Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) is one of the most widely used techniques among biomedical researchers, forensic scientists, and medical laboratory professionals. It’s employed for genotyping, sequencing, cloning, and gene expression analysis to name only a handful of its applications. Labeling PCR tubes and strips is no easy feat, however; they are relatively small, providing little space for information, while skirted quantitative PCR (qPCR) plates can only be labeled on their side.
Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) is one of the most universally used techniques in biology. It’s an integral part of any student’s curriculum and most biomedical scientists have performed PCR or, at the very least, relied on PCR data. Clinical labs also frequently employ PCR to help diagnose patients. With so much relying on one technique, it’s worth revisiting the origins of PCR and how its current iterations—real-time PCR (RT-PCR) and digital PCR—came to be.
Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) is one of the most commonly performed laboratory procedures. This technique, used to amplify DNA or RNA sequences, is integral to a host of industries and environments, including healthcare, research, forensics, and agriculture. This powerful technique can be used to measure levels of gene activation, discover mutations in samples from patients with cancer, and identify sources of bacterial infection. However, despite recent advances in PCR technology, labeling PCR tubes remains problematic.
CRISPR/Cas9, originally discovered in 1987 by a team of Japanese scientists and later refined by Jennifer Doudna in 2012, is a gene-editing tool that can cut and paste any genomic sequence, either in vitro or in vivo. It’s a system that relies on clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR) to recognize foreign DNA and is mainly used in bacteria to fight off viral infection. This tool has garnered a lot of attention recently as researchers have tailored CRISPR/Cas9 to edit animal genomes in ways that were previously impossible or inefficient, revolutionizing genetic and biomedical research. CRISPR/Cas9 has become a crucial resource for labs who require stable cell lines or mice with knockouts, knock-ins, or gene mutations, able to drive constitutive gene activation or to edit micro-RNA and long-noncoding RNA.
As the complexity of pre-clinical and clinical testing has increased over the last decade, labs have been challenged with collecting, processing, and storing more and more samples on a daily basis. To minimize errors and keep lab efficiency strong, labs depend on robust identification solutions, consisting of high-quality barcode labels, tags, and tapes. The laboratory environment has been characterized by ongoing rapid and dramatic innovation, including the implementation of high-throughput techniques that often require the labeling of large amounts of small sample tubes, such as cryo vials, microtubes, and PCR tubes.