• bioMérieux (Paris), reported the launch of VIDAS C. difficile Toxin A&B, a test for the detection of a bacterium responsible for fatal nosocomial epidemics in Canada, the U.S. and Europe. Results are available in 75 minutes (as opposed to 24 to 48 hours using the reference method), and the test enables faster therapeutic decision-making and patient isolation measures in order to prevent all types of transmission. VIDAS and the more compact miniVIDAS are multi-parameter instruments using ELFA (enzyme linked fluorescent assay) technology, and based on a ready-to-use single-sample test concept. Part of the VIDAS menu covers emergency diagnostics, including the VIDAS D-Dimer Exclusion test. BioMérieux specializes in in vitro diagnostics.

• Illumina (San Diego) reported the release of two digital gene expression (DGE) applications that use Illumina's genome analyzer to generate genome-wide sequencing-based expression profiles of messenger and small RNA. These DGE applications offer researchers a robust platform for novel RNA discovery, accurate quantification of low-abundance messenger RNA, and measurement of gene expression in any species without the need for prior sequence knowledge. DGE for Tag Profiling is a whole-genome expression application that can generate profiles for any transcript from any gene in any organism. It also offers increased sensitivity as compared to traditional SAGE applications and provides unlimited dynamic range for rare transcript discovery. DGE for small RNA analysis is a universal application that supports researchers interested in the discovery of all forms of small non-coding RNA from any organism. Illumina makes life-science tools and integrated systems for the large-scale analysis of genetic variation and biological function.

• Pioneer Surgical Technology (Marquette, Michigan) reported the introduction of its Quantum minimally invasive spinal surgery (MIS) rodding system for the lumbar spine. This system is designed for one or two level fixation and uses Quantum polyaxial screws and locking caps along with titanium alloy rods. The system is designed to increase surgeon control in MIS. The rod insertion facilitates easy rod passage, even with variations in screw head positioning. Tactile, less-invasive instrumentation helps control compression, distraction, and reduction. Pioneer Surgical Technology makes spinal and orthopedic implants.