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Genetic Analysis Systems Enter the Clinical Mainstream


Like many other diagnostic regimes that were previously restricted to large specialty laboratories, genetic analysis is entering the clinical mainstream. Smaller, simpler analyzer systems are now suitable and affordable for hospital or large physicians group labs, while some genetic test kits are becoming available for primary point of care locations such as clinics and physician offices.

The ABI PRISM 310 Genetic Analyzer from Applied Biosystems, Foster City, Calif., is an automated single-capillary genetic analyzer designed for a wide range of sequencing and fragment analysis applications and suitable for research, clinical, or forensic labs.

This system does not require gel-based samples, sets up quickly and its operation is largely automated. The system is also able to detect five dyes simultaneously to increase test speed and efficiency. Applied Biosystems says that the 310 Genetic Analyzer provides an ideal alternative to gel-based DNA analysis and that it enables users to automate applications from de novo sequencing to SNP validation and linkage mapping.

Data collection software is supplied with the system. Optional software packages support sequencing analysis and gene mapping. The optional MicroSeq software package supports comparison of the sequence of unidentified bacteria or fungi with a validated library for positive identification and taxonomic classification.

Cepheid, Sunnyvale, Calif., is introducing the GeneXpert System to the clinical market. With its sample in, answer out ease-of-use, this analyzer will move genetic assessment into the realm of routine clinical care for the first time. By automating the entire testing process in a self-contained closed cartridge, the GeneXpert System will expand genetic testing beyond the confines of hospital and laboratory settings and into physician's offices, clinics and other point-of-care settings. The GeneXpert systems ability to identify, rapidly and accurately, a wide
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