A Diagnostics & Imaging Week

Roche NimbleGen (Madison, Wisconsin) and Sigma-Aldrich (St. Louis) have started a collaboration to further chromatin immunoprecipitation-on-microarray (ChIP-chip) research by aligning their two complementary technologies, Roche NimbleGen's ChIP-chip high-density microarrays and GenomePlex by Sigma-Aldrich.

Together, the platforms enable researchers to study the entire genome for epigenetic interactions between DNA and DNA-binding proteins to determine regions of the genome that are transcriptionally active or repressed as well as the mechanisms that regulate these processes. Understanding the fundamental epigenomic and genomic regulatory pathways underlying normal cell growth and tissue differentiation, as well as changes in regulatory control associated with disease, is crucial for the development of drugs that target these pathways.

To facilitate the ChIP-chip workflow, Roche NimbleGen and Sigma-Aldrich will publish protocols for ChIP-chip research and provide technical support to researchers integrating the two technologies, as well as co-market their complementary products.

ChIP-chip is a tool that combines chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) with microarrays to understand DNA-protein interactions. The ChIP step deploys a specific antibody against a regulatory protein of interest, which results in the enrichment of DNA fragments bound to the target protein. Usually these enriched DNA fractions are at very low concentrations and need to be further amplified for detection.

The technologies from Sigma-Aldrich and Roche NimbleGen facilitate effective ChIP-chip research by addressing two critical bottlenecks in the workflow: efficient amplification of targeted sections of DNA and high-resolution microarray detection.

Whole genome amplification provides advantages over other techniques researchers have relied on in the past. For example, ligation-mediated PCR, a commonly used technique for preparing DNA for ChIP analysis, often causes investigators to miss important binding sites. With the whole genome effectively amplified by GenomePlex, analysis on Roche NimbleGen high-density arrays can reveal rare protein-DNA interactions with a high signal to noise ratio and sensitivity.

In other agreements/contracts news, Terason (Burlington, Massachusetts), producer of Laptop Ultrasound imaging systems, said that it has reached an agreement with SenoRx (Irvine, California) to provide its Terason t3000 ultrasound for the launch of an additional model of the SenoSonix System.

Like the original SenoSonix, the new model is an integration of SenoRx's EnCor breast biopsy system with ultrasound imaging. This new version of the device incorporates a microminiaturization ultrasound technology that combines personal computing power and flexibility designed, developed and marketed by Terason.

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