With the April 2005 release of its Little Dipper Microarray Processing System, Sunnyvale, Calif.-based SciGene has now completed its benchtop system for automated microarray processing from hybridization through slide drying, bringing a higher degree of standardization and simplicity to what can be a complicated process.

The Little Dipper, which at 26-inches wide is small enough to fit under a hood, has five temperature-controlled baths for the different stages of posthybridization processing, a robotic arm that moves slides between the baths, and an integral centrifuge. "It takes the existing methodologies people use," says SciGene president James Stanchfield. "There isn't any change in the chemistries or protocols."

Michael Mattie, a postdoctoral fellow at the University of California, San Francisco Cancer Center, has had success with the other half of SciGene's microarray processing system, the Hybex, which automates hybridization. Though Mattie has not yet used the Little Dipper because it is so new,...

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