DIYbio:Notebook/Open Thermal Cycler

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Project Description/Abstract


Why quantitative thermal cycling?

How do you go from a spit sample to - or from a crosswalk swab to a map of the bacterial populations of the world? Can $1,000 get you there? quantitative thermal cycling can be an all-in-one device capable

Comparisons to standard thermal cycling

The following is the outline of quantitative thermal cycling, its advantages over traditional thermal cycling,

There are 2 general areas of thermal cycler use:

  1. (strong) Synthesis/copying of DNA
  2. (weak) Analysis of DNA

For most experimental processes, thermal cycling of a sample is not the final step. Gel electrophoresis, transformation into cells, and/or sequencing of the sample follow.

There are 2 general areas of quantitative thermal cycler use:

  1. (strong) Synthesis/copying of DNA
  2. (strong) Quantitative and qualitative analysis of DNA

qPCR on the other hand can be an all-in-one tool for analysis. In addition to all the functionality of a standard thermal cycler, a quantitative thermal cycler includes an imaging device to record the florescence of the DNA samples. Florescent markers added to each sample indicate the presence of a particular sequence (replacing gel electrophoresis and short sequencing) or measure gene expression (supplementing other analysis of modified cells)

Cost of current products

  1. Licensing -- florescent analysis is patented
  2. Hardware -- developed in house
  3. Software -- developed in house


Use Cases - experiments involving a thermal cycler

Requirements- what a user might want to do with an Open Thermal Cycler (i.e. get more DNA)

Specifications - what hardware, software, GUI-ideas we might use to build it (i.e. Arduino, or a checkbox interface for entering temperatures)

4/26/2009 Conference Call - Details for connecting to the conference call.

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