified in genomic DNAs. The biological role of 5-hmC with respect to epigenetic changes is not currently understood.


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