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Global genetic devices maker Affymetrix Inc. (AFFX - Analyst Report) has launched a new product, Axiom Strawberry Genotyping Array, also known as International Strawberry 90K SNP array or IStraw90. It is the world’s first solution that facilitates high-resolution genotyping and fully automated data analysis of the octoploid strawberry genome. The array has been specifically designed to facilitate Quantitative Trait Loci (QTL) discovery and marker-assisted breeding of the cultivated garden strawberry.

The array has been developed in conjunction with the International RosBREED SNP Consortium (IRSC), an arm of the "RosBREED" project that conducts research on the genetic improvement of rosaceous crops. Contrary to other genotyping technologies that have been designed for diploids, AFFX’s Axiom Genotyping Solution is capable of accurately analyzing genotypes of both diploid and polyploids species.

The new Axiom Strawberry Genotyping Array is yet another addition to Affymetrix’ Axiom Agrigenomics Genotyping Arrays that are available for testing multiple species, including bovine, chicken, and buffalo. Application of this new technology has already achieved success with regard to complex genomes such as maize, rose, wheat, trout, and salmon.

Scientists are confident that this innovative, technologically advanced device will find application in various genome-wide analysis and marker-assisted breeding in many American, European and other breeding programs. Initial results from the array were unveiled at the 2013 annual conference of the American Society for Horticultural Science.

Earlier, Affymetrix rolled out the OncoScan FFPE Assay Kit, a genome wide copy number assay for analyzing highly degraded Formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded (FFPE) solid tumor cancers. It uses AFFX’s state-of-the-art Molecular Inversion Probe (MIP) technology to deliver prompt and accurate results in just 48 hours. The technologically advanced OncoScan FFPS Assay Kit is considered superior to alternative methods such as FISH, array CGH, and next-generation sequencing technologies.

Currently, Affymetrix has a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell). While we choose to avoid this stock, companies like Actelion Ltd. (ALIOF), Gentium S.p.A and Isis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (ISIS - Analyst Report) are expected to do well in the Medical-Biomed/Gene industry. All these stocks carry a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

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