Inside Instrumentation | September 15, 2008 Issue - Vol. 86 Issue 37 | Chemical & Engineering News
Volume 86 Issue 37 | p. 41 | Inside Instrumentation
Issue Date: September 15, 2008

Inside Instrumentation

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

Varian Unveils Dual-Source X-Ray System


Varian has introduced a new dual-wavelength X-ray diffractometer for the analysis of small molecules and proteins. The SuperNova was developed by Oxford Diffraction, now part of Varian. The instrument incorporates two high-intensity X-ray microsources (shown) at copper and molybdenum wavelengths. The microsources improve both the resolution and the sample throughput, the company says, because the high intensity allows shorter exposure times.

Bruker AXS Buys Surface-Imaging Firm

Bruker AXS has acquired fellow German company Surface Imaging Systems for an undisclosed amount. With annual revenues of about $3 million, SIS makes and sells atomic force/scanning probe microscopy systems (AFM/SPM) for surface imaging and characterization in materials research. The company's core technology includes extremely compact AFM/SPM subunits that can be integrated with other analytical instruments such as optical or Raman microscopes. The business will operate as Bruker Nano GmbH under the continued direction of its founders, Frank Saurenbach and Hans-Achim Fuss.

Proteomic Software Improvements

Waters is teaming up with Proteome Software to make their data acquisition and interpretation software packages compatible. Researchers using the Waters IdentityE High Definition proteomics system will be able to analyze their data with Proteome Software's Scaffold 2.1 visualization package. Separately, Thermo Fisher Scientific and Sage-N Research announced a proteomics software platform designed for the Enterprise Linux market. Sorcerer Enterprise can be used independently or integrated with Thermo Fisher's Windows-based Proteome Discoverer software.

Companies Debut New Microscopes

Two companies have introduced new microscopes. The Axio Examiner fixed-stage microscope (shown), from Carl Zeiss, maximizes the working area on the stage and allows easy access to the experimental area. It is especially designed for electrophysiological experiments and should be useful for neuroscience research. Researchers can use Thermo Fisher Scientific's Nicolet iN10 MX infrared imaging microscope to identify the distribution of chemical species in a wide range of samples. The microscope can be equipped with up to three detectors and can be validated in reflection, transmission, and attenuated total-reflection modes.

Isotope Analyzer Takes Off

Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Picarro has launched a water isotope analyzer based on cavity ring-down spectroscopy. The L1102-i (shown) simultaneously measures oxygen and hydrogen isotopes directly from water samples. The standard isotope ratio mass spectrometry approach requires more time-consuming sample-preparation processes to measure 18O and 2H. The compact, fully automated system is aimed at environmental and biological applications.

Roche Offers System To Assay Kinase Activity

Credit: Picarro
Credit: Picarro

Roche Applied Sciences is offering the xCELLigence system, which combines electrical impedance measurements and microelectronic biosensors to detect activity, such as that related to receptor tyrosine kinases, in living cells. The system allows for fast, noninvasive, and label-free measurements. For example, a 96-well microtiter plate containing integrated microsensor arrays can be analyzed in 15 seconds. Users can screen for variations in cell status—including adhesion, proliferation, and morphology—that cause impedance changes detectable in real time.

Agilent Contributes To NSTA Program

Agilent Technologies, along with Astellas Pharma and Bayer, is a new supporter of the National Science Teachers Association's New Science Teacher Academy. In spring 2007, NSTA and Amgen's philanthropic foundation launched the academy to help stem the high attrition rate among new science teachers. The three additional companies will allow the program to expand by more than 20% and provide professional development for 185 middle and secondary school science educators this school year. The academy tries to give second- or third-year teachers the resources, support, and confidence to be successful and remain committed. It is part of a five-year, $43 million Center for Science Education national campaign.


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

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