Quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) technology is experiencing a surge of interest and rapid expansion as a result of advances such as instrumentation that pushes capacity to 1,536 wells and optimization-free multiplexing, reports Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News (GEN). The technique's ability to both detect and simultaneously quantify specific DNA sequences is increasing its use in basic research and diagnostics, according to the November 15 issue of GEN.
"With some estimates of the qPCR assay consumables market totaling over three-quarters of a billion dollars, and growing, it's obvious that this particular technology has found a solid niche in life science research," says John Sterling, Editor in Chief of GEN.
A number of companies are making important improvements to qPCR methodologies. For example, Qiagen has developed a number of technologies for multiplex PCR that eliminate the need for optimization. Its multiplex PCR technology uses a highly stringent hot-start enzyme, an ammonium-containing buffer, and a multiplex PCR-enhancing synthetic factor MP that reportedly eliminates the need for optimization because it supports macromolecular crowding. Thus it allows efficient annealing of multiple primers under identical cycling conditions.
Bio-Rad Laboratories recently introduced its iScript™ RT-qPCR sample-preparation reagent for isolation of total RNA and for enabling reverse transcription and real-time PCR to be performed directly from cell lysates. Company officials say that scientists can use the protocol to remove genomic DNA and stabilize RNA in as little as five minutes.
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