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Quantitative DNA/RNA Analysis

The Genomics Division support a number of platforms that use targeted profiling-based methodologies to detect and quantify DNA and RNA. 

Real-time PCR

Real-time PCR is the technique of collecting data throughout the PCR process as it occurs in “real-time”, therefore combining amplification and detection at each PCR cycle.  The system uses assays that contain PCR primers designed against a specific target along with fluorescently labelled hydrolysis probes (Taqman) or intercalating dyes (e.g., SYBR green) for detection.  Realtime PCR can be used for gene expression, microRNA profiling, copy number detection, and allelic discrimination studies.

Digital PCR

Digital PCR (dPCR) is used to perform ultrasensitive and absolute quantification of nucleic acid targets. The system uses the same hydrolysis probe (Taqman)- or EvaGreen (SYBR-like)-based assays and gives the ability to quantify template molecules that may be undetectable using the traditional real-time qPCR techniques.

NanoString nCounter

The nCounter is a panel-based platform that uses an amplification-free technology that measures RNA or DNA content by hybridizing fluorescently color-coded barcode-labelled probes to the target molecules and directly counting the number of probes of each barcode that binds to its target.  The platform can be used for gene expression, microRNA profiling, and copy number assessment studies.


The Fluidigm EP1 and BioMark system use a nanoscale technology to deliver high throughput genotyping or gene expression analysis at a low cost.  The division maintains controllers to run the 48x48, 96x96, and 192x24 (target x sample) BioMark Dynamic arrays. Please contact the Genomics Division to obtain more information about using this platform.

Contact Information

116 EMRB
Phone: (319) 335-7928
Email: iihg-genomics@uiowa.edu