CARLSBAD, Calif – Nov. 4, 2010 – Life Technologies Corporation, a provider of innovative life science solutions, today announced the introduction of its first commercially available kit to facilitate digital PCR on the OpenArray® Real-Time qPCR System.  The offering enables scientists to apply this novel technology to a broad range of nucleic acid detection studies and provides more accurate results over conventional qPCR.

Life Technologies scientists will officially introduce its digital PCR solution today during a presentation at the American Society of Human Genetics (ASHG) conference (1-2 p.m., Grand Ballroom South), titled Innovations in Real-Time PCR. Available beginning Nov. 10, the kit is optimized to work on the OpenArray® Real-Time PCR Platform, a flexible, high-throughput analysis system that allows multiple samples to be validated against a large target panel, or a larger quantity of samples to be screened against selected validated gene targets.

Digital PCR’s strength lies in its extreme sensitivity.  Life Technologies’ solution is able to detect and quantify individual molecules in just a few nanoliters of sample, making the technology ideal for highly accurate research studies in rare allele detection, or research aimed at detecting cancer mutations, copy number variation, single cell research, and absolute quantification of pathogens and viruses.

“The precision of the digital PCR approach is very high, which presents an advantage for several applications such as copy number variation studies -- particularly when it is critical to prove a small difference,” says Mikael Kubista, CEO and Founder of TATAA Biocenter in Goteborg, Sweden, whose laboratory specializes in single cell analysis and served as an early access user of the Life Technologies digital PCR platform.  “With conventional qPCR, it is difficult to distinguish samples with two or three copies. But with digital PCR, one can readily distinguish between four and five copies, and sensitivity can be pushed even further using larger arrays.”

The platform’s flexibility allows customers to expand the potential input for assay/sample dilution (up to 48 assays per plate, for a total of 144 digital answers in a three-hour run) -- greatly increasing the dynamic range that can be evaluated with each experiment. The OpenArray® design also reduces volume variation to less than 10 percent, helping to ensure uniformity and more accurate results.

"When using traditional qPCR, the measurement you acquire is relative to a reference gene," says Professor Sui Huang, who conducts stem cell research at the University of Calgary and was also an early access user of Life Technologies' digital PCR platform. "But with digital PCR, one can reach an absolute measurement of a gene of interest - although you will need 250-500 parallel reactions. Some systems biology applications require such measurements, thus, we found that the OpenArray® technology is perfect for this type of study."

Currently, Life Technologies’ solution is intended for research use only where its high specificity can serve to complement current qPCR applications or develop as the new technology of choice to quantify and validate next-generation gene sequencing libraries where a much higher level of precision is necessary.

“The rate of new applications and scientific publications using digital PCR are growing dramatically,” says Peter Dansky, President of Molecular Biology Systems for Life Technologies.  “It’s clear that digital PCR is beginning to transform the way researchers around the world think of quantitative PCR.  As the industry leader in the real-time qPCR business, Life Technologies’ goal is to help drive that change and remain at the forefront of this emerging technology. Considering its heightened accuracy and broad applications, digital PCR has the potential to be a game-changer for research intended to better understand life, human health and disease.”

Life Technologies’ digital PCR solution is based on intellectual property it acquired from Cytonix Corporation June 2009. The OpenArray® Platform was brought under the Life Technologies brand when it completed its acquisition of BioTrove, Inc., in December last year.

For Research Use Only.  Not for use in diagnostic procedures.

About Life Technologies (
Life Technologies Corporation (NASDAQ: LIFE) is a global biotechnology tools company dedicated to improving the human condition. Our systems, consumables and services enable researchers to accelerate scientific exploration, driving to discoveries and developments that make life even better. Life Technologies customers do their work across the biological spectrum, working to advance personalized medicine, regenerative science, molecular diagnostics, agricultural and environmental research, and 21st century forensics. Life Technologies had sales of $3.3 billion in 2009, employs approximately 9,000 people, has a presence in approximately 160 countries, and possesses a rapidly growing intellectual property estate of approximately 3,900 patents and exclusive licenses. Life Technologies was created by the combination of Invitrogen Corporation and Applied Biosystems Inc., and manufactures both in-vitro diagnostic products and research use only-labeled products. For more information on how we are making a difference, please visit our website:

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