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News

Collaboration for tracking fuel and preventing fuel smuggling.

Q Chip : 28 June, 2007  (Company News)
Technique to be developed by Q Chip and TraceTag will assist in the prevention of excise duty evasion by adding tracking additive to petroleum products.
Q Chip announces a new collaboration with TraceTag UK to develop custom ReaX beads for security marking and tracing of fuel. Developed in Q Chip's Custom Bead Synthesis laboratories in Cardiff, UK, the innovative gel-based ReaX beads will encapsulate all the TraceTag reagents required to perform qPCR in a single dose.

Smuggling of fuel is a major problem in many parts of the world with varying tax regimes in neighbouring countries providing an enormous incentive to smugglers. TraceTag provides a state-of-art fuel marking and verification system by adding covert DNA markers to the petroleum products. The markers are totally secure and are invisible to the naked eye and cannot be replicated or removed commercially.

The customised ReaX 'Lab-in-a-Bead' tailored specifically to TraceTag's system is in a ready-to-use format, liberating the qPCR test from the traditional laboratory environment with highly skilled technicians and allowing it to be performed in the field using portable systems. Custom ReaX beads can be manufactured with the primers of choice, any preferred Taq polymerase (including Hot Start enzymes) and the desired fluorescent chemistry. This gives customers complete flexibility compared to existing liquid or lyophilized reagents.

The ReaX beads standardise and streamline qPCR set-up and allow untrained operators to set up complex and sensitive qPCR reactions in the field and still obtain highly reproducible results.

The success of the TraceTag ReaX custom bead has the potential of obtaining quick and extremely accurate results, verifying the origin and fiscal status of the fuel in real time also allowing the authorities to resolve the legitimacy of the fuel.

"This is a novel and exciting application for our ReaX custom bead which allows DNA analysis to be performed successfully by non-experts in the field providing valuable product verification" said Dr Nanette Bartram, Product Manager, "we are also looking to apply customised ReaX bead technology to determine the product provenance in other industries, such as food and cosmetics".
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