PCR and qPCR
Support and Educational Content

The Story of Taq and Thomas Brock’s Thermophiles

Convention used to suggest that enzymatic activity would decrease with an increase in temperature. Imagine Thomas Brock’s surprise in 1969, when he found bacteria thriving in the near boiling waters of Yellowstone’s geyser pools. Named Thermus aquaticus, these bacteria can survive temperatures between 50°C and 80°C. Various enzymes were isolated and studied from this organism, but none as significant as Thermus aquaticus DNA polymerase, better known as Taq polymerase. The ability of Taq polymerase to survive the high temperatures required to denature DNA during PCR, meant that researchers, or rather their students, could perform PCR without having to add fresh polymerase each cycle. Brock’s discovery enabled PCR to become an indispensable tool in genetics and diagnostics, and liberated molecular biology students everywhere from the burden of babysitting PCR reactions.

Author: Mehrdad Zarifkar is a Production Scientist at IDT.

Predesigned qPCR Assays

Probe-based qPCR assays for quantification of human, mouse, and rat gene expression. Order in plates or tubes.

Search human, mouse, or rat genes ≫

Related Articles

Designing PCR Primers and Probes

General guidelines for designing primers and probes and for choosing target locations for PCR amplification.

Read more ≫

Steps for a Successful qPCR Experiment

Considerations for 5′ nuclease assay design and experimental setup to help you obtain accurate and consistent results.

Read more ≫

Interpreting Melt Curves: An Indicator, Not a Diagnosis

Examining PCR melt curve data to determine what it can/cannot tell us about resulting PCR amplicons.

Read more ≫

Epigenetic Biomarkers for Prostate Cancer

Scientists use methylation and expression analysis methods to evaluate epigenetic markers for early, noninvasive detection of aggressive prostate cancer. IDT PrimeTime® qPCR Assays, ZEN™ Double-Quenched Probes, and gBlocks® Gene Fragments facilitate this research.

Read more ≫

Optimizing Multiplex qPCR for Detecting Infectious Diseases and Biothreat Agents in the Field—ZEN™ Double-Quenched Probes bring down the background

Tetracore researchers developing large sets of robust probe-based qPCR assays discuss the need to: use probe dyes compatible on common PCR instruments, maintain low background with multiple probes, and reformulate assays to address viral mutation.

Read more ≫