|For Immediate Release|
|Thursday, November 27, 2000|
| Biolog, Inc. Launches
Hayward, CA --- Biolog, Inc., a biotechnology company pioneering sophisticated new tools for cell-based analysis, announced today that it has launched its new filamentous fungi (FF) product line. These products, which include proprietary software and the associated test kit, are designed to dramatically simplify and improve the identification and characterization of fungi.
The FF product line features the fifth database developed by Biolog, which offers laboratories the broadest range of identification databases commercially available. Designed for use with the Biolog MicroLog System, the FF database can be used alongside other databases developed by Biolog for bacteria and yeast identification. With the addition of this database, the Biolog MicroLog System can now identify over 2,000 different taxa of bacteria, yeast, and fungi.
Fungal diseases have been a leading cause of crop failure and losses in agriculture and food for years. Over the last two decades fungi have also become a more serious threat to humans as infectious disease agents. From "sick building" syndrome to disorders affecting immuno-compromised patients, human fungal infections are on the rise. According to the United States Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, deaths from infectious diseases have decreased since 1980. However, deaths from fungal infections have increased 200 percent during the same period.
The FF products have been developed in collaboration with two world-renowned fungal experts: Dr. John Bissett at Agriculture & Agri-Food Canada, and Dr. Rob Samson at the Centraalbureau Voor Schimmelcultures, Netherlands. Originally designed for identification of fungal genera important in environmental monitoring, food spoilage and agriculture, the database includes strains from over 90 genera. The company is expanding the database with other agriculturally important fungi, and considering the addition of more clinical organisms.
According to Brian Sunkel, Biolog's marketing manager of microbiology, "Mycologists have traditionally relied upon microscopic and macroscopic visual methods to identify fungi. They have typically backed up this visual interpretation with time-consuming biochemical tests that can take several weeks. Even experts can often disagree about species-level identifications. Our FF products provide rapid and reproducible results, with identifications in days rather than weeks. With our new FF products, the laboratory can obtain more rapid and accurate results compared to traditional methods."
The FF products use Biolog's simple, yet powerful, biochemical "fingerprinting" method first introduced for use with bacteria. This method uses a patented carbon-source utilization chemistry assay in a convenient MicroPlate test format. When an organism is introduced to the wide variety of pre-selected carbon sources in the MicroPlate, it produces a characteristic pattern or "fingerprint". Another unique feature of the FF database software is the inclusion of a library of microscopic and macroscopic digital photographs of species in the database. These photographs can be automatically reviewed as part of each test, to allow verification of identifications with morphological criteria. Identifications are performed on the Biolog MicroStation, which allows the user to build custom databases. If an isolated organism is not in the system's database, the user has the option of saving the results to a custom database for future use. "Biolog's identification databases are taxonomically the most current. Add to this our precision, accuracy and organism diversity, and it seems apparent why the Biolog system is becoming an indispensable tool for the microbiology laboratory," said Mr. Sunkel.
Biolog is a pioneer in the development of powerful new cellular analysis tools for solving critical problems in pharmaceutical and biotechnology research and development. Biolog markets its microbial identification systems to a wide variety of laboratories worldwide. The company has recently launched its Phenotype MicroArray technology and OmniLog® PM System for such applications as determining gene function, validating and optimizing drug targets, and assessing cellular toxicology. Further information can be obtained at the company's website, www.biolog.com.For more information contact Biolog at 510-785-2564.