IISc Scientist Develops “Fastest, Safest” DNA/RNA Stain


Fathima Benazir, cofounder and CEO, Azooka Life Sciences, an alumnus of the Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru, announced the discovery of tintorangTM, a patent pending, food-grade nucleic acid gel stain to protect lab scientists from hazardous side effects. Researchers in DNA analysis, DNA forensics and Genomic labs are constantly exposed to toxic and carcinogenic nucleic acid stains. The currently available nucleic acid stains are synthetic and are known to cause mutations and adversely affect health. They are known to alter the structure of the DNA due to their strong interactions. The improper disposal of these stains causes environmental and aquatic hazards. Although several handling and safety practices are followed, the exposure to these chemicals becomes inevitable during their long term use.

The company says tintorangTM would be safe even on consumption as it is a food additive and thereby would play a significant role in protecting the scientific community from exposure to carcinogens and mutagens. This will also have a direct impact on the cost of molecular diagnostics, by eliminating import and excise duties. In addition it will also cut down handling and disposal costs. Further it will help build an ecosystem for assay kit and master mix kit manufacturers. “The focus of Azooka is to develop safe DNA/RNA fluorescent stains for applications in Biological sciences and Genomics. tintorangTM is the first ever food grade nucleic acid gel stain making it the safest option currently available in the world” said Dr. Benazir.

She said: “We are thrilled with this much needed discovery. tintorangTM stains in 30 seconds while SYBR Gold takes 10 minutes. It is also 7 times more sensitive than Ethidium Bromide, making it the world’s safest and fastest DNA/RNA stain. The best property of tintorangTM is that it doesn’t alter the structure of the DNA and can be used for multiple tests.” The stain is scheduled to hit the market in the second quarter of this year and to the global market by the end of the year. Azooka Life Sciences is a specialty fluorescent dye company with focus on bringing safe fluorescent stains for application in biological sciences and Genomics. It was seed funded and incubated by the Society for Innovation and Development, Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru.

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