What is "real-time" PCR?

PCR stands for Polymerase Chain Reaction, a biochemical process used to amplify target DNA sequences. Since its invention in 1983, PCR has become a bedrock technology in molecular biology and biomedical science. DNA consists of two strands of nucleic acid units bound together by pairs of matching bases. When DNA is heated to a certain temperature (usually 94-98°C), the two strands come apart, exposing the bases. Through ensuing cooling and heating cycles, the exposed bases on both strands can then be matched to new bases, creating two new double helices. Done over and over, this process can exponentially grow the number of DNA copies you have. It’s like a targeted copy machine for DNA or RNA. If there’s just one copy of the target DNA or RNA in your sample, the PCR process makes billions of copies, which can then be detected. PCR offers superior accuracy and/or speed when compared to other detection methods, like culture.

Real-time PCR is an updated PCR method that allows you to receive results as the reaction proceeds. Instead of waiting for the entire chain reaction to finish, you can watch the reaction proceed in “real time”. Biomeme provides both “quantitative” qPCR amplification plots and qualitative results.