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Running A LOT of quantitative PCR

Today in the lab I was running a lot of quantitative PCR (qPCR) plates for an experiment. In fact, I ran so many qPCR plates lately that I was able to build a tower! Each plate has 96 wells, therefore 32 samples of DNA per plate (each sample is tested in triplicate). This required A LOT of pipetting.

The tower of my qPCR plates.
The tower of my qPCR plates.

Real-time PCR, also known as qPCR, is used for many applications, including gene expression analysis, microRNA analysis, single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) genotyping, copy number variation (CNV) analysis, and even protein analysis. For my experiments, I was using it for microRNA analysis. With qPCR, fluorescent dyes are used to label PCR products during thermal cycling. Then a machine measures the accumulation of fluorescent signal during the exponential phase of the reaction for fast, precise quantification of PCR products.