• Illumina (San Diego) reported the launch of cBot, a new standard for ease-of-use and sequencing workflow automation. cBot is a plug-and-play, user installable system for clonal amplification of sequencing libraries. Its automated design eliminates user intervention and enables clonal amplification to be performed in four hours with less than ten minutes of hands-on time. cBot innovations include pre-packaged reagents, touch-screen operation, and browser-based remote monitoring. High quality results are assured by smart sensors that monitor instrument performance, combined with new chemistry and protocols that deliver higher density clusters and improved sequencing accuracy.

• On-X Life Technologies (Austin, Texas) reported enrollment in the high-risk aortic valve replacement patient group (PROACT) trial. The patient groups in the study include low-risk aortic valve replacement patients, higher risk aortic valve replacement patients and mitral valve replacement patients. Higher risk patients include those with heart rhythm problems, left ventricular dysfunction, previous thrombo-embolism and condition of hypercoagulability. It is within the higher-risk aortic patient group where enrollment is complete. The The On-X prosthetic heart valve is a pure carbon bileaflet heart valve prosthesis which is used in the trial.

DNA testing for gene variants that can increase the risk of major coronary events in certain patients taking the anti-clotting drug Plavix (clopidogrel bisulfate) is now being performed by Quest Diagnostics (Madison, New Jersey) for Scripps Health patients electing to undergo coronary stent procedures. Scripps Health is believed to be the first health system in the U.S. to deploy this genetic testing service for coronary stent patients as part of patient treatment. The Quest Diagnostics test is designed to help improve outcomes for stent recipients by enabling Scripps Health cardiologists to personalize therapy based on diagnostic insights into a patient's genetic makeup. The Quest Diagnostics test allows specimens to be collected at a physician's office or by the patient in his or her home. It is the first saliva-based test for cardiovascular disease developed by Quest. The company expects to offer the saliva- and blood-based versions of the test nationally to its other clients this month.

• Quidel (San Diego) reported the launch of the MicroVue C5a EIA Kit for research use only. The most recent addition to Quidel's Specialty Products Group Complement Line, MicroVue C5a allows for the rapid, quantitative detection of C5a, an anaphylaxatoxin and potent mediator of inflammation. The test is not for use in diagnostic procedures; it is intended for use in the research environment. As a product of activation of the terminal pathway of complement, C5a measurements are often included in research concerning hemocompatibility of biomaterials, inflammation associated with myocardial and other organ infarcts, and kidney disease. It also may play a role in autoimmune and infectious diseases.

• TheraDoc (Salt Lake City) said that it has started beta testing of a new computerized patient surveillance tool that will help hospitals monitor and manage screening programs for multidrug-resistant organisms, such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA. The system alerts clinicians about potential healthcare-associated infections, infectious disease outbreaks, adverse drug events, or changes in patient conditions so that appropriate and timely interventions can be made. TheraDoc's gold-standard technology also supports and facilitates reporting of notifiable diseases, emerging infections, and other data to local, state, and national public health agencies such as the CDC.

• Verathon (Bothell, Washington) has introduced the GlideScope Cobalt AVL, a video laryngoscope that provides airway views in DVD clarity, enabling quick intubation. The new single use laryngoscope, featuring a digital color monitor and digital camera, offers integrated real-time recording as well as advanced resolution output for OR theater viewing. GlideScope Cobalt AVL consists of: a slim, reusable video baton which houses a high-resolution camera with a patented anti-fogging mechanism to resist lens contamination; a non-glare color monitor; and single-use, sterile GVL Stats in four sizes designed for a wide range of patient weights and sizes – from small to morbidly obese.