Nicole Siffling | Meeting & Marketing Communications Manager

Dear Scientists,

We have been living in this new “normalcy” for several months now. We’ve learned how to make the best of an incredibly challenging situation despite the COVID-19 pandemic showing few signs of disappearing any time soon.

One positive side effect of the pandemic is that science has been shown to be the key for finding solutions to the world’s challenges. You should all be proud of being part of a scientific community that makes people’s lives better—perhaps not in a pandemic sense, but certainly by helping to ensure that justice is served.

Promega has been busy during the pandemic, providing reagents and raw materials to those on the front lines of COVID-19 test and vaccine development. We also launched our Spectrum Compact CE System. This system is a small, affordable benchtop instrument suitable for Sanger Sequencing and Fragment Analysis. It is designed for use of existing 5- and 6-dye STR commercially available kits—be sure to check it out!

We have more product updates to share, like the Casework Direct System–a kit designed to rapidly process swabs from touch DNA casework samples or cuttings of sexual assault swabs and stained clothing, saving you time and cumbersome steps.

Interested in adopting MPS? Our PowerSeq® product family is designed to ease your transition to MPS. Our latest PowerSeq® kits, the PowerSeq® 46GY System, contains reagents to amplify familiar autosomal and Y-STR loci as small amplicons (140–300bp) that can be used to prepare MPS libraries and generate sequencing data compatible with Illumina® TruSeq® and MiSeq® technologies.

I also had the pleasure of sitting down with Dr. Lutz Roewer for an interview where he gave me an update on what’s going on in the world of Y-STR analysis. Did you know that the ISFG just recently published guidelines on the interpretation of Y-STR results which are valid world-wide?

Additionally, you can get to know our great colleague, Dr. Andy Hopwood, a little better. Besides manufacturing his own craft beer, he is a great scientist who can help you in your everyday lab life. A former forensic practitioner at FSS in the UK, he can troubleshoot with the best of them!

And finally, we give you an update on upcoming meetings—most of them virtual, thanks to COVID-19, but with luck we’ll see you in person soon!

Enjoy reading and stay well!

Nicole Siffling