The Transcriptome Age: Or, A Young Scientist’s Illustrated Primer

Despite being essential for any experiment involving DNA replication, people rarely give primers a second thought.  To coincide with the launch of our new qPCR gene reference tool, we’ll be giving them a little more of the praise they deserve.

Dr Kary Mullis received the 1993 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his contributions toward developing the PCR.

Dr Kary Mullis received the 1993 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his contributions toward developing the PCR.

Primers are the foundation for such grand purposes as diagnosing diseases, tracking epidemics, creating phylogenetic trees, genetic fingerprinting, and cloning a woolly mammoth.  On a smaller but no-less grand scale, these simple 15-30 nucleotide sequences are widely used to assess cell phenotypes, identify signal transduction aberrancies, perform functional gene analyses, and study molecular pathologies.  The most common research application of primers today is probably in performing the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) to amplify or replicate a targeted DNA sequence.  Like the humble primer, the PCR’s advent revolutionized scientific and medical research allowing such modern luxuries as non-invasive paternity tests, AIDS testing, and genealogy tracing.  PCR is now so common that it is virtually indispensable, and one type of PCR, quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR), is now considered to be the gold standard for assaying gene expression.  In addition to its general utility, qPCR has the widest dynamic range, is the most affordable, and yields the least biased results out of the current popular gene expression assays.  Even if you start your gene expression analysis with a more elaborate assay like a microarray or RNA-seq, you will likely use qPCR to validate those results.

ScienCell offers pre-designed qPCR array kits as well as individual gene primers for scientists performing gene expression analysis.  If one of our existing array kits does not fit your needs, you have the option to alter it so that it does or build your own array using our new qPCR gene primers database that catalogs all of our validated primer sets.  Our new gene database makes building your own array easy even if you’re not particularly well-versed in certain fields because it organizes all of our gene primers by functions in cell biology, physiology, and pathology.  Once you’ve selected all the genes you want for your array, you can rearrange the layout of your genes to be exactly as you wish and then rest assured knowing that the primers you will receive from us are validated for optimal efficiency and efficacy in our labs.  Even if you’re not building a qPCR array, take a look at our database because it doubles as a general reference tool for gene functions.

Happy priming!

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