Inside Instrumentation | August 25, 2008 Issue - Vol. 86 Issue 34 | Chemical & Engineering News
Volume 86 Issue 34 | p. 37 | Inside Instrumentation
Issue Date: August 25, 2008

Inside Instrumentation

Technology and Business news for the laboratory world
Department: Science & Technology

Agilent debuts AFM system

Topography (left) and SMM images zoomed in on a transistor in a computer chip, including a line feature (white arrow) that's 10–20-nm wide.
Credit: Agilent Technologies
Topography (left) and SMM images zoomed in on a transistor in a computer chip, including a line feature (white arrow) that's 10–20-nm wide.
Credit: Agilent Technologies

Agilent Technologies has rolled out the 5600LS, a high-resolution atomic force microscope with a 200 mm x 200 mm stage. The large stage allows users to image large samples in air or smaller samples in liquids. The microscope's vacuum chuck can accommodate samples 8 inches in diameter and 30 mm tall. The sample stage can handle a 300-mm wafer with repositioning. Agilent also announced a new imaging mode, scanning microwave microscopy (SMM), that is compatible with the new instrument. SMM combines electrical and spatial measurements, making it particularly useful for semiconductor characterization.

Illumina names technology officer

Illumina has named Mostafa Ronaghi senior vice president and chief technology officer. He joined the company after its recent acquisition of sequencing-technology developer Avantome, of which he was the founder. Ronaghi also was a founder of Pyrosequencing, now part of Biotage; ParAllele Bioscience, which Affymetrix acquired; and NextBio, a life sciences data search engine site. He earned a Ph.D. from the Royal Institute of Technology, in Sweden, and, until recently, was a research scientist with the Stanford Genome Technology Center.

Roche's 454 Genome Sequencer 20 system.
Roche's 454 Genome Sequencer 20 system.

Oxford to test Roche technologies

Roche Diagnostics will support research at the Oxford Biomedical Research Center (OxBRC), a partnership between the University of Oxford and the Oxford Radcliffe Hospitals NHS Trust, to evaluate Roche's 454 sequencing and NimbleGen high-density nucleic acid array technologies. OxBRC focuses on "translational research" to move technology from basic research into clinical practice. OxBRC will test the technologies in a variety of clinical genetic analyses, including gene sequencing and mutation screening.

Millipore expands Missouri facility

Millipore has spent $3.4 million to expand its St. Charles, Mo., facility and plans to add another 60 jobs to the 187 already there. In 2006, Millipore acquired Serologicals, which included the former Linco Research business in St. Charles. The site is headquarters for Millipore's drug discovery business unit, which provides products and services to pharmaceutical and biotechnology firms.

Olink and university create new company

Olink Bioscience, a Swedish biotechnology company, and scientists at Uppsala University have formed the instrumentation company Q-linea. It will develop instruments to rapidly detect and analyze biological warfare agents using a biosensor that can identify single biomolecules and particles. Olink will develop and supply reagents. Q-linea also collaborates with scientists at the Swedish Defense Research Agency in Umeå, and its main customer is the Swedish defense material procurement agency, FMV.

Credit: Thermo Fisher Scientific
Credit: Thermo Fisher Scientific

Integrated X-ray system takes off

Thermo Fisher Scientific has launched the MagnaRay WDS X-ray spectrometer. The company claims that the MagnaRay is the first instrument to completely integrate wavelength dispersive spectroscopy (WDS) and energy dispersive spectroscopy, allowing both qualitative and quantitative elemental analysis. Compared with traditional WDS instruments, the company says the system operates at lower voltages and can produce low-energy X-rays with intensities 10 to 100 times higher.

Thermo acquires reagent businesses

Thermo Fisher Scientific has expanded its life sciences product offerings through two acquisitions. Last month, it purchased Affinity BioReagents, a Golden, Colo.-based provider of antibodies, peptides, and proteins. With 2007 sales of about $6 million, Affinity offers more than 35,000 reagents and provides recombinant proteins and custom antibody-production services. Thermo Fisher also acquired Open Biosystems, a maker of RNA interference gene expression and protein detection products. Based in Huntsville, Ala., Open Biosystems had revenues of about $14 million in 2007. Thermo Fisher will integrate both businesses into its Analytical Technologies Segment.


Inside Instrumentation is written by Celia H. Arnaud and Ann M. Thayer. Contact them via e-mail to

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