Courtesy of Stratagene

Until now, the high cost of quantitative PCR (QPCR) instruments has limited access to the technology mostly to core facilities and industrial settings. Individual labs wanting to purchase such instruments often had to pool money with three or four other investigators. But with the release of the smaller, cheaper, and lighter Mx3000P real-time PCR system, Stratagene hopes to change all that.

At $24,995 (US), the Mx3000P is the least expensive of its kind. "This equates to almost half of the list price of our closest competitor, the [Applied Biosystems] ABI PRISM® 7000 [which lists for $47,250]," says Tiffany Scarborough, associate product manager of QPCR systems for the La Jolla, Calif.-based company. "With its versatility and the low price, you can't beat it," says Ralf Luche, senior scientist at Ceptyr in Bothell, Wash., whose lab recently bought one of the first instruments. Another selling point is the...

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