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In this issue of GT, we bring you our ninth technical guide on real-time PCR. While it seems like not so long ago that we laid the first trouble-shooting lab manual in your hands, the field has advanced, es-pecially in the areas of quality control,
experimental design, and data analysis. And while we've covered qPCR eight times before, we hope that this guide brings with it a fresh perspective on an old concept.
Real-time PCR has become the gold stan-dard in most labs for RNA and DNA am-plifcation and quantifcation. It's used for everything from amplifying a target gene to verifying a hit from a microarray study, to "sequencing" genes in bacteria or viruses to detect their presence in clinical samples. We've covered using qPCR to detect micro-RNAs as well, and the number of applica-tions continues to multiply.
With this in mind, though, the basics are still as tricky as ever to nail down and get
just right. Luckily, our experts have some solid tips on how to optimize primer de-
sign, prevent the contaminating efects of stray DNA, and improve sample handling,
among others. And while you're at it, check the back of the guide for the usual list of resources.