24/06/16: Save Money and Protect the Environment…with Mastermix?!

June 24, 2016 by · Comments Off on 24/06/16: Save Money and Protect the Environment…with Mastermix?! 


A nice article from IDT on their new qPCR Mastermix. It ships on ambient temperature, saving on dry ice, weighing less, costing less. Read on

16/11/15: Great Offer from IDT – 30% Off Selected PrimeTime® qPCR Products

November 16, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 


A great offer from IDT:

Stretch your lab budget further with a discount on PrimeTime® qPCR Assays and selected custom qPCR probes.

Successfully multiplex with ZEN or TAO™ Double-Quenched Probes:

  • Lower background fluorescence
  • Increased endpoint signal
  • Reduced crosstalk

Get product shipment in 2–6 days. Use code PTQ388 to receive 30% off selected PrimeTime products.

Please note: offer ends December 15th 2015

Related articles

20/10/15: New Product and Special Offers: PrimeTime® Gene Expression Master Mix

October 20, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

PrimeTime MasterMix PromotionHooray! Integrated DNA Technologies have released their new qPCR mastermix! Actually, this is the first qPCR mastermix product from IDT.

Their PrimeTime® Gene Expression Master Mix is a 2X solution designed for use in two-step RT-qPCR. The headlines about this new product are:

  • Achieve high efficiency qPCR under fast or standard cycling conditions
  • Multiplex without loss of sensitivity
  • Obtain consistent results from overnight experiments by capitalizing on exceptional benchtop stability

Sorry SYBR® users, currently this mastermix is only for probe-based assays for now. However, this is a good opportunity to try out IDT’s excellent (and relatively inexpensive probe-based PrimeTime qPCR assays).

As part of the new product release, There are special offers available. See above.


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28/09/15: Increase sensitivity and precision in your qPCR experiments

September 28, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

ZEN™ and TAO™ Double-Quenched Probes improve qPCR data

A lot of researchers I speak to are unaware that Integrated DNA Technologies (IDT, www.idtdna.com) are able to sell probe-based qPCR assays, providing them fast, at a great price and allowing researchers to see the sequences of their primer:probe combinations. Even fewer are unaware that IDT has actually made some innovation to the standard quencher-dye configuration of qPCR probes.

In this article from DECODED, you can get a little bit more information about IDT’s ZEN™ and TAO™ double-quenched probes and why they can really help your experiments by improving your qPCR data.

03/09/15: Webinar: High throughput qPCR: tips for analysis across multiple plates

September 3, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Notification of a webinar, delivered by the well-known Mikael Kubista. The webinar is titled “High throughput qPCR: tips for analysis across multiple plates” and after the presentation you should have learned how to:

  • Design high throughput qPCR profiling studies
  • Optimize and validate your assays
  • Merge multi-plate measurements into a common analysis
  • Measure and compensate for genomic DNA background

Date:Wednesday, September 16, 2015


Session 1: 9:00–10:00 am CDT (UTC-5)
Session 2: 1:00–2:00 pm CDT (UTC-5)

Oh yes, and if you attend the seminar, you will receive promo codes that can be used for getting a free qPCR assay.

Register Button

21/08/15: Understanding Melting Temperature (Tm)

August 21, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

TM_IDTHybridization is a common step of many, if not most, molecular biology protocols. For example: northern and Southern analysis, PCR/qPCR, cloning, in situ hybridization, array analysis, gene knockdown, and next generation sequencing (NGS).

The criteria for hybridization are based on nucleic acid strand melting. Therefore, an understanding of melting temperature (Tm) provides information on when and how the DNA or RNA strands are going to hybridize and defines the rules for hybridization. It is very important to understand this process so that you can better design and optimize the oligos for your experiments.

This is why Integrated DNA Technologies have put together this nice article so that you can understand Tm better and hopefully design better oligonucleotide based experiments.

This is probably a good time to mention IDT’s useful OligoAnalyzer online tool.

11/08/15: qPCR Terminology – What Does It Mean?

August 12, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

amplifying DNAAlthough qPCR seems to have been around for ever, I realize that not everyone is as familiar with it as I am. It’s often easy for me to assume, when talking to my customers, that they are familiar with the terms most commonly associated with using qPCR. While I’m no expert in the use of qPCR, I’ve been involved with it in some way (i.e., on the product sales and marketing side) for close to 15 years. So, it’s easy to forget that, for some people who are just getting started in research, this stuff is mostly new to them.

Here, I’m bringing your attention to a recent DECODED article from Integrated DNA Technologies (IDT) called

qPCR Terminology – What Does It Mean?

I particularly recommend newbies to check out the links at the end of the article to the MIQE Guidelines and IDT’s very own qPCR Application Guide.


15/04/14: Special qPCR Issue of IDT’s DECODED Magazine

April 15, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

qPCR Curves IDT

As you’d expect from the world’s leading manufacturer of oligonucleotides, IDT have accumulated a lot of knowledge about qPCR. You might think it is easy to just put that knowledge out there, but I know it takes a lot of effort to write articles that are genuinely useful (rather than self-serving), correct them and then spend the money to put them into print. Of course, the same information can also be made available online for free! So, I direct you to the link below (or click on the picture above) to be taken to IDT’s webpage where a Special qPCR Issue of their magazine DECODED awaits.

DECODED 4.2 – Special qPCR Issue

And of course, you should make sure to contact You Do Bio to find out how to save money and have an opportunity to try out how good IDT’s PrimeTime qPCR assays really are. I have many customers who have made the switch and are very glad they did so!

20/03/14: From April 1st 2014, IDT’s Website Will Show Prices in Danish Krone (DKK)

March 20, 2014 by · 1 Comment 

IDT Oligos and Other Products Can Now Be Invoiced in Danish Krone

This is really great news and will mean a bit more convenience for the many Danish institutions that have chosen to use IDT as the place to purchase their DNA oligonucleotides, qPCR assays, synthetic genes etc. From this date all your transactions with IDT, from quote requests to order invoicing will be made in Danish krone.

Please contact me if you have any questions about this.

13/03/14: Accelerating NGS Research Through Automation

March 13, 2014 by · 1 Comment 


My own experience has seen the difference that automation can make to throughput in next generation sequencing laboratories. For example, I’ve been told by one customer who set up an Agilent NGS Automation system in their laboratory, that it originally took two technicians three months to process 200 samples manually. After installation of an Agilent Bravo, they increased their throughput to 500 samples per week.

Agilent are currently running a campaign on automation, with resources, videos etc. that any researchers interested in this subject will find useful.

Access NGS Automation Resources


10/02/14: Agricultural Biotechnology Symposium, Amsterdam 25-26th February

February 10, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Animal and Plant Symposium

Agricultural Biotechnology, which I guess means the application of biotechnology to agriculture, is of great interest because it is where research starts to be applied in ways that affect the food we eat, the energy we use and how we “do” agriculture. You Do Bio has quite a lot of customers who are working in this field – a couple of weeks ago I was at the Plant Biotech Denmark meeting as an exhibitor. With the general widening of the use of genomics research tools in research, it makes sense Agilent is planning their first European Animal and Plant Symposium which will be hosted in Amsterdam, February 25th and 26th 2014.

This Symposium will be over two days attracting leading scientists within the Agricultural Biology field, working in gene regulation, epigenetics, copy number/mutation detection and molecular biology using next-generation sequencing, microarrays and RT-qPCR/PCR. I think Agilent has done a great job in attracting some interesting outside speakers for this symposium. I know from experience how hard it is to get this number of speakers organized and available on those particular days of the meeting.

The meeting is open to all who work within the areas of:

  Food   Parasitology
  Plants   Veterinary
  Microbiology   Animal Genomics Research

Another focus is to investigate how such technologies and applications assist to address key concerns of the scientific community and to overcome current challenges in Agriculture Genomics Research.

  Discover the most up-to-date agenda here.

To register for the meeting please submit your details here.

Participation is free of charge but seats are limited!

I lived in The Netherlands for 4½ years and really like Amsterdam. It is also a fairly inexpensive place to fly to and stay. I wish I was going myself!

13/09/13: eSeminar – Flexible Gene Regulation Solutions for Bacterial, Plant and Animal Sciences (Agricultural Biotech.)

September 13, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 


Agilent are hosting a free online “eSeminar” for scientists involved in the Agricultural Biotechnology field. This will be held on Wednesday September 25th, 2013 at 1630 Central European Time (CET).

The abstract from the eSeminar reads as follows: “Today`s agricultural biologists have access to a variety of technologies at their disposal for studying genetic information. Such technologies include next-generation sequencing, microarrays, RT-qPCR/PCR and mutagenesis. By providing a complete portfolio of integrated gene regulation workflow solutions, Agilent gives you the power and tools needed to progress your science in plant, bacteria and animal genomics.

We have fully customizable content for maximum flexibility in experimental design utilizing catalog to custom microarrays and our market leading SureSelect products for non-human and model organisms.

From reproductive to crop science, Agilent has the scientific agility to shorten your time to market with customizable solutions for Agricultural Biotechnology.”

You can learn more and Register here.

20/06/13: Single Cell Expression Profiling—Breaking Down Biological Complexity – A Webinar

June 21, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Single Cell for qPCRIDT have arranged a webinar with the very knowledgeable (and nice) Professor Mikael Kubista, on the subject of doing single-cell expression profiling. This is a subject that I see being of increasing interest to researchers. Perhaps it may also have future application in the fertility field, so the techniques here might end up in a clinical setting one day. Who knows?

Professor Mikael Kubista and colleagues pioneered “single-cell expression profiling” by qPCR. They have observed surprisingly large variation in the numbers of transcripts found among cells collected from seemingly homogenous tissues and even among like cells in culture. Distinct gene expression patterns can be used to distinguish cell types, subtypes, and subpopulations.

In this webinar, Kubista will describe the workflow his group uses for single-cell expression profiling and their research monitoring the activation of astrocytes in response to brain trauma in mice, stressing important experimental design aspects. He will also present intracellular expression profiling and multianalyte single-cell profiling, demonstrating the simultaneous measurements of DNA, mRNA, microRNA, lncRNA, and protein in the same cell.

There are going to be two webinar sessions. The choice of which one to go for will most likely come down to your own time zone.

Webinar Sessions:

Session 1:
Tuesday, June 25th
7:00am CDT / 2:00pm CEST / 8:00pm SGT

Session 2:
Tuesday, June 25th
1:00pm CDT / 8:00pm CEST / 2:00am SGT* 

Register for Session 1 Here

Register for Session 2 Here

30/05/13: Cool! IDT Now Offer qPCR Assay Plates

May 30, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 


I think that this is a great new release by Integrated DNA Technologies (IDT, www.idtdna.com).

It’s been a long-awaited release. IDT has announced the launch of PrimeTime® qPCR Assay Plates, for high throughput qPCR analysis. Primers and probes for 5’-nuclease and intercalating dye assays (e.g., SYBR®) can now be directly ordered online in a 96 well plate format, eliminating the time-consuming transfer of primers and probes from reagent stocks, and streamlining the reaction set-up. PrimeTime qPCR Assay Plates offer an ideal solution for many applications that generate large quantities of data, such as validation of NGS and microarray data, as well as high throughput gene expression screening.

Addressing the needs of each particular qPCR assay requirement, a range of primer and/or probe concentrations are available, delivered lyophilized within a 96 deep-well plate. For additional flexibility, different dye-quencher combinations can also be ordered on the same plate, extending the range of assays that can be performed during a single run. The researcher does not even need to purchase a complete 96 well plate, just 24 assays is the minimum per plate order. Further cost savings are possible once a plate layout has been designed, since replicate plates can be generated at a lower total cost per reaction, making this format particularly suited to high throughput applications in academia and industry.

Designing and ordering your custom assays in this new plate format is rapid and intuitive with the online PrimeTime® qPCR assay tool, which allows users to easily create a master plate via simple copy and paste actions from source data. Alternatively, researchers can select from a specialized library of predesigned human, mouse, or rat assays generated by IDT’s sophisticated design engine. In addition to incorporating accurate Tm and secondary structure prediction data, this assay design engine takes into account the latest data from the NCBI RefSeq database, to avoid off- target amplification and SNPs, thus ensuring maximum assay performance.

As standard, IDT ensures the highest quality oligonucleotide synthesis, with full QC assessment by mass spectrometry, and results available free of charge on our website.

For more information, please visit www.idtdna.com. Follow us on twitter @idtdna for real-time updates and insights.

22/02/13: When You Need to Customize PCR/qPCR Primer Designs – Free Webinar

February 22, 2013 by · Comments Off on 22/02/13: When You Need to Customize PCR/qPCR Primer Designs – Free Webinar 

Red-haired scientist typing a report with her computer

This is notification of a new webinar from IDT:

When You Need to Customize PCR/qPCR Primer Designs

It is often necessary to select primers using specific parameters; e.g., a particular GC content or Tm, forcing the start or stop position of a primer end. However, not all primer design tools provide this flexibility. In this interactive webinar, we will demonstrate several primer customization scenarios using the free, highly popular PrimerQuest™ Design Tool, including:

• When to use default design parameters, and when to customize assay design
• How to design primers for one, two, or up to 50 sequences at a time
• How to approach specific customized design scenarios suggested by and voted on by participants of this webinar

Tuesday, February 26th – 7:00pm CST
Wednesday, February 27th – 8:00am CST (This is the best one for European-based researchers)
Wednesday, February 27th – 1:00pm CST

This webinar could be interesting to researchers who have been using IDT’s PrimerQuest, as this has been updated.

20/09/12: ..and Yet Another MIQE Webinar!

September 20, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

This time the webinar is from IDT and will be on Tuesday, September 25th. The nice thing about this one is the convenience: you can choose from one of two times when you would like to hear the webinar. Like all the IDT webinar series to date, I expect this one to be on YouTube shortly after completion as well.

Anyway, here are the headline and link to the information/registration page: 

MIQE Guidelines: A Roadmap for Proper qPCR Experimental Design and Reporting

Presented by Professor Stephen Bustin


18/09/12: New MIQE qPCR eSeminar, October 10th 2012

September 18, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Those nice people at Agilent are organising an e-Seminar on MIQE, under the headline of “qPCR Assay Design and Validation.” This e-Seminar comes with the following description:

“A sensitive and specific qPCR assay is a basic prerequisite for the acquisition of reliable, reproducible and biologically relevant results.

Many published assays have been neither appropriately designed nor properly validated, leading to conclusions that are frequently wrong.

Some commercial vendors offer predesigned assays, claiming to generate optimal results for negligible user input. The quality of these assays varies considerably and it remains essential to optimise and validate those assays in laboratories.

Consequently, the ability to design assays remains a key skill for anyone aiming to use qPCR assays and the aim of this seminar is to demonstrate just how simple good assay design is.

Join this live eSeminar and learn about:

  How to streamline a workflow that allows researchers to design bespoke assays
Develop techniques to generate robust data

Speaker is Stephen Bustin from Anglia Ruskin University. You can

Register Here 

On a related subject, do not forget to check out the excellent qPCR design tools at IDT’s Website:

Predesigned Assays, or



17/09/12: BioCision Launch CoolBox XT Workstations + Promo!

September 17, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

I am always impressed by both the creativity and quality that goes into BioCision’s products. I guess the company motto could be “death to ice,” or similar! This is particularly apt with the release of BioCision’s CoolBox XT Workstations. In summary, the CooBox XT Workstations provide over 16 hours of ice-free cooling for your samples without electricity or batteries.

If you are serious about reducing variability in the way your samples are handled at the lab bench, I believe that it is more than worth your time checking out BioCision’s product line.

There is a CoolBox XT Workstation promotion that you can also take advantage of here.

A very quick video explains the concept:


10/05/12: How to Design Primers and Probes for Almost Any qPCR/PCR Target

May 10, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

My advice is to use IDT’s PrimerQuest.

I have been working with some customers in Denmark to help get them started on this, because they are studying organisms that are not included in the (pretty big) model organism defaults to be found in IDT’s other design tools (SciTools).  

PrimerQuest is pretty easy to use and I’ve posted a very short “how to” guide here. The only time-consuming part of using this tool is the BLAST you need to do on the primers/probes, but come on, if you’re in research isn’t that your job?

27/04/12: Some Nice Customer Feedback (ZEN qPCR)

April 27, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Following the successful qPCR assay design seminars held at the start of March 2012, a number of customers took up the opportunity to try out free qPCR assays. I recently got some nice feedback from one such customer. Always good to know that sometimes people can be helped.

This from a customer at Skejby Hospital in Aarhus:

“ I have tried the IDT ZEN probes and they are as I expected – much better than the ones we had, and our technician have ordered the real ones to use in our diagnostic assay “right away”.

It was very convincing 🙂 with much lower background. Everybody was convinced by first look at the results!!!

I am happy that I got the opportunity at the right time :-)”

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