The prevalence of eye diseases is rising around the world and, for most of them, there are no effective therapies available. Disorders that impair vision – such as macular degeneration or glaucoma – are a leading cause of disability and loss of an independent lifestyle in aging populations. At the other end of the spectrum, myopia – or short-sightedness – is also on a steep incline, with up to 90 percent of teenagers being affected in some regions. Researchers in Basel are using various cutting-edge tools – including single-cell genomics – to understand the molecular mechanisms behind some of these diseases, with the aim of developing effective therapeutics.
NGS is a vital tool used for studying the structure and function of DNA for multiple applications. However, there are several challenges commonly encountered when using this technique, particularly when working with degraded or trace levels of RNA. These issues motivated research staff at Kazusa DNA Research Institute in Japan to search for library preparation kits that would enable high quality sequencing for its customers when working with low quality samples.
The COVID-19 pandemic is an important reminder that pathogens are not only transmitted via air and contact with other humans, but also from animals and through food. This highlights the need for effective diagnostic tools that offer fast testing of animal and environmental samples to help monitor livestock and aquaculture. Qualyse is a French company that does exactly this, using advanced laboratory automation to provide immunoserology and molecular diagnostic testing for up to 12,000 samples a day.