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LIFE SCIENCE TECHNOLOGIES: qPCR Innovations and Blueprints

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Science  07 Oct 2011:
Vol. 334, Issue 6052, pp. 110-112
DOI: 10.1126/science.334.6052.110


Quantitative PCR users can rapidly generate large amounts of high-quality data with new instruments and products made possible by microfluidics and miniaturization technology. These platforms are the tools for developing techniques that require extremely high throughput and sensitivity such as digital PCR and single-cell analysis. Researchers are adopting these methods to ask sophisticated questions about genetics and cancer biology as well as to develop novel research and diagnostic assays. As qPCR innovators explore new frontiers and everyday users venture into more complicated workflows, international groups of industry and academic partners are keeping us on the path of best practices. Two consortia are generating guidelines on the qPCR process--from experimental design and pre-analysis sample collection, to processing data and publishing results. The guidelines are blueprints that ensure reproducibility, validity, and transparency.