At the end of last year, The Scientist editors spotted a linkurl:warning notice; on the Quanta Biosciences Web site that their supply relationship with Bio-Rad had been terminated. In particular, certain PCR reagents that Quanta had been manufacturing for Bio-Rad were no longer the same and Bio-Rad was now making its own formulations. The key question is: Are the reagents any different? If so, how? The answer, so far, has proved elusive. I heard from several researchers, and Bio-Rad clients, that they had never been informed about the switch in reagent formulations until a sales rep from Quanta's new distributor had come to their lab and informed them. "I was shocked that [Bio-Rad] changed the formulations and never said anything," says Sherri Wood, an immunology lab manager at the University of Michigan, who learned of the switch in the fall of last year when a sales representative from VWR --...

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